5 years ago
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Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira answers questions from fans ahead of his fifth season in the Moto3™ Championship.
The Portuguese rider, who made the step up to the factory team this year, took to Facebook and Twitter to answer questions about how he's settling in:
Miguel, how do you feel in your new ‘home’?
"Very good. Being on a team like Red Bull KTM Ajo, who are multiple time World Champions, always gives you a little pressure but also provides you with calm, because there are very reliable people here and they always try to give you their best so you can do well."
Do you think you’ll be able to fight for the title this year?
"I think so. We have everything there to fight for it. I am no longer a rookie. I have a few years of experience and, although I have made some mistakes in my career, I’ve learned a lot from them and I hope to complete the season this year without mistakes. This category is very difficult and racing as part of a group is always tough, but we will try."
Which rivals do you think will be in contention for the world title this year?
"I don’t know. It’s hard to say, even more so at this point in the preseason. Last year it seemed like it would be one thing and ended up being something totally different. Of course, in the large group that will be in the fight for the World Championship, I hope to be one of them."
So far, what are your impressions of the new bike?
"The bike is going well; I have a good feeling with it. We didn’t have to make many changes to the foundation we had and we found a good setup pretty quickly, so I am very satisfied. We have room for improvement still, and so we will make the most of the time remaining before Qatar."
You share a garage with two promising riders: Karel Hanika and Brad Binder. How do you get on with them and what atmosphere is there inside the box?
"I think it’s very good. It is an issue that has never worried me, because I knew that having teammates like Brad [Binder] and Karel [Hanika] is very good for the team. We get on well and at the same time they are very strong riders who have great potential. I believe that together we can progress."
Do you compete amongst yourselves?
"When I am working I focus on my own job. I don’t like looking at what others do, although obviously still all within the box, if they are the fastest, is easier to learn and see where you can improve."
How do you see Portugal in the world of motorcycle racing?
"In Portugal the world of motorcycle racing is growing a lot and I’m doing my bit for that. I consider it part of the work that comes with being the only Portuguese competing in the World Championship. I hope that in the near future we have a Portuguese GP again. It would be a great joy for me."
Why did you decide to study dentistry?
"The purpose of completing my studies was to get into university and I did not like anything besides medicine, so I opted for that."
What is it like combining your studies with the responsibility of being a rider?
"It’s a bit tricky. It’s not that it is difficult, it’s that it is hard to do what others do with half the amount of class time. Having the time and ability to discern between one thing and another is not easy because this sport takes up 80% of my day with physical and mental preparation. That makes it difficult to combine things, but I have the help of my college classmates and teachers, who are very supportive."
Does that mean that in the future you don’t see yourself riding bikes?
"No, I think it has nothing to do with that. I do it because I like it and in the end riding is not a lifelong thing. Life in the paddock is not easy. If I were not a rider, I don’t know if I have the skills to be part of a team. I could be a Team Manager and have my own team in the World Championship, but that is totally uncertain. I think it’s important to always have a plan B that assures I can make ends meet in the future."
What is your favourite dinosaur?
"Well … [laughs and thinks]. The Tyrannosaurus Rex."
Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals before races?
"No, I’m not superstitious. I think luck is the result of the work you put in."
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