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By Red Bull KTM Ajo

Successful start of season for Oliveira

Confident and capable – the young rider from Portugal chats about racing with new KTM machinery

Competing in the Moto2™ category of the World Championship is never easy, and racing is always expected to be challenging with a brand-new bike. However, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has taken the task in his stride, and enjoyed an excellent first half of the 2017 season.

Oliveira, together with team mate Brad Binder, have helped make the KTM Moto2™ machine one of the fastest on the grid. The Portuguese rider is currently third in the overall standings, only 23 points behind second spot, with four podiums and a pole position to his name.

What assessment do you make of the first half of the season?
Obviously we are happy with how things have gone so far. Some results have been better than we had expected, and to be honest we are all a little surprised. We didn’t expect to have podiums and a pole position when going to circuits where we had never been before, overcoming the different problems that we had at first. It’s something we didn’t think was possible. So far, it's been a good season.

In what aspects can the KTM Moto2 bike evolve?
Improvements will come at the same time as we encounter obstacles. At this moment we need to experiment with the bike. When we have been able to test the bike in all kinds of conditions, we will be able to sit down and assess exactly what aspects we should evolve.

You are riding at circuits where this bike has never been before. On race day, do you feel you have a setup that has been sufficiently tested?
Sometimes the problem is not getting to a circuit for the first time, but rather the different weather conditions that we can find throughout a weekend. When it rains during practice or there are different conditions to those that we find in the race, we notice that we lack track time, but that’s something that is completely normal.

Is winning a race a goal for you in the second half of the year?
To be up in the Top 5 you have to be very precise and not make mistakes. If we are in the top positions, then we will take the risk to win. We hope to be in that position more often and I’m sure that something good will come.

What does it mean to be the only KTM team in the class?
It's a Moto2 team with ties to the factory, so we have the opportunity to test many configurations and parts in the tests we do. It’s an aspect that we value very positively.

What are you going to do this summer?
Basically I will try to disconnect a little from competition and enjoy some time at the family home.