Rookie revelation: Oliveira ends Day 1 as fastest KTM in P7

The Portuguese rookie enjoyed the best Free Practice Friday of his young MotoGP™ career as he eyes a first Q2 entry

Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira has had quite a few days. Just four days on from riding the factory KTM RC16 of Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco at the Official Test in Brno, the Portuguese rookie then had his best MotoGP™ Free Practice Friday of the season by closing the day seventh quickest and, more importantly, top KTM at the Austrian factory’s home round.

The 24-year-old is yet to earn a place in Q2 in his MotoGP™ career but could well join the fight for pole position for the first time on Saturday if rain stops anybody outside the top ten from improving. However, regardless of the conditions, Oliveira is feeling comfortable at the Red Bull Ring.

“I feel quite good. Already this morning we started with a good feeling on the bike; we haven’t changed the settings a lot. We started working this afternoon on the race pace and basically, we did a fast lap at the end to put us there in Q2, but it’s not done yet.

“We still have one practice tomorrow where we’re looking to improve the lap time and our target is to start further up on the grid. Our start position hasn’t been good, or what I have been aiming for, so that’s our main target for tomorrow - have a better qualifying, so we can have a better race on Sunday.

"Our idea was to, I think like everyone else, put in a new tyre at the end as we know, with the weather being unstable, we might not get a chance tomorrow morning to put in a fast lap. Everyone went with the option of putting in a soft tyre and make a time attack because of the forecast."

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