Oliveira set to don factory KTM orange again

2021 will see Miguel Oliveira make the switch to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing as he and Brad Binder team up once more

It’s confirmed: Miguel Oliveira will be a Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider in 2021 after the Austrian factory announced the Portuguese star will be taking Pol Espargaro’s seat to line-up alongside Brad Binder.

Many thought the incoming Danilo Petrucci would get the nod to claim the factory seat, but KTM have – rightly so – rewarded Oliveira with the seat he missed out on for 2020. 2019 was Oliveira’s rookie campaign in the premier class, and it’s safe to say the number 88 turned a few heads on the RC-16 – an eighth-place finish at KTM’s home race in Austria was the standout performance.


Unfortunately, Oliveira’s season would end prematurely after a monumental Turn 1 crash at Phillip Island. No riders ever want to crash of course, but if there’s one corner on the MotoGP™ calendar where you really don’t want to crash, Doohan Corner is up there with the scariest. The Tech3 man escaped any serious injury but, in the aftermath, it was revealed Oliveira had been nursing a shoulder injury since a Silverstone crash with Johann Zarco. The Australian GP ultimately seeing Oliveira miss the final three races of the season. 

Fast forward to 2020 and it looks like Oliveira is in for a promising year, all things being well. His KTM journey in the premier class looks like it’s only just beginning as he and Binder become teammates once more. It’s a formidable pairing, we've seen it in the past, with the duo finishing P2 and P3 in the 2018 Moto2™ World Championship – Oliveira losing out on the title by just nine points. If and when KTM have the package to challenge the leading factories week in, week out, there’s no doubt about it: Oliveira and Binder will be a potent force. And they're only going to get stronger as they gain experience. 


For now, Oliveira will focus on powering himself, KTM and Tech3 to more results like the 2019 Austrian GP. We’ll soon find out how Oliveira is shaping up as MotoGP™ returns to action at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in July.

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