KTM has thanked Miguel Oliveira and wished him all the best for the future following confirmation that the Portuguese will switch to RNF Aprilia for the 2023 MotoGP season.
Oliveira is not only KTM’s most successful MotoGP rider in terms of wins (4) but was the first to reach the premier-class after racing with the Austrian manufacturer in Red Bull Rookies, Moto3 and Moto2.
Following an injury-interrupted debut MotoGP season at Tech3 in 2019, Oliveira made history for the French team with two victories the following season.
The first was a stunning last-turn showdown with Jack Miller and Pol Espargaro in Austria, the second a dominant home victory in Portimao.
Promoted to the factory Red Bull team alongside Brad Binder for 2021, Oliveira has taken further wins in Catalunya 2021 and Mandalika 2022. However, his results have been, in his own words, too ‘spiky’ and he is currently tenth in the world championship.
With Binder already under contract, Jack Miller’s 2023 factory KTM deal came at the expense of Oliveira.
Oliveira ‘showed the ‘orange way’ through the MotoGP pyramid’
KTM pushed hard to persuade the 27-year-old to stay in the family by returning to the rebranded GASGAS Tech3 team alongside Pol Espargaro, but Oliveira has chosen to make a fresh start with Aprilia and RNF.
“A big thanks to Miguel for everything he’s brought to our MotoGP programme and for all the strong values that he represents,” said KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer.
“He came through our KTM system but he also helped make each step valid and competitive by being on the podium 36 times and taking 16 wins for us, four of those in MotoGP.
“The victory in Austria in 2020 was simply amazing and only bettered by the dominance and emotion in Portugal later in the season. He really showed young riders the ‘orange way’ through the MotoGP pyramid.
“He’s a total Pro, a family man and he’ll be missed in our section of the paddock for sure. We wish him all the best for his future in the MotoGP class.”
Red Bull KTM team manager Francesco Guidotti added: “We’ve been lucky to have a rider of Miguel’s intelligence, talent and professionalism in the factory team.
“When we’ve been able to create the right package for him then he has shown his class and brought some important input into the development of the KTM RC16.
“It’s something we’ll always appreciate. Obrigado Miguel!”
Oliveira will be joined by another current KTM rider, Raul Fernandez, at RNF next season.
Both riders – who have two-year deals, signed directly with Aprilia – have been given permission to ride for their new team at November’s Valencia post-race test.