Oliveira: KTM’s MotoGP results “not reflecting our true pace”

Miguel Oliveira doesn’t believe KTM has hit a wall in terms of progress in the 2021 MotoGP season and says the results “are not reflecting our true position” right now. 

Oliveira: KTM’s MotoGP results “not reflecting our true pace”

KTM has scored just two top five results in 2021 courtesy of Brad Binder in Portugal and Tech3’s Danilo Petrucci in last weekend’s flag-to-flag French GP, while Oliveira is yet to crack the top 10.

This is in stark contrast to KTM’s form at the beginning of last season, with Binder winning the third round at Brno, while Oliveira was victorious two races later in the Styrian GP.

As such, and as one of only two manufacturers able to develop their engines ahead of the 2021 campaign, much was expected of the Austrian marque’s factory line-up.

Most of KTM’s troubles centre on Michelin’s front tyre allocation in 2021, with both Binder and Oliveira repeatedly vocal over their dislike of the options available.

Despite its poor form so far, though, Oliveira disagreed when asked if KTM had hit a wall with its RC16.

“I have to disagree, I don’t think we’ve hit a wall,” he said after crashing out of last week’s French GP.

“Maybe in Qatar we were kind of struggling and that was our reality, but since then I think we have made small steps towards a good place and at the moment the final results are not really reflecting our true position and that’s what’s really frustrating about not finishing a race, it’s that you cannot show what you can do in these conditions.

“That’s what counts at the end of today and for Mugello that’s what we have to aim for, to finish the race.

“In my approach there’s nothing I could do differently, in the team’s approach they are doing everything they can.

“So, there is not a pressure environment that is making me not finish the races.”

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Team-mate Binder admits he “expected a lot more” from himself in 2021 but is convinced KTM can turn around its misfortune soon.

“To be honest I expected a lot more from myself at the beginning of the season,” he said following his 13th-place finish at Le Mans.

“It has been super tough and I think there’s been, I don’t know, three of the races have been a borderline disaster.

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“So, it’s not adding up many points in that situation, so it is tough at the moment.

“But I don’t think it’s nothing I can’t change and I believe we’re going to get to places where we’ll be much better, and of course there will be some places that are a little bit more of a challenge – like here, for example.

“I couldn’t really get comfortable and find my speed. It was a really frustrating weekend for me, I just never felt like I could break through and be quick in any session, where normally when I do struggle, I always seem to find a way.”

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