If there’s one thing that KTM hates more than anything and even less than the others in MotoGP, it’s being outdone. We had experienced this situation with a Raul Fernandez who had not hidden his relations with Yamaha emissaries, Razlan Razali in the lead who offered him dinner work meetings. The result was a hasty announcement, in the middle of a Grand Prix session, of his arrival on the RC16 for the following season. The Tech3 pilots of the time, Lecuona and Petrucci, had appreciated… Today, history seems to be repeating itself with Miguel Oliveira who, by dint of showing that he is looking for a future outside the brand for which he won four Grand Prix in MotoGP will now probably have to find one really…
The announcement of Jack Miller at KTM for two years, from 2023 to 2024, came at an off-peak time in terms of viewing on a weekend day. The timing was surprising, but when you know the context with Miguel Oliveiraand that we take stock of the culture KTM in this type of file, the surprise is relativized. Because we never impose our choices on KTM. KTM always keeps the initiative.
The case of a Raúl Fernandez caught up in his first contacts with Yamaha should be remembered and in the event of Miguel Oliveira, KTM puts him, with this formalization of Jack Millerthe contract Tech3 to sign in front of you, or the exit slip. But the Portuguese will no longer be able to go see the competitors, telling himself that he has the initiative and that he can take lessons from his boss at any time in the paddock, pit beirer.
The latter explains by giving revealing elements of atmosphere: if I notice a driver talking to another team boss, then I’m jealous. If he sees that I’m talking to another pilot, then it’s interpreted as a betrayal of some sort. It’s not nice because we don’t want to question what we’ve already achieved together. To keep things calm in the team, it’s best to keep the drivers you have. Then you have everything under control and you can work together on the future “. Yes, but : ” my job is to negotiate with the best in the paddock who will be free for the new season. It’s stressful because it’s a bit like cheating “.
At the house of KTMwe appreciate Miguel Oliveira which has enhanced the brand’s track record. But the Portuguese is not easy. pit beireragain, reveals on motorsport-total: “ he is a four-time MotoGP Grand Prix winner and that is an important element for our whole project. But he’s also very, very sensitive. We know it. We try to give it a base that makes it easier to drive. When everything falls into place and Miguel has one of his good days, then he’s unbeatable. He succeeds in everything. We see lean angles with the bike and late braking points that we have never seen in the data before. But if all is not well, then we are on the other side of the results list. Of course it makes us think “.
KTM: “ we made a fair offer to Miguel Oliveira, we would really like him to stay”
It is necessary to bring back to this evaluation the comment of the team manager Guidotti on the arrival of Jack Miller : “ like Brad Binder, Jack is a pure runner: he will find the limits and the maximum of any condition and any package and will “go for it” to obtain the result and it is a rather rare quality ” … All is said.
remains thatOliveira has the option to stay in the Austrian family by finding a team Tech3 with which he won his first two Grands Prix in the category. A reasonable proposition that pit beirer was surprised to see the Portuguese dismiss: before Mugello, I tried to talk to Miguel to tell him that these talks with Miller were taking place. I wanted to be fair. Miguel is a friend of mine and also from the team. He should stay that way – no matter what “.
” So I made him an offer for Tech3 and also offered him a higher salary. I really wanted to avoid him coming to Mugello and saying: ‘My team, my friends, my family, they take another driver and they kick me out. ‘” “We had an option until May 31, which we could have bought out. Then, according to the contract, he should have driven for us, no matter which of the four places. But we deliberately didn’t because we have such a good relationship with Miguel. So I thought we made him a fair offer. We didn’t take the option but we made him a new offer. We would really like him to stay with KTM. But I don’t know if we still have a chance “.
pit beirer goes on to regret thatOliveira took this proposal as a downgrading of his position at KTM : “ I wouldn’t have expected it in this form as we now have eight of our own employees at Tech3. He himself won two races with Hervé Poncharal. We did not see this at all as a siding, we want to strengthen this team. Our goal is still to have four equivalent factory bikes. He certainly didn’t take it as a compliment, but he was disappointed that we wanted to discuss with him if he was driving for another team.. He then more or less isolated himself and sent his father to other teams for negotiations “.
An initiative that was like a wake-up call: ” according to his management, his father, nothing has been signed yet and he wants to talk to us. But we have also seen suspicious photos on the Internet “, said Beer alluding to the meeting between Oliveira, Ducati and the team Gresini which is a satellite team, let’s remember. We are there. But given the atmosphere and the strong characters, the relationship between KTM and Oliveira seem to be reaching their end…