It is clear that from the next season onwards, Tech 3 and KTM will join hands. This means that KTM will have to find one more rider who will get a chance to ride the factory-spec RC16s in 2019 MotoGP. One, because it has already signed up Miguel Oliveira.
Miguel Oliveira has proved himself in the Moto2 championship. In the current season, he is at the fourth position in the overall world championship standings. Olivera finished titled runner-up in Moto3 for KTM in 2015 before returning to the factory to spearhead its new Moto2 project, winning the final three races of last season.
Speaking about his one-year deal, Oliveira said, “It is very early in the season but I am really happy that KTM have seen enough from this year and the last to trust me and believe I deserve this opportunity in MotoGP. I’m really thankful for that. I’ve always dreamed of MotoGP. I had it as a goal and to be able to achieve that is something so positive.”
He further added, “We still have a long Moto2 season ahead and the fact that this is already done allows me to relax and really focus on my riding. I have been through all the steps that Red Bull and KTM have together since the Rookies Cup; I believe I’m the first. I think that shows other riders can trust in KTM and their project. I think I have the skills and the will to be able to perform well on a MotoGP bike.”
KTM motorsport boss Pit Beirer shares his thoughts about Oliveira’s new deal with KTM, “This is an emotional step for us because it proves all what we have said about building a structure in this paddock and being able to come from the Red Bull Rookies Cup, go through the classes with us and end up in a MotoGP team. Miguel has his goals for race wins, podiums and the title in Moto2 this year, and he has our full support for that, and then his MotoGP career will start in Valencia [post-season testing].”
KTM seems to be pouncing ahead at a fast rate in the game. It recently signed a two-year contract with Johann Zarco replacing Bradley Smith. He will be accompanied by Pol Espargaro. And now with Miguel Oliveira onboard there’s only one seat vacant in the Tech 3 KTM team. It is being anticipated that either the current Tech 3 Yamaha rider Hafizh Syahrin, or Bradley Smith, could take the final available vacancy.