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Miguel Oliveira in an exclusive interview with Eleven Sports

Miguel Oliveira was the special guest of another F1 Eleven, live, on Eleven Sports Facebook and simultaneously on MEO Esporte Facebook. For about 45 minutes, the Portuguese MotoGP rider, from the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team and MEO Ambassador, spoke about his career in the MotoGP world as well as his prospects for the future.

Portuguese driver Miguel Oliveira, 25, born in Almada, is the top exponent of Portuguese motorcycling, being the first to have won a first race at the World Speed ​​Motorcycle Championship at the Moto3 Italian Grand Prix, he was runner-up in the world Moto2 and is the first to rise to the Moto GP category.

The full interview can be viewed and heard on Podcast at: Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

He was named Sportsman of the Year, in the category of Male Athlete, by the Confederation of Sports in Portugal and Global Ambassador for Integrity and Transparency in Sport by Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA).

Miguel Oliveira is a pilot of the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team, and MEO Ambassador, since January last year, when Altice Portugal strengthened its presence among motorsport athletes.

The Portuguese rider will complete his second season in MotoGP, the “queen” class of the World Motorcycle Speed ​​Championship, in 2020, after being ranked 17th in 2019, with a total of 33 points.

On returning to work after this time of pandemic, Miguel Oliveira said that: “Being able to get back on track is always fantastic, because we have the opportunity to do what we love – which in my case is riding a motorcycle. Going to the Estoril race track and Portimão was a fantastic opportunity – The national championship was the first motor sports event to be held in Europe. The Estoril Circuit in the first weekend of June, received the first stage of the Portuguese Championship of Speed, and I took advantage of this opportunity to be able to roll, Afterwards I went to Portimão this weekend and it is always good to do a training, to walk at 300 hour on the straight, to be able to acclimatize the brain. The bike is not the same, obviously, but it is always better than the couch or games”

Regarding the date of the first race, Miguel Oliveira stated that: “We are certain that the championship will start now in July, on the 19th and 26th, so we have this date more or less defined as an objective. For me, psychologically, it is great after so many months without knowing what was going to happen and if it was going to happen or not. Staying with certainty and not just with hope. The organization has done an excellent job, and we have a huge load of measures that we have to comply with for the safety of pilots and whoever is operating inside the pits”.

The full interview can be viewed and heard on Podcast at: Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Wanting to end up in the top 10 is one of the ambitions of the Portuguese driver who confesses: “For me the goal at the beginning of this pre-season has always been to start being more often in the top 10, which is a realizable goal – in my opinion – for two reasons: because I think I am a better rider than last year, with more experience and 100% physically, and reason number two is in fact because our bike has evolved a lot at a technical level. We have had a tremendous evolution in all technical fields of the bike, from the engine to the chassis and electronics. So, I think the ingredients to finish in the top 10 are gathered. I am confident that this year our bike will allow us to fight for much better positions”.

About the dream of the world title, Miguel Oliveira said that “Dreaming can always be dreamed, but I like to first set goals in things and obviously things are done step by step. I have to start attending the podium and have victories more often, and then yes, everything adds up to a title. Being among those three or four drivers who fight for the title every year is not easy. It is not easy to get there, a lot is needed and a lot of experience is gained in racing – good experience of victories, of fighting for podiums. And I still don’t have that experience. It is a dream almost to become objective – it is to be fulfilled in three or four years”.

It is not enough to go to the grid and want to win. The Red Bull driver KTM Tech3 stressed that “There are several cases of drivers who made it to F1 – I am remembering Hamilton, or Márquez who won in his debut year. But they are drivers who, despite their immaturity or their youth reaching the categories, did very well. But they were also in different structures and machines”.

The full interview can be viewed and heard on Podcast at: Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Miguel Oliveira also said that it is not always easy to publicly outline objectives, as the results do not depend only on the pilot: “This is our story. In motorsport, it is sometimes difficult to show the public the difficulty we sometimes have in not saying things or not putting things out clearly at the level of goals. Because we have a machine under us, which is not just accelerating more, we move faster. There is a lot to happen from behind too”.

Comparing the risks between driving a car or a motorbike, particularly in the event of brake failure, the Portuguese driver stated that: “Walking on the asphalt is an art of precision and consistency for all laps and this requires a margin of error too small. The happiness is that now on these wide tracks there is always a lot of escape on asphalt for us to go there for a ride and be able to go back calmly, it is like that on motorbikes and cars, because the tracks are practically the same”.

The driving style has been evolving, along with the evolution of the equipment and the speed of the bikes. Miguel Oliveira explained that: “At this moment to get that tenth the bike has to turn more around the curve. For the past 10 years, a much more charged driving style has been adopted in front of the bike, tilting the body much further into the corner, largely because there is a big difference in driving a 2-stroke bike and a 4-stroke motorcycle, especially in the intermediate and low classes, ie 600 and 250, Moto3 and Moto2. Our inclination reaches 62- 63 degrees”.

Regarding the importance of telemetry, in technical motorcycle suits, but also in driving, the young driver said that “Telemetry in motorcycles is as developed as in cars. There are simply things that we cannot have – radio communication, real-time telemetry, this information cannot be passed in real time to the box. It is dictated by the regulation. It helps us in terms of accuracy, because we are more likely to understand what is happening in telemetry, using a graph – the precision of our driving increases very well. When we reach the high level, as we are, it helps to have telemetry as a secondary aid to be able to save a little more on the tire. Ensure that through the calculations we have in telemetry we can reach the end of the race with something to give”.

The full interview can be viewed and heard on Podcast at: Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Still on telemetry, Miguel Oliveira said: “Through telemetry we were able to build three variants of engine maps. We have three maps for acceleration, three different maps for the engine brake and three maps for traction control. And we will adjust these parameters as the level of adhesion low, the weight low. To give an example: when I have new tires I start with a lot more power because the bike is much heavier and I have maximum traction control because the tire is new. As the low grip we release traction control, passing it more and more to the accelerator, and we reduce the power a little more because the bike is light, the grip has dropped and we don’t want that power connected to the wheel”.

Regarding the support of MEO, a brand of which he is an ambassador, the Portuguese pilot said that “When MEO joined me last year, it was very prestigious, because having such a large brand, with so much power in Portugal, supporting me, just gives me notoriety. But then, curiously, he quickly ceased to be that typical sponsor who sometimes joins us for a few years and then leaves, the duration with MEO will be very different because the values ​​fit perfectly with mine. MEO has made a campaign and a policy of proximity to consumers that fits very well with what I do in sports. Sport is nothing more than entertaining people and passing on values, and getting closer to all Portuguese people. The partnership with MEO dictates much of the dynamics and values ​​that we share. The entire group of ambassadors is fantastic and it is a great honor to be part of that group

With the climb to the MotoGP World Championship, Miguel Oliveira had to change his rider number: “The number 44 appeared very early in his career. I think that perhaps on motorbikes it is more identifying, more important for the driver, than in cars. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think it’s the number that identifies the rider well on the bikes. The number 88 came about by bigger forces, because when I started in MotoGP there was already Pol Espargaró with that number. I still tried to find a friendly group that could intimidate him and force him to give up the number, but it wasn’t possible – it was going to look a little suspicious. But the option was on the table, I still talked to him, but there was nothing to be done”.

The full interview can be viewed and heard on Podcast at: Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

At this moment, Oliveira only sees himself exchanging the number 88 for another one: “The number 88 came naturally, it is also a natural number, it is twice as much as 44 and I think it would look great. I would only exchange 88 for number 1 in the fairing”.

Regarding the feeling of being among the best, the Portuguese MotoGP rider concluded that: “I don’t want this to sound strange or to have any pretentiousness, but I think that as we get closer to our idols or those we admire, we no longer have that factor that leaves us, ‘wow, there is Rossi, there is Márquez, there is Pedrosa’. Because as we get to their level we start to look at them with the same head height and not so much up there where we think they would be in relation to us. But I have a great admiration for them, obviously”.

At the end of the interview was the opinion of the MotoGP rider, who stated that “Portimão deserved to have MotoGP here as soon as possible”, having also revealed that outside the bikes he would like to participate “in a rally event”.

The full interview can be viewed and heard on Podcast at: Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

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