KTM has offered Oliveira return to Tech3

Miguel Oliveira. Picture: KTM Factory Racing Twitter

KTM is firming as a player in the MotoGP silly season, with news emerging that it has floated the idea of demoting Miguel Oliveira back to Tech3 with the Portuguese rider.

Oliveira is in his second season with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, having earnt the call-up after a race-winning 2020 campaign with the Tech3 sister squad.

It’s been an up-and-down ride since then, Oliveira winning a couple of races but comfortably outscored by team-mate Brad Binder, who is under contract until the end of 2024.

There are a number of riders who could be on the hunt for seats next year, with Jack Miller appearing set to lose out at the Ducati Lenovo Team, Pol Espargaro under immense pressure at Repsol Honda, and Suzuki’s imminent withdrawal putting Alex Rins and Joan Mir on the market.

The latter, the 2020 world champion, has been linked with a move to replace Espargaro as Marc Marquez’s team-mate.

Meanwhile, another couple of seats were locked away during the week, with Aprilia re-signing Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales through 2024.

Oliveira was cagey about his future, but confirmed the Tech3 offer.

“It’s still an open topic, to be honest with you,” the #88 rider told motogp.com.

“It’s true that I was offered this position, but at this moment, we’re still analysing some other options and it’s still everything remains open.

“So, hopefully in the next week or two, we’ll be able to come to a conclusion on this subject.”

KTM motorsport director Pit Beirer added: “We had a discussion internally, but he is not confirmed for Tech3.

“I told him we are talking to other riders and we want to be really open. A little bit later this year, to decide which rider will be where, there’s a chance he could move over to Tech3. That’s all I told him, and I told him to be aware of this.

“I don’t want to use an option to make him stay because he has to stay, but I wanted to give him this information.

“But I told him clearly, we will make him an offer, but he must be open to one of these four spots. He was not super happy with this information.

“On the other side, I got a really good response from him, saying he wanted to stay with KTM, so he will stay a KTM rider.”

Tech3 is last in the teams’ championship, with Australian rookie Remy Gardner scoring its only three points to date, and Raul Fernandez yet to trouble the scorers.

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