Aprilia RS-GP: Oliveira Faces Challenges Despite Strong Bike

Aprilia RS-GP: Oliveira Faces Challenges Despite Strong Bike



March 28th, 2024

Aprilia and the factory riders, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales, have impressed this season with their latest-spec RS-GP. However, Miguel Oliveira, a rider for the satellite team Trackhouse who also has the same bike, has struggled to find similar success.

Oliveira's Quest to Master the Aprilia RS-GP

Despite strong performances in Qatar and Portugal, including a podium finish each, Espargaro and Viñales have emerged as championship contenders. Oliveira, on the other hand, sits in a disappointing 14th place in the standings after two rounds.

In Qatar, Oliveira only managed a single point. At his home race in Portugal, he could only finish ninth, while Viñales was on course for second before a late technical issue. Oliveira acknowledges the stark difference in performance and admits the bike isn't working as he'd like.

"Small steps," Oliveira said, describing the lack of progress. "I would have liked something bigger. The feeling I have is good, but the bike just isn't working as it should do, and it's quite frustrating." Oliveira remains optimistic, emphasizing the need to keep working and find solutions.

Portuguese Hero Faces Hometown Pressure

Oliveira is a national hero in Portugal, a country better known for its footballing passion. He received a hero's welcome from the Algarve crowd despite qualifying 15th.

Born in Almada, about 200km north of Portimao, Oliveira believes the pressure of racing at home is even greater than fighting for the championship. He compared the experience to the immense support Valentino Rossi used to receive.

"It's quite amazing to have the whole country with you," Oliveira said. "There's a little bit of pressure because everyone is shouting your name. But it's good pressure." Oliveira acknowledges that competing for a championship might be less stressful than racing in front of his home crowd, except for a potential championship finale in Portugal.

Oliveira's struggles highlight the importance of rider-bike fit in MotoGP. While the Aprilia RS-GP is clearly a competitive machine, Oliveira needs to find a way to unlock its full potential. The upcoming races will be crucial to see if he can bridge the gap to his factory teammates and turn things around.

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Image credit of Trackhouse Racing

tag: Aprilia , Miguel Oliveira

Klei Hoxha Author

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