Motorcycle Racing

Oliveira “not disappointed” by Honda’s MotoGP offer for 2024

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Following Marc Marquez’s decision to quit Honda in favour of Gresini Ducati for the 2024 season, Oliveira emerged as HRC’s preferred option to replace him.

The RNF rider is contracted to Aprilia for next year but had an option in his contract that allowed him to leave if a factory team offered him a deal.

Oliveira was taken off the board in recent weeks, however, as Honda only wanted to offer a one-year deal to keep its options open for 2025 when most factory riders are out of contract.

Asked by Autosport on Friday at the Malaysian Grand Prix if he was disappointed by this approach, the Portuguese replied: “No, it’s not disappointing.

“It’s a business, they look for opportunities, so do we.

“Sometimes our expectations maybe don’t match what is offered, and also it’s possible for a manufacturer to get. So, I’m not disappointed, no.”

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Expanding on the subject, he added: “It’s that they want a rider to go there for one year, and I think nowadays it’s too risky to do it.

“Even being the biggest manufacturer in the world with all the economic and most likely also human ability to build up a bike and make a strong team, I’d say as a rider that is breaking a relationship with one manufacturer to go to another without this guarantee of the future, I think it’s quite difficult.”

Oliveira also noted that his decision was partly motivated by the fact he could be in the frame to step up to the factory Aprilia squad in 2025.

“Exactly. You know, every rider breaks this two-year contract cycle next year [at the end of 2024], so anyway everything will be open.

“I just don’t see how it would be possible to risk that much without guarantees of continuing. I think it’s quite hard.”

Oliveira’s former KTM stablemate Pol Espargaro emerged on Friday as a possible option for Honda for next year but confirmed that he will remain as a test rider for the Austrian marque.

Factory Aprilia rider Maverick Vinales was also an option for Honda, but he says his “commitment is to Aprilia”.

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Commenting on this, he said: “I have to say this is really nice to hear and this is something good.

“Also, I want Aprilia to hear this – they need to push if they want me. It’s always great that Honda, for example, a great brand, thinks about you. It means you are doing a good job.

“But my commitment, I say many times, is to…

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