Oliveira’s 2023 Aprilia debut: ‘A bit better everywhere’
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The Portuguese, who has battled back from several nasty injuries to finish in the top six at three of the last four grands prix, concluded:“There is nothing outstandingly better than mine but it [the 2023] is better a little bit everywhere. So it was an interesting test.“The most interesting factor was that with very used tyres, I could still be faster than with my 2022 bike.“Once you jump on a new bike and you suddenly go even faster it means there is potential there. So I’m happy for that.”But with the MotoGP regulations locking each rider to one engine design throughout the season, there is no question of Oliveira finishing the season on the 2023.“It was also in the plans that we would not do many laps on it because we will not be competing on this bike. So it would not make sense,” said the former KTM race winner.“And then we focused our efforts on the 2022 spec. We tried a swingarm, a link, a steering damper. Little things to just help us understand how we could improve the current spec.”Related Marc Marquez still waiting for Indian MotoGP visa Quartararo doubts unknown India an opportunity for YamahaBut the outing was still beneficial for this season, in the sense that Oliveira now knows the exact ‘limitations’ of his older bike and where the 2023 parts make a difference.“I know the limitations of the  bike because I’ve ridden the new one and I will not become crazy if I cannot achieve the performances that the other two [factory] guys achieve because I now understand how the  bike works now,” he said.It’s not yet clear if Oliveira and team-mate Raul Fernandez will get the 2023 bike for next season or if Aprilia will be able to offer them 2024 spec RS-GPs, alongside factory stars Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales.“I can’t answer that to be honest. I would love to [get the 2024], for sure! But that’s something on Aprilia’s side, not on my side,” Oliveira said.
One person who already wishes Oliveira had access to the latest-spec bike is Aprilia’s triple MotoGP winner Espargaro.“I think he felt more stability with the ‘23 bike,” said Espargaro.“It’s good also to have his point of view. [Misano is] a really strange track, really strange layout, but I think it’s a smart move to give Miguel the ‘23 bike to understand a little bit more and to have more and more data.“Unfortunately, he cannot use it for the rest of this season because of the rules. If it was just my decision, I would 100 per cent give the ‘23 spec to both the [RNF] riders now, but it’s not that easy obviously.”Maverick Vinales was the fastest Aprilia at the test, in second place behind Luca Marini (Ducati).Oliveira was seventh, with team-mate Fernandez tenth and Espargaro eleventh, after a debut on the carbon fibre chassis.
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