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The heat, smell and sound of a KTM RC16 will come a little nearer to a selection of motorcyclists on the edge of the 2022 Grand Prix of Portugal. Why and how? Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira tells us…

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira on his KTM RC16 at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in 2021 PC @PolarityPhoto

MotoGP™ and bike racing fans that will be riding to the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal on April 23-24 need to get to Portimao slightly earlier. Wednesday 20th to be precise. The reason? Something pretty special. At 16.30 local time Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira will appear on a presentation stage in the centre of the town, along with Portimao Major Isilda Gomes and the Algarve International Circuit CEO Paulo Pinheiro. After the Grand Prix winner has talked about a promotion scheme for the fifth round of MotoGP, his charity initiative and hung out with the #88 followers he will change into his leathers and have his race-spec KTM RC16 fired-up.

On Wednesday, April 20th Miguel Oliveira fans will have the incredible opportunity to ride alongside Miguel and try to catch him on his KTM RC16 PC @PolarityPhoto

The howling motorcycle – that has already conquered the Indonesian Grand Prix this year and owned the first MotoGP race at Portimao in 2020 – will then lead all the bikers in convoy to the gates of the circuit. The 27-year-old will guide the RC16 away from the road and to more natural climes by heading through the pitlane and onto the spectacular Portuguese asphalt…with all of the bikes in tow!

“It’s cool because for the first time the fans have the chance to ride with me and that’s the most appealing factor of the event; that they can do a lap with me!” Miguel said when asked about it directly after the last MotoGP event in Austin, USA. “If I was a fan then I’d love to have the opportunity to be close to a MotoGP bike. I think it will be a very cool event.”

Miguel Oliveira celebrating his victory at the first MotoGP race at Portimao in 2020 PC @PolarityPhoto

Last year Oliveira was ‘escorted’ by scores of fans as he travelled from his hometown to the Algarve International Circuit for the 2021 edition of the GP. Thanks to Portimao and the circuit organisers he is now able to get even more interactive in the run from the centre to the MotoGP venue. While Miguel has more than a handle on the RC16 on the racetrack, steering a bike that costs millions of Euros on public roads is another prospect. “It’s impossible!” he laughs when asked to consider his MotoGP steed as a street machine. “The level of grip [won’t be there], it has a first gear that is so long and you don’t have ventilators so the engine temperature will go through the roof! We just want to bring the fans closer to me and to give them a feeling of the kind of support I get when I come to Portimao.”

The 2022 MotoGP race in Portimao will only be the fourth outing at the “rollercoaster” – image shows Miguel Oliveira on the track in 2021 PC @PolarityPhoto

Once at the Algarve International Circuit Oliveira will then have to keep control of the slow presentation lap. “We’ll make sure it’s all safe,” he smiles. “We did more than 200km last year with almost 100 bikes on the road and the organisation of that was amazing. This time we’ll have the same commitment.”

Even though the event will shine a light on just the fourth MotoGP event to take place in Portimao, the ‘ride-out’ is also a chance for Oliveira to acknowledge some of the most dedicated and feverish MotoGP public in the world. “Many years ago they said it was impossible for a Portuguese to be in MotoGP. It happened. They said it will be impossible to win with a KTM. It happened, and several times,” he says. “I guess we are just breaking barriers! I enjoy events like these because you don’t know how long you will be around for similar things. The MotoGP paddock is so diverse and the environment is amazing. It is competitive, yes, but to have such passionate fans and to be able to bring them closer is something special.”

Miguel Oliveira “elbow down” at the Algarve International Circuit in November 2021 PC @PolarityPhoto

Come and join!

Where: Zona Ribeirinha, Portimao followed by a lap of the Algarve International Circuit

When: From 16.30 to 18.30, ending with a photo opp with Miguel on the circuit grid

Who: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira

How: Bring your wheels, don’t be late!

“Catching” Miguel – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team celebrating Oliveira’s incredible win in the wet at Mandalika at the end of March 2022 PC @PolarityPhoto

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