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Miguel Oliveira says he's turned down an approach from Yamaha for 2022 MotoGP

Miguel Oliveira's stock in MotoGP continues to rise but the Portuguese rider says he is happy at KTM following an approach from rivals Yamaha

Miguel Oliveira - Tech 3 KTM


Miguel Oliveira has revealed he received an approach from Yamaha to join its team for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship but says he is committed to becoming a champion with KTM.

The Portuguese rider’s stock has continued to soar since his surprise maiden win for the Tech 3 KTM in the Styrian MotoGP in 2020, making him an attractive prospect for Yamaha, which is looking to fill at least one vacant seat for 2022.

Indeed, the impending exit of Maverick Vinales from the Yamaha Factory Racing team means the manufacturer is on the hunt for a high-profile replacement. As it stands, Yamaha is expected to promote Franco Morbidelli into the factory team alongside Fabio Quartararo, with any newcomer taking the Petronas SRT Yamaha ride.

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However, with Valentino Rossi still undecided about his future, there is a chance Yamaha will need to fill both rides for 2022.

As such, it has scoped out a number of potential candidates understood to include Moto2 star Raul Fernandez and Toprak Razgatlioglu. However, with KTM keen to hold onto its protege Fernandez and Razgatlioglu reportedly turning down a formal offer in favour of spending two more years in WorldSBK, Yamaha is having to cast the net wider.

Among those to be scouted out is Oliveira, who has since picked up two more wins with KTM since his maiden Styrian triumph and is regarded as an outside tip for this year's title. The Portuguese rider was promoted to the Factory team for 2021 but with no communication at the time as to the length of this deal, he is yet to have his 2022 plans formally confirmed by KTM.

However, Oliveira has now revealed he did indeed sign a two-year deal with KTM that includes 2022 and he has no plans to renege on it in favour of a move to Yamaha.

“The market and the contracts, especially in these modern days, come to show that, and we already have one or two cases, when there is no will from one of the parties that the rider does not continue with the team or the team no longer wants the rider, that those contracts are broken,” he is quoted as saying during a media call in his native Portugal.

“Nowadays, having a signed contract is worth what it is worth. I have my commitment with my team since last year for two years and I will not go back on that word. 

“Of course this [Maverick] Viñales situation has brought some nervousness to the talks for the future, I’ve also been approached in that sense, but as I said my focus is on my team. 

“It’s a great team and I believe I can be world champion with it and I have a contract and until I win it, while I’m here there is a lot of work to do.”

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