Oliveira joins elite with fourth MotoGP win nine points in ten races run

Miguel Oliveira ends a lean spell with an impressive wet win in Indonesian MotoGP, while Brad Binder rides through bizarre KTM malfunction

Miguel Oliveira - KTM Factory Racing

Miguel Oliveira says he hopes his latest burst of strong form in MotoGP will signal a more consistent stint at the head of the field after romping to his fourth career victory in a sodden Indonesian MotoGP.

The success joins his Styrian MotoGP and Portuguese MotoGP victories from 2020, plus his victory in the 2021 Catalunya MotoGP, all achieved on KTM machinery. It means only four riders on today’s grid - Fabio Quartararo, Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales - have achieved more premier class wins than Oliveira.

However, his victory at the Mandalika Circuit comes after a prolonged period of poor form that has stretched from the 2021 Styrian MotoGP when he injured his shoulder in a crash before struggling for confidence on his return.

Culminating in a desperate run of scoring just nine points over ten races, Oliveira’s assured ride in tricky conditions gave every indication he is getting over his lean spell.

"Without this good start the race could have been a bit different for me. I really couldn’t see anything behind the riders,” he admitted. "With all the spray and the rain on the visor, it was definitely hard to see the lines and be precise. Also to judge the grip level. 

"Fortunately, I made a good start and after that I was following Jack [Miller] a little bit and could understand a bit more. 

"Then it was just about building up the gap and controlling the race. If the race had seven laps more I don’t know (if a win was possible) because Fabio [Quartararo] was coming pretty strong."

"I think it’s very early to say because we only had two races. For sure, we want to keep this strong form going into other races. 

"We don’t want to perform just three or four times in the season and then just be average. We want to be here more often. 

Rain saves Brad Binder after getting stuck on ‘down low’

KTM team-mate Brad Binder, meanwhile, says his determined ride to eighth was ‘like a win’ after completing the race with the RC16’s ride-height device locked in the lowest position.

The device, which rises and lowers at the touch of a button to give riders more grip at the start and driving off a corner, failed to disengage early on, scuppering the South African’s attempts to capitalise on his career-best fourth place starting position in conditions he favours.

“Every time I braked it would come up. I’d turn, let go of the brake and it would drop down again. I did the whole race with the ride-height device completely down.

"Considering I finished eighth, I think it’s a win. If it was a dry race I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. Because of the [wet], we got really lucky and managed to finish.