Indian GP Debut: Can Oliveira Extend His MotoGP Winning Streak?
MotoGP starts in India for the first time this weekend. Miguel Oliveira has an odd winning streak to defend.
For the first time, the MotoGP circuit is venturing to the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) near New Delhi. Hermann Tilke designed this racetrack, which previously hosted Formula 1 races from 2011 to 2013.
However, for MotoGP riders, the 5.010 km circuit with eight right turns and five left turns represents unexplored territory.
RNF team manager Razlan Razali anticipates an exciting scenario, given the absence of historical track data and information. He emphasizes that those who can quickly adapt to the track will gain a significant advantage.
It’s an open race, and the uncertainty surrounding the winner adds to the excitement. “I can’t wait; it’s going to be fantastic!” he exclaimed.
The Malaysian manager also stressed his affection for India, highlighting its majestic qualities and the strategic benefits of racing there, considering India’s status as the second-most populous country globally and a substantial market for two-wheelers.
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg expressed some uncertainties concerning the Buddh International Circuit. They lack information about grip conditions and how well the track layout suits their equipment.
Nonetheless, the team is confident, following two strong races, and they have the advantage of longer training sessions and more available tires than usual.
This unique situation applies to all riders. An unfamiliar track bodes well for Miguel Oliveira, given his track record of triumphing in the last two GP premieres at new venues on the MotoGP calendar: Portimão in 2020, albeit with a home advantage, and Mandalika in 2022, in rainy conditions, both while riding for KTM.
Before the inaugural Indian GP, the newly recruited RNF Aprilia rider stated, “The Indian track will be a challenge in every aspect—for us riders, the motorcycles, and the team.
I have confidence that we can perform well. Our focus is on adapting rapidly and efficiently,” he added, emphasizing the goal of maximizing their motorcycle’s performance and aiming to earn points in both races.
Teammate Raúl Fernández expects a challenging weekend for all riders. They have limited time to familiarize themselves with the track, and information about it is scarce.
However, he sees the situation as an opportunity for excitement since all competitors are on an equal footing. He noted that his confidence and comfort on the bike are improving daily, enabling him to ride as aggressively as he desires.