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RideFast Nov 2019

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PADDOCK NEWS Brought to you by Oliveira left “Disappointed” after Binder KTM deal. Miguel Oliveira couldn’t hide his disappointment at KTM’s decision to give rookie Brad Binder the vacant 2020 factory MotoGP seat. Oliveira, doing an impressive job at the satellite Tech3 squad during his own debut premier-class season, was the obvious initial choice to take over following Johann Zarco’s early exit from the official team. KTM then seemed to be leaning towards handing the role to test rider Mika Kallio, who is finishing this season in place of Zarco. But in a surprise twist, Binder - due to be Oliveira’s Tech3 team-mate - will now go straight to the factory MotoGP team alongside Pol Espargaro next year. It’s a decision that has left Oliveira clearly disgruntled. The Portuguese had been prepared to remain at Tech3 for a further season if the factory wanted the vast experience of Mika Kallio, but can’t understand why Binder is a better choice than him. “KTM approached me during the Misano GP and, they weren’t really asking me anything or giving me the option, they just said that there was this seat that was available in the factory team and they were thinking about putting Mika there,” Oliveira explained on Thursday at Phillip Island. “And I said, well if it’s Mika [getting the ride] I think it’s completely fine for me, because I had built a good relationship with the [Tech3] team and I think it doesn’t make sense to make the switch. “In any case, you know we were supposed to have a factory bike this year that didn’t happen until recently and who knows about next year? This is the thing I want to look at, the KTM relationship in the long term and having chosen a rookie and a guy [Binder] who is the same age as me makes me feel a bit like I’m not worthy enough to be there. “But it’s their decision and I respect it. And it doesn’t change any single thing on my mind of being here and doing the maximum.” Oliveira, who found out KTM’s plans last Friday at Motegi, explained that being in the official team not only means getting the latest-spec machinery but having a guiding hand in development of the RC16. “The thing is, when you are offered the factory seat there are many other things at stake, like first of all you are guaranteed that you have a factory bike,” said Oliveira. “Secondly, you are more involved in the development of the parts and you get to try many things, which for me as a oneyear experience MotoGP rider made more sense to be there [than Binder]. “But it doesn’t make sense to them and this is the thing where we disagree. But again I respect that. There’s nothing I can do.” Another area where Oliveira and KTM seem to disagree is over the decision to put another rookie, Iker Lecuona, in place of Binder as Oliveira’s new Tech3 team-mate. “I think it was a rush move. Basically he’s for sure a fast rider in Moto2, he has shown it a couple of times. But you know it was something that I think was forced,” Oliveira said. “It was never the ideal plan for KTM and for the whole project. But it’s something that was made to do and maybe it will be a positive surprise next year and he can maybe also be fast on a KTM. We’ll see.” Oliveira is 16th in the world championship, as the second-best KTM rider after Espargaro, with a best race finish of eighth place. World SBK news: Camier to Barni Ducati while GRT Yamaha get two new riders. The Barni Racing Team has announced Leon Camier will join the outfit for the 2020 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Camier will ride the Ducati Panigale V4 R, making it his sixth different manufacturer during his WorldSBK career, while he’ll experience his first taste of the bike during the upcoming 13-14 November tests at MotorLand Aragon. “I am very much looking forward to the new challenge in the next season,” Camier. “I will use all my riding and development skills to achieve toplevel results together with Marco and his team. “They have a close relation to the factory, are a very passionate, engineering-driven group with focus on results and I believe we will work well together. Having said that, my focus now is first to finish the season as strong as possible in Qatar with my current team.” The British ace departs Moriwaki Althea Honda, the squad’s future uncertain after the Honda Racing Corporation confirmed it will enter an inhouse factory team to be spearheaded by Alvaro Bautista. Who the 2nd rider in that factory team will be is still undecided. GRT Yamaha signs Caricasulo and Gerloff for 2020 WorldSBK GRT Yamaha has signed Italian Federico Caricasulo and American Garrett Gerloff for the 2020 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Caricasulo is already familiar with the GRT Yamaha squad, having contested the WorldSSP category with them in 2017 and 2018, while he’s currently ranked second in the championship standings with one round remaining aboard the YZF-R6. 24-year-old Gerloff was the MotoAmerica Supersport champion in 2016 and 2017 before joining the Yamaha Factory Superbike Team in 2018 and 2019, most recently finishing third in the championship standings. Current GRT Yamaha rider Marco Melandri will retire at the conclusion of the season, while Sandro Cortese’s future remains uncertain. 16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019