“I do not feel pressure, I feel proud to make the Portuguese anthem sound”
He was already a runner-up for Moto3 and in 2017 he won three Moto2 Grand Prix. He is from Almada and is only 23 years old. Miguel Oliveira is one of the stars of the moment of the national sport and has taken Portugal to the four corners of the world with his victories. With his feet on the ground, the young rider ensures that is riding a motorcycle that he is happy and reveals how he would like to be remembered in the future.
Starting at the beginning of your professional career, how did the bikes come into your life?
From a very early age I accompanied my father in the motards concentrations and in his races, so it was not difficult to get a taste for motorcycles.
How was your parents’ reaction when they realized that what you wanted to be a pilot?
Being a pilot was something that was happening over time. The agreement with my parents was to get good grades and, on the other hand, had the motorbikes, so it came as no surprise.
On your way, dental medicine crossed with motorcycling. How did the interest in this area arise? Is being a dentist a future plan for the post-pilot phase?
Since childhood I wanted to be a doctor. Dental medicine came under the influence of a friend of my father, Dr. Javier Gomez. I had entered Cardiopneumology in Lisbon, but having a dental university, Egas Moniz, close to home, made my decision easier. No doubt I want to practice when I retire from the races.
How do you reconcile competitions with personal and academic life?
The main focus is the races. Therefore, between races, training and physical preparation, currently, there is not much space left to do other things.
Do you feel that you have abdicated anything in your life because you chose to be a professional pilot?
Yes, no doubt. When someone wants to be good at what he does he obviously has to make some choices, such as: either going out with friends or going to rest.
How’s a normal day in your life?
A normal day out of racing involves physical training, interviews, but also study and rest.
What do you most like to do off the run?
I love being on the couch or taking a walk.
What is the hardest thing to be Miguel Oliveira?
Just be me.
What is the taste of the victories?
It is to know that all our effort has been rewarded.
Being so young, in what ways do you deal with defeats and the most negative phases?
From an early age I have been learning to deal with adversity, so it is easier for me to overcome the less good phases.
What characteristics do you consider to have that contribute to your success?
I think that being a disciplined and well-defined person has contributed to my journey.
How do you define yourself?
Honest and hardworking.
What is your motto of life?
Never give up.
What do you think when you look at what you have already achieved with only 23 years?
I feel happy, but honestly I do not think about it.
What makes you happier?
Motorcycle riding and my family.
In 2015 you were world runner-up in Moto3 and you finished the last season of Moto2 in third place. In view of this, is motorcycle riding still a passion or is it already a profession?
It is a passion.
In 2017, you were the first Portuguese to win a Moto2 race at the Malaysian Grand Prix and subsequently won first place in two more GPs. How do you deal with the pressure of being the first and best Portuguese in this sport?
I do not feel any pressure, I’m only proud to sound the Portuguese anthem.
How important is number 44 in your life?
It’s a nice number that represents my dorsal on the moto.
What is the main advice you remember from your parents?
Even today the advice is the same: to have fun and to follow my dreams.
What was the best thing people said about you?
The best thing they said about me is that I’m humble.
How would you like to be remembered in 100 years?
I would like to be remembered as a fighter.