If there is one thing you come to understand about countries situated near the Alps is that not even the mountains can stop roads from being built. This has lead to the construction of some of the world’s most impressive tunnels—including the longest one in the world built for a railway in Switzerland and that dives under the Alps on a 35 mile-long stretch. The Gleinalm Tunnel located in Styria, Austria is much more modest in length at “only” 5.2 miles, however, it got a much more exciting inauguration, to the sound of KTM’s MotoGP RC16.
Tunnels are the equivalent of signing in the shower: the exhaust note always sound better. While on the open road, the engine’s music is reserved to the other road users, tunnels allow us to enjoy a bit of the music ourselves. What better way to inaugurate a landmark that has such a close connection—literally—to MotoGP than to have one of the competitors enjoy its empty lanes to the echoing sound of the RC16’s engine?
In one of the latest RedBull-sponsored videos, 2018 Moto2 championship runner-up and rookie MotoGP rider Miguel Oliveira gets to put his KTM Factory Racing RC16 GP steed through its paces. He christened the newly renovated Gleinalm Tunnel that connects Graz to Spielberg in Austria, where MotoGP’s RedBull Ring is located.
As Oliveira makes his way through the tunnel, we get to follow in his tracks and enjoy the unique vantage point to the musical sound of the RC16’s 1000cc, V4 mill. While the usual speed limit in the tunnel is set at 50 mph, we doubt Oliveira stuck to it. It’s not every day you get to enjoy a tunnel all to yourself!
2019 will be Oliveira’s very first season in MotoGP after promising results in Moto3 and Moto2.