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Rookie Fernandez soaks-up more experience in MotoGP™ Sprint

MotoGP 2023 – Round 2 of 21, Termas de Rio Hondo – Qualification and Sprint

No break and no time to brake for the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 crew! The Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina drew MotoGP straight back into action after the season-opener in Portugal last weekend. In damp and then dry conditions Augusto Fernandez rounded the fast Termas de Rio Hondo circuit to finish 16th in Saturday’s Sprint while qualifying 17th for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

  • Augusto Fernandez guides his GASGAS RC16 to a first Sprint classification of 16th. The Spaniard places 7th in Q1 to ensure a starting slot of 17th on the sixth row of the grid for the 25-lap Grand Prix on Sunday.
  • Termas de Rio Hondo welcomes noisy and passionate fans for the eighth Argentina GP at the site since 2014
  • David Alonso hurries to 7th quickest in Moto3™ as Jake Dixon is 4th and narrowly misses Moto2™ Pole by two tenths of a second

MotoGP flew across the Atlantic and to the depths of South America for the annual trip to Termas de Rio Hondo; a 14-corner, 4.9km layout with a stretching 1km straight and with a mixed forecast for the Grand Prix weekend. Conditions were dry on Friday but wet on Saturday morning where GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 watched Augusto Fernandez progress with every fast lap attempt. The improvement was tangible and AF worked his way to the 17th fastest lap-time. Termas is another fresh experience for the reigning Moto2 world champion in the MotoGP class both for the power of the RC16 and for the varying climate.

Fernandez was denied a run at the inaugural MotoGP Sprint in Portugal the previous Saturday but lined-up with intent for the second exciting spectacle in Argentina. After 12 frantic laps he crossed the finish line in 16th: unlucky to have been caught-up in Joan Mir’s early race crash.

Augusto’s qualifying rank will see the #37 set-off from the same slot on Sunday. The MotoGP race gets underway at 19.00 CET.

Augusto Fernandez, 17th in qualification, 16th in the Sprint“Tough! The first laps were a bit crazy and I lost some time in Mir’s crash as I had to avoid his bike. By the end I was catching the group ahead of me a little bit and I had good pace. Like in the Portimao race, I need to find this pace earlier. It was a good learning experience for tomorrow and I think we can do better in the longer race.”

Nicolas Goyon, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager“A good Sprint for Augusto who managed to finish his first Saturday race. It hasn’t been an easy weekend so far for our rookie who has faced the mixed conditions and the weather did not help this morning. He only really discovered the potential of the bike during this Sprint and he improved his pace lap-after-lap. He did a decent job and we’ll all be ready for tomorrow. A big congratulation to Brad Binder for a fantastic performance.”

Results Qualifying MotoGP Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina

1. Alex Marquez (ESP) Ducati 1:43.881

2. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati +0.172

3. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +0.858

17. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 1:48.420 (Q1)

Results MotoGP Sprint Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina

1. Brad Binder (RSA) KTM 19:56.873

2. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati +0.072

3. Luca Marini (ITA) Ducati +0.877

16. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 +9.040

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