13th for Pol Espargaro and DNF for Augusto Fernandez in the #IndianGP
After many months of hard work and preparation, the Indian Grand Prix finally saw the light this week in Delhi, and GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 is proud to have participated in the first-ever edition of MotoGP™ in India this week. Through the extremely hot conditions, and despite his physical condition still not being at 100%, Pol Espargaro fought through the suffocating heat of India to finish in the points, in thirteenth on Sunday. Hopes were high for rookie Augusto Fernandez after a very positive weekend, but unfortunately a technical issue on his bike forced him to retire. This is his first DNF on a Sunday since the start of his MotoGP™ rookie season.
After two disappointing rounds at home in Catalunya and more recently in Misano with two DNFs, Pol Espargaro was looking to rebounce in India, the new circuit where everything was possible for everyone. He got unlucky in the Tissot Sprint yesterday after he was taken down at the race start, but today was another day and another shot at points. With Luca Marini injured, Espargaro was starting from eighteenth today on the grid. When lights went out at 15:30 (GMT+5:30), he took a decent start as he powered himself to P12 behind Nakagami in just one lap.
He lost one position to Di Giannantonio the next lap, but settled into his pace, riding his fastest lap in lap 4, in 1’45.964 (+0.936 secs from today’s fastest lap). On lap 6, he was eleventh, fighting the tough conditions as much as he could, but he eventually dropped a couple of positions as his rhythm started to drop. He was in fourteenth, had a few good battles with old teammate Marc Marquez, entertaining to watch, but the latest got the best of him, and then Raul Fernandez, and then Miguel Oliveira. With a late crash from Di Giannantonio, he passed the checkered flag in P13, and he brought his team three points after one of the toughest races of his career.
Augusto Fernandez was high on hopes after a strong weekend so far in India, highlighted with a P11 finish at the Tissot Sprint on Saturday. When the lights went out, Augusto encountered a technical issue which forced him to retire after just a couple of laps, leaving both the team and himself hugely disappointed after what could have been a great Sunday. Time to recharge the batteries quickly after an intense weekend in India, as GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 will now travel to Motegi for round 14, the Japanese Grand Prix, in Sep. 29 – Oct. 1, 2023. Here we come, Japan!
“It has been one of the hardest race of my career, if not the hardest. It was so hot. The weekend was very hard, and I am not really happy with the result, but we managed to finish the race, in the points, with my current physical conditions, and this is at least a positive point, and is promising for the future. We keep rolling, next is Motegi, and it is a circuit which I like”
“Unfortunately, we had a technical issue at the race start, and I had to retire. It is such a shame, because I felt strong all weekend. I never really finished a session where I deserved to be, especially in qualifying because of the yellow flag, but it is what it is. I think we made a big step this weekend, we were competitive, and I look forward to trying again next week in Japan.”