Fourteenth place in the #ValenciaGP but DNF for Augusto Fernandez

 In MotoGP, News

The final race of 2023 saw Italian Franco Bagnaia retain his MotoGP™ World Championship title on Sunday at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat de Valenciana, but the fight did not last too long after Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez collided early in the race. Augusto Fernandez saw his rookie season end in an unfortunate crash as he lost the front on the tenth lap. Despite crashing too with just a few laps to go, Pol Espargaro rejoined his final MotoGP™ race as a full-time rider (for now) to finish in fourteenth and score two points, as he headed back to his garage with a full round of applause from the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team.

Ten seasons in MotoGP™, but this one was a rollercoaster! Following his Portimao crash at the season opener which saw him miss the first eight rounds of the season, Pol Espargaro came back from hell to reunite with his GASGAS RC16 in Silverstone early Augusto. Since then, the Spaniard gave everything to catch back on the lost time, and a sixth position in the Spielberg Sprint (only his second round back) seemed like a redemption for the number 44. Valencia was his final round with the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, but also as a full-time MotoGP™ rider for now, before he jumps on a new adventure within the Pierer Mobility Group in 2024. Today was an emotional day for the Spaniard with family, friends and fans around, but the warrior he has always been was not going to leave just like that. Starting in P18 on the grid, Espargaro took a decent start that saw him progress to fourteenth in one lap. A couple of race events saw him stand in P12 after ten laps behind Luca Marini, and eleventh on lap 19. Unfortunately, an error with a couple of laps to go saw him crash, but he did not give up and re-joined the race, and headed back to the garage with two points in P14. He disputed twelve of the twenty rounds of 2023, and finished twenty-third with a total of fifteen points.

Augusto Fernandez is not a MotoGP™ rookie anymore… Finishing seventeenth of 2023 with a total of seventy-one points and a record not even comparable to his 2022 predecessors, Augusto took the 2023 MotoGP Rookie of the Year, a well deserved award even if he was the only one to play. If we all hoped for a better conclusion to what has been a positive adventure, Fernandez missed out on his start today as he dropped many positions, from P13 to P18 in one lap. From there, he tried to focus on his pace, but as he started to try regaining positions, he lost the front and crashed on the ninth lap. DNF for today, but we already have 2024 as our next target as the new season will start on Tuesday with the Valencia Test, as Augusto Fernandez will be joined by new teammate and new Moto2™ World Champion Pedro Acosta.

Pol Espargaro

“It has been an emotional day! Today was not my last time on the grid, but it was very special and emotions were high. I was feeling the people in the stands, the atmosphere, I had my team around, all the riders I have been growing up with around, and I was thinking that I am a lucky guy to have spent ten years chasing my dreams in MotoGP… So today was very special considering all of this. The race was really good, and I was performing better than ever, but then I crashed. The good thing is that I could rejoin the race, and see the final checkered flag, with points. For me, it means a lot, even if we came back with a broken bike. I want to say a huge thank you to my crew for their work this year, and I also want to thank Tech3 and GASGAS for their warm welcome.”

Augusto Fernandez

“It is a shame to finish the season in a crash, because I really felt that I could do a good race after we worked well all weekend. It has been a positive season for us, we had good and bad moments, but we learnt above all. I want to thank the whole GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team, and I look forward to another great season together!”

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