It was another busy day at the Gran Premio Michelin® de la República Argentina in Termas de Río Hondo, with both qualifying and sprint on the agenda for rookie Augusto Fernandez from GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3. The MotoGP™ class faced wet conditions in the morning for the qualifying sessions, tricky conditions which redistributed the cards just in time for the first key moment of the weekend.
The day started with thirty minutes of Free Practice, a good opportunity to finalise the qualifying strategy for Augusto Fernandez. With a damp track and the rain starting to fall just in time for the show, the rookie had fifteen minutes to convince with a set of wet tyres for his first wet qualifying session in MotoGP™. His fastest lap in 1’48.520 placed him seventh of the session, 1.035 seconds away from the Q2 spots.
Eager to do better than his previous Sprint, Fernandez lined up in P17 when the lights went out at 15:00 local time (GMT-3), for the twelve lap-sprint. The GASGAS ambassador took a good start, but unfortunately lost some time in the first lap while avoiding Joan Mir’s bike who crashed in front of him. He quickly refocused on trying to catch up with the last group composed by the likes of Raul Fernandez and Alex Rins. Step by step, he found confidence in his RC16 and improved his rhythm progressively. Halfway through the race, Augusto registered his fastest lap in 1’39.575, just 0.798 seconds from the fastest lap of the sprint. He passed the checkered flag in sixteenth after experiencing his first Sprint. With promising lap times, there is potential to do a good job on Sunday for the race, scheduled at 14:00 local time (GMT-3).