The rain was on the menu on Sunday in Termas de Río Hondo for the Gran Premio Michelin® de la República Argentina, the second round of the 2023 MotoGP™ campaign. After finishing sixteenth at the Tissot Sprint on Saturday, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 rider Augusto Fernandez lined up again from the seventeenth position on Sunday, but this time for a fully wet race of twenty-five laps.
The weekend had been rather positive so far for rookie Augusto Fernandez who was hitting Termas de Río Hondo for the first time with his RC16. While Friday morning was about discovery and adaptation, Fernandez had already made great progress in the afternoon with encouraging lap times. The rain came around in qualifying on Saturday morning, at the end of which Augusto got himself a P17 start for both sprint and race. In the afternoon, he took his first full sprint experience and finished in sixteenth.
When the lights went out on Sunday for the main race, Augusto took a good start to his first wet race. He was opportunist when a few riders in front collided in the first lap, and he got himself to P14. The number 37 put the laps in to try keeping tight with the group he was in, and set himself with a good race pace, in line with Saturday’s sprint performance. In lap 6 already, he rode his fastest lap of the race in 1’46.520, just 1.010 seconds from today’s fastest man. The rookie continued to impress when he overtook with no fear experienced MotoGP™ riders Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo to make it to P12. He went on with his solid race pace until he passed the checkered flag in eleventh, scoring for the second time in a row points, five this time. After two encouraging weekends, Fernandez will now head back home for a week before he travels to Austin for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, where he will be joined by German Jonas Folger, stepping in for GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 until Pol Espargaro is able to return to racing.