The sun showed up again on Sunday in Silverstone for the main race of the British Grand Prix, leaving space for dry conditions in the afternoon. After a damp Super Saturday which saw Augusto Fernandez get his first second row start in MotoGP™, score his first Tissot Sprint points, in addition to having Pol Espargaro experience his first qualifying day, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 completed the main race with both riders in the points, with Augusto Fernandez taking P11 and Pol Espargaro P12 on his return to racing.
Rookie Augusto Fernandez took a decent step on wet Saturday as he got himself a second row start, his best qualifying result to date in MotoGP™, followed in the afternoon with an eighth position in the Tissot Sprint. That said, this meant that there was one day less practicing in dry conditions, which were needed for today. When it was time to head to the grid for the main race at 13:00 local time (GMT+1), the sky appeared slightly uncertain, leaving space for a potential flag to flag. Ready to fight, Augusto Fernandez did not have the start he would have wanted and dropped a considerable amount of positions to find himself retrograded to P16 in one lap, just behind Fabio Quartararo. It took him a few laps to settle into the race, but halfway through the race, he was riding with a decent pace, registering his fastest lap in 2’01.210 on lap 11, just 1.002 seconds from today’s fastest man. With that in mind and a couple of race events having happened, he was at the doors of the top 15, in sixteenth, after ten laps. Soon, small drops of rain started to play with everyone’s nerves, and a few riders made the choice to pit in, but Augusto stayed in the race with his slicks. He completed the race in P11, at the doors of another Top 10, and scored five more points. With forty-nine points overall, he progresses to thirteenth in the championship standings. That’s now nine weekends out of nine in the points for our rookie, let’s keep going!
That’s his first Sunday of 2023 done for Pol Espargaro, a huge accomplishment for the GASGAS Tech3 rider who has officially completed his return to racing this weekend in Silverstone. It must have been emotional to finally be able to line up on the grid this year on the GASGAS RC16, but Pol Espargaro was determined to give his best for the team. Starting from P15, he naturally lost a couple of positions at the race start, knowing that the 2022 Valencia GP was the last start he took. He dropped to twentieth after one lap, behind Jorge Martin. A couple of laps later, he found himself behind teammate Augusto Fernandez, a position he basically maintained for the entire race duration. Aiming to complete the full race, to evaluate how the body was and nothing more, he focused on his own as he aimed to rediscover the feelings on a full race distance. After a couple of fast laps at full gas, he naturally got tired quicker than usual, and started to feel some physical pain, with his body getting tense with the incredible effort he was providing. If he admitted thinking to retire, he did not give up when he saw some riders pitting in to swap bikes, as he saw there was an opportunity to bring points for the team. He gave everything he could and passed the checkered flag in P12 to score his first points of the season. That’s one huge step made for our number 44, who will now head home to recover, before coming back in full force for the next round in Austria, from Aug. 18-20, 2023.