Music to our ears resonated again on Friday at the Silverstone circuit as the MotoGP™ World Championship resumed after five weeks without action, with GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 playing out its original line up! Augusto Fernandez started the second half of his rookie campaign, and his teammate Pol Espargaro made his big return to racing following his injury at the season’s opening round. With twelve rounds remaining, the team was fully motivated and recharged for the intense upcoming months. This year, the teams settled in the international paddock (usually used by Formula 1), meaning that riders encountered some ‘organizational’ changes on track, with the original turn 11 having now become turn 1. In addition to that, the riders faced the newly revisited Friday, with Free Practice 1 in the morning, followed by Practice in the afternoon.
Eager to get back on his GASGAS RC16 after five long weeks, rookie Augusto Fernandez finally got back to business with his team this morning at 10:45 LT in front of British fans having already come in numbers for the event. The new format is for sure one the rookie should enjoy, giving him now more time to adapt with the MotoGP™ machine before going for the time attacks in the afternoons. In Free Practice 1, Augusto rode his fastest lap in 2’02.560 which placed him in P19 of the first session. In the afternoon, the Spaniard managed to take his time down to 2’00.542 as he continued to feel the track with his GASGAS. He sat in nineteenth at the end of Practice, meaning that he will go through qualifying 1 tomorrow morning, at 10.50 LT.
For Pol Espargaro, today was a happy day after months of hard work to recover from his injury, and the Spaniard enjoyed every single lap as he finally reunited with his GASGAS RC16, which he had left in the hands of German Jonas Folger during his absence. He dedicated his day to rediscover his bike, the brakes, the tyres, the accelerations and mainly to evaluate his physical form. He rode his fastest lap in 2’03.797 this morning, and was ‘just’ 3.502 seconds away from the fastest man, a good gap after months without riding. Progressively, he found more and more confort and the feelings started to come back. In the afternoon, he tried a few time attack laps and rode his fastest in 2’00.809, just a few hundredths away from his teammate, a positive sign for the Spaniard. Good steps were taken today, and he will now look at tomorrow as he will experience for the first time in 2023 Super Saturday, with the qualifying sessions in the morning followed by the Tissot Sprint at 15:00 (GMT+1).