Green lights for the Dutch Grand Prix at the TT Circuit Assen as GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez and Jonas Folger began their campaign in the Netherlands, on sunny Friday. After the Tuscan hills of Mugello and the tight and fast corners of the Sachsenring, the long straights and high speed corners of the Cathedral of Speed were awaiting the MotoGP™ class for round eight. Despite two crashes, Augusto Fernandez had a positive start to his Dutch GP with interesting lap times, and Jonas Folger continued to find his way on the RC16.
Augusto Fernandez kicked off his Dutch campaign at 10:45 local time (GMT+2) on Friday morning as the rookie faced another new circuit on his GASGAS RC16. If the TT holds a special place in his heart, everything was all new again on the MotoGP™ machine for the number 37 on his beloved circuit. The morning did not start in the best way as Augusto went down in turn 10 of lap 10 as he lost the front of his bike. Luckily, he was all ok despite rolling into the gravels, and headed back quickly to his garage ready to go again. Once back on his bike, he went full in and rode his best in 1’33.588 to claim P13 of Practice 1, 0.090 seconds behind World Champion Francesco Bagnaia. In the one hour-afternoon session, the track temperature got warmer, leaving most riders in soft tyres as they all aimed to take their lap times down. Despite a small crash without any major consequence as he managed to rejoin the track on his own, Augusto improved his lap time to 1’33.180 in his last flying lap, a few hundredth of seconds faster than in the morning. He closed Friday in seventeenth overall, just 0.599 seconds from the Q2 places, and will head to Saturday with two clear objectives: getting a good grid position, and scoring points in the Tissot Sprint.
German Jonas Folger started his sixth round with the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team at the TT, following his home Grand Prix last week. In Sachsenring, Pol Espargaro’s substitute continued to reduce the gap with the rest of the other riders as he focused on adjusting his riding style to the demanding GASGAS RC16. Today, he rode his fastest lap of the morning within the final minutes of P1, in 1’34.741, just 0.63 seconds from Marc Marquez. In Practice 2, the German split his session into four runs, as he continued to look for areas of improvement. Run four seemed to be the one during which the most comfort was felt as Jonas took his time down to 1’34.400, and he closed the timesheets in twenty-third. Both GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 riders will now work towards the last Saturday before the break, so don’t miss the action, starting from 10:10 local time (GMT+2)!