#JapaneseGP - September 27, 2023

After an historical first-ever MotoGP™ event in India last week, the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team has now travelled to the Land of the Rising Sun, Japon, for round 14, the Japanese Grand Prix, held at the Mobility Resort Motegi, a 4.8km layout with fourteen corners, eight right and six left, and a particular demand for braking! Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro will be both looking forward to this second stop of the oversea tour, one which they both enjoy a lot!  

Rookie Augusto Fernandez will be eager to return on track this week in Motegi to continue demonstrating the progress he has made since the Misano Test, after leaving India with a bittersweet feeling. Indeed, the rookie was competitive last week, but a late yellow flag in Q1 saw his time which had sent him to Q2 being cancelled, a game changer. He did pretty well in the Tissot Sprint with an eleventh place, but he was forced to retire from Sunday's race following a technical issue, a very disappointing end to what had been a positive weekend. The Mobility Resort Motegi is a track he enjoys, having been on the podium last season in the intermediate category, so he will for sure be looking forward to trying it with the RC16 which was very competitive last year. Teammate Pol Espargaro is also back on a track that he particularly enjoys, and will be looking forward to milder track conditions, after the extreme ones endured last week in India. Eiherway, the number 44 managed to fight through them to bring his garage a P13, a great result after all the pain endured over the weekend.

Get ready for another packed-action weekend of MotoGP, with Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro set to launch the Japanese party on Friday with Free Practice 1 at 10:45 (GMT+9), which will be followed in the afternoon by the sixty-minute-Practice. Japan will host its first Super Saturday, with the qualifying sessions from 10:50 LT, preceded by one final FP2 at 10:10. The Tissot Sprint will take place at 15:00 (GMT+9), for twelve laps. Finally, the lights of the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix editions will go out at 15:00 on Sunday, for twenty-four laps.

Championship: 14th
Points: 58
"I love going to Japan, and I love the track, so I am really looking forward to this new race week. I have good memories from last year, I was fighting for the championship with Ogura, and finished on the podium. In India last week, our results did not reflect it, but we made a big step, we were more competitive, and the confidence on the bike clearly improved after the Misano test, so I look forward to being in Motegi, and try getting a good result.”

Championship: 23rd
Points: 11
"I have had so much fun in the past in Motegi, especially back in the days in Moto2 when I won the race, and my world championship, and I performed pretty well in general. The weather is always challenging, it can rain a lot and be super cold, which is the opposite of what we just had in India, so we will have to evolve with the conditions. Our bike has been performing well at this track, so I am looking forward to seeing what we can do this year with the 2023 package. I hope to see many Japanese fans, they are always so nice to us!"

Team Manager
"GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 is getting ready for the second round of our oversea tour, in Japan. The Mobility Resort Motegi is a very special track and known as one of the most demanding circuits of the calendar from a braking perspective. Especially for the occasion, we will have a special set of brakes to help riders face the Japanese layout. Last year, the Pierer Mobility bikes performed well here, and with our improved 2023 package, we expect to be performant too. The deceleration has been a weak point so far for rookie Augusto Fernandez, so that was one the focus in Misano Test. It seems that it is getting much better. Unfortunately, we could not see the result in India as he had to retire from the race, but the data is quite clear about this. In addition, he loves this track and was on the podium last year in Moto2, so we are all looking forward to seeing what he can do this weekend. Pol Espargaro had a difficult weekend in India, very demanding physically, but he never gave up and brought us back a P13, which was very good. He will continue his progress this weekend, he is a strong braker, so I hope he will be able to demonstrate his skills and finally get the results he deserves."


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