#PortimaoTest - March 11, 2023

Just a month after the Sepang MotoGP™ Official Test and one week following the reveal of the 2023 GASGAS RC16 colours, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 riders Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez reunited with their bike on Saturday for a crucial Portimao Test held at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in South Portugal, just two weeks before the opening round of the 2023 season.

Track conditions were pretty good this morning, a bit windy but dry, which is just what GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 needed following the rainy Sepang Test last month. The start of the day was set at 9:30 local time (GMT+0), but both Pol Espargao and Augusto Fernandez waited for the track temperature to increase before setting off for their first day of work.

On the menu for Spaniard Pol Espargaro: trying to confirm the bike settings validated in Sepang last month, as well as preparing for the first race of the season. Electronic issues this morning prevented the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 rider to go on as planned with his testing programme, meaning that the morning was not as fruitful as hoped. At lunch time, he had completed twenty-four laps with a best lap in 1’41.156. When action resumed in the afternoon, the number 44 continued to work on different settings, but the feelings were not the ones hoped for. Towards the final laps, he managed to get his fastest lap of the day in 1’40.507. After sixty-four laps, he sits twenty-second in the standings.

Rookie Augusto Fernandez was discovering a new layout today on his GASGAS RC16, and the Portuguese rollercoaster is never an easy one for a new incomer! After working six days in Sepang, the young Spaniard had to learn everything again today on the very demanding layout of Portimao. However, he seemed to adapt pretty well as the stopwatch went down quickly this morning. At lunch time, he was just behind his teammate in 1’41.349. While continuing to learn from his new machine, Augusto also dedicated his afternoon to the preparation of his MotoGP™ debuts, in just two weeks. He completed the first test of the Portimao MotoGP™ Official Test with a personal best of 1’40.771, after seventy-two laps.

Position: 22nd
Time: 1'40.507
Laps: 64

"This first day of testing was difficult because we ran into a lot of different problems. Somehow, it is good because we would rather encounter the issues during testing than during a race weekend. In the morning, we struggled with the electronics of the bike and engine parameters. Towards the end of the day, when we wanted to do a time-attack, we had other issues so it was hard to push. The day was tough for us, but you learn from these difficult test days, and we took it all in today."

Position: 24th
Time: 1'40.771
Laps: 72

"Portimao was a new track for me on the MotoGP bike, and it is a difficult one. I started to feel more comfortable towards the end of the day, but I still have a lot to learn from this Portuguese layout. Overall, I am happy because we made very good steps with the bike and we also started to work on settings to prepare for the race in two weeks. I am getting close to my teammate which is my goal, so I am happy about my day. Tomorrow is our final day of testing before the season, and we will continue preparing in the best way possible for the Portuguese Grand Prix."


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