A thrilling MotoGP™ season is seeing its end coming closer and closer as GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 is getting ready for the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar, which will already be the penultimate round of a twenty round-season. The electrifying Lusail International Circuit, located in the Qatari desert, has been through an important transformation since the last time the MotoGP™ paddock was there (opening round of 2022), with the asphalt having been completely resurfaced and a brand new paddock having seen the light to welcome Formula 1™ for the first time in October this year. A new challenge therefore awaits Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro as only two rounds remain to do the best they can and bring back to their garage good results.
Despite having both scored points at the Malaysian Grand Prix in last Sunday’s main race, both Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro left Kuala Lumpur with a bittersweet feeling, after they both felt that they had more potential at the Sepang International Circuit. Conditions were extremely hot and it was a physically challenging round, so both GASGAS Tech3 riders are looking forward to a smoother climate in Doha. Exceptionally this year, the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar is being held in November following the work done to renovate the Lusail International Circuit, and both riders will be eager to try out the 5.4 km-layout which has been completely resurfaced. New and different challenges therefore await the Fernandez-Espargaro duo: If both will have to understand tyres management and experience a different climate to March, the rookie will try the Qatari circuit for the first time on the MotoGP™ bike while the number 44 has not ridden a RC16 there since 2019! However, both have experienced good results recently in the Persian Gulf: As he began the season which saw him being crown Moto2™ World Champion, Augusto Fernandez started 2022 with a 4th place at the Qatar Grand Prix, while Pol Espargaro was on the podium last year, in 3rd, so it is a layout that suits both riders’ styles, and they will be aiming to perform this year as only two rounds remain.
Doha is our final stop overseas before we head back to Europe for the season finale in Valencia, Spain, and you don’t want to miss the action of the Qatar GP as the fight for the championship is more tight than ever. The action of the penultimate round of 2023 will begin on Friday with Free Practice 1 starting at 15:45 local time (GMT+3), followed by the evening Practice session at 20:00. On Saturday, Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro will fight their ways up to the grid, with the qualifying stages kicking off at 15:40 local time, shortly after FP2 from 15:00 to 15:30. Under the lights of the Lusail International Circuit, MotoGP™ riders will experience their first night race of the year, with the Tissot Sprint going live at 20:00 LT for eleven laps. The atmosphere will become even more electrifying the following night as the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar main race will see the lights go out at 20:00 (GMT+3), for twenty laps.