The festivities officially kicked off on Friday in Le Mans for the 1000th Grand Prix at the Bugatti Circuit. The GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team was excited to race with its new colours in front of its home crowd, and so were the riders Augusto Fernandez and Jonas Folger.
Rookie Augusto Fernandez took a bright early start to his French Grand Prix campaign this morning and impressed as he spent most of Practice 1 within the top 10. Le Mans seems to be a place that he enjoys, after he won the race in 2022 in Moto2™. This morning, he adapted quickly to the French layout as he sat in third after the first fifteen minutes, and remained within the top 10 most of the session. Eventually, all riders improved, and Augusto’s fastest lap in 1’32.174 gave him the fourteenth seat after the forty-five first minutes of the weekend. In the afternoon, the sky was ‘slightly’ threatening, so all riders hurried up to get their fast laps in case the rain would disrupt the one hour-practice 2. Despite a small crash without any major damages, Augusto Fernandez continued to progress in the afternoon and improved his lap time to 1’31.990. He completed day 1 in fifteenth in the combined standings. The pace and confidence have been pretty good today, so the Spaniard will be eager to continue the good work on Saturday, with the qualifying sessions in the morning, and the Tissot Sprint at 15:00 (GMT+2).
Alongside him, Jonas Folger was lining up for the third time with the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 squad, and was really motivated to do a good job on his team’s home turf. In the morning, he focused on adapting his bike to his riding style to set himself in the best conditions possible for the French layout. The track was quite demanding physically for Pol Espargaro’s substitute, and he rode his fastest lap in 1’34.766. In the afternoon, he continued to focus on his bike’s settings and managed to take his time down to 1’33.672. He has a few changes to make in the evening which will allow him to get more comfortable on the GASGAS RC16, and should help him take his times down on Saturday. The MotoGP™ action will be back tomorrow morning at 10:10 (GMT+2).