#ThaiGP - October 29, 2023

That’s a wrap for October’s exciting tripleheader which saw GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 travel to Indonesia, Australia, and Thailand this month. If the first two rounds did not go the way we would have wanted for Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro, we all hoped for better fortunes this week in Thailand. Unfortunately, both riders did not manage to finish in the points in Sunday’s race at the Chang International Circuit, with Fernandez taking seventeenth of a difficult Thai GP, and teammate Espargaro finishing eighteenth. 

Lining up again in P12 on the grid under a cloudy sky, Augusto Fernandez had the objective to finally take advantage from one of his best qualifying results of the season, after he was unable to do so in yesterday’s sprint which saw him crashing. When the lights went out at 15:00 local time (GMT+7) in front of Thai MotoGP™ fans who had come in numbers, Augusto negotiated his start and the first corners pretty well, only dropping one position halfway through the first lap. As all riders were trying to find their space, Fernandez wanted to hold his position, but he braked too late in the final turn and went straight, which caused him a huge amount of time and positions. He found himself dead last, and from there, he could only try focusing on setting himself up with a good race pace, and try to ride a good Thai GP and catch up teammate Pol Espargaro who was ahead of him. He rode his fastest race on lap 6 in 1’31.273, and continued to maintain a similar pace for a couple of laps, until he was really in the back wheel of his teammate. He struggled to overtake him, but when he finally did so a couple of laps before the end, he then ran away from Espargaro, and finished in seventeenth.

Pol Espargaro had been suffering significant tyres dropping issues all weekend so far, and hoped to feel better in today’s race, but yesterday’s story repeated itself. Seventeenth on the grid, he dropped two positions in the first lap to find himself behind Franco Morbidelli, with Augusto Fernandez who had run wide behind him. He then overtook Oliveira, who later on retired following a technical issue, but he remained in P19 as Enea Bastianini had managed to overtake him. He rode his fastest lap on lap 7, in 1’31.437, just 0.541 seconds from today’s fastest race lap. Unfortunately shortly after, the Spaniard started to feel his tyres dropping, and it became difficult for him to control his bike and feel comfortable. He lost pace progressively, managed to hold his position for a while as his teammate was trying to overtake him, but eventually the number 37 got the better of him, and that left Pol last of the group. He passed the checkered flag in P18.

The past three weeks have not been easy, but we have seen positives despite the lack of results and points scored. It is time to enjoy the week of rest, study the data, and try coming back to Sepang with solutions to improve our performances ! We never give up, we keep going, team! Next on will be the Malaysian Grand Prix, on November 10-11-12.

Position: 17th
Championship: 16th
Points: 67
"I had an issue with the brakes in the last corner of the first lap and lost a lot of time. After that, the pace was quite good, probably my best of the weekend especially after we had been struggling with the race pace all weekend. I think that we had a good package today so it is hard to have spent the race at the back knowing that. It has been three difficult weeks, I feel like I have improved and gained speed, but the results are not coming, so it is not easy. We have a week at home to rest, and then we will push for the next three rounds to try finishing the season with good results.”

Position: 18th
Championship: 23rd
Points: 12
"We did not have a good feeling in today’s race. I think that we made the right tyre choice, even if I was only one choosing the hard front, but after finishing fourth of the warm up, it was right for us. In the race, once the tyres dropped, I struggled too much, could not stop the bike, and I felt really uncomfortable on this bike. We are trying, but things are not coming right now. Let’s rest at home, and head to Malaysia with solutions to our issues!"

Team Manager
"We finished October’s tripleheader without having scored a single point with both our riders, which is a huge disappointment for us, and not our target at all. Even though Augusto Fernandez achieved one of his targets this weekend and headed directly to Q2 after a strong Friday, he was unable to benefit from his twelfth position on the grid to do a good race. He has been going through brakes’ issues all weekend, and today it caused him to run wide in the last corner of lap 1. After that, it was difficult to catch up with the guys in front. He did good lap times, but struggled to overtake Pol Espargaro. Anyway, this is a disappointing weekend for him overall. The next target for him will clearly be to improve the first laps of the races and try overtaking quicker, if he wants to be able to fight for better positions. On the other side, Pol Espargaro struggled all weekend with grip issues. He is going through a tough period and is not really enjoying his ride, but we know he is working really hard to try finding solutions for the near future. The team is going through a rough time right now, but again, seeing Brad Binder doing his things with a similar bike is what motivates us all. We have a week of break to analyse our last three weeks and try coming up with solutions in Sepang. See you in Malaysia!"


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