#ItalianGP - May 31, 2024

The party started at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello on Friday morning as MotoGP™ engines roared in the Tuscan hills with Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernandez kicking off the Italian Grand Prix, just a couple of days after racing on home turf in Catalonia. If Pedro Acosta showed great potential quickly into the weekend, it was not without some troubles! After crashing out two times, the rookie clocked in a late lap in Practice that got him the third place, and he qualified directly for Q2, while Augusto Fernandez struggled to find his pace on the opening day, finishing twenty-third.

After he won the last two editions in the intermediate category, and considering his beyond-impressive debuts in the premier class, we were excited for Pedro Acosta to ride his MotoGP™ machine for the first time at Mugello. If the conditions were slightly tricky with still a few marks of damp in the morning, the young Shark did not disappoint, making another time a shining start to his Italian Grand Prix campaign. In Free Practice 1, Acosta was quickly amongst the fastest riders as he appeared to find his marks with his RC16 on the Italian layout. He provisionally took the lead of the session with a 1’46.459 reached on lap 14/17, with ten minutes left on the clock. Eventually, Vinales, Quartararo and Morbidelli improved, and a late crash from the #31 in turn 10 saw him settle for the fourth place of the opening session. As the one-hour Practice session began with ten Q2 tickets at stake, Acosta got up to speed rapidly with a 1’45.933 on his fifth lap, and he was in the provisional top 3 at that time. A crash in T13 with almost half an hour on the clock saw the rookie lose time as he had to rush back to the garage while the mechanics were getting bike 2 ready, and soon enough he was back on track to try getting that Q2 ticket. We saw him improve to 1’45.853, provisionally in 8th, before heading back again to the garage ahead of the usual time-attack slot of Friday afternoons. If he was provisionally out of Q2 towards the end, a late lap in 1’45.326 guaranteed the rookie his Q2 ticket, and he finished third of Practice. Good end to a crash-filled day, and well done to the mechanics!

On the other side of the garage, a new challenge awaited Augusto Fernandez in Mugello, as he looked for better fortune following disappointing results in Catalonia. In the morning’s Free Practice 1, the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 rode his best in 1’47.586, still missing out on a few hundredths to close the gap on the top guys, as he was in P20, 1.446 seconds from the top. In the afternoon’s practice, the #37 improved to 1’46.970, but he maintained his 1.5 seconds gap to the front. A few more were gained in the final laps, but it was far from enough for Fernandez, as he finished in twenty-third, almost two seconds away from the fastest lap. The Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 squad will be back on track tomorrow morning at 10:10 local time (GMT+2) with Free Practice 2 as both Acosta and Fernandez look for the final adjustments before qualifying begins at 10:50. Finally, the Tissot Sprint is scheduled at 15:00, for eleven laps of MotoGP™ madness!

Position: 3rd
Time: 1'45.326
Laps: 18
"It was a normal Friday for us I would say, but with two stupid crashes. The first one in the morning, we went wide, and the second one, the tyres were not warm enough, but it is all part of the learning. After the second crash, we improved our feeling a lot and we were able to get a fast lap. However, with these crashes, we were not able to focus enough on the race pace today, so it will be our focus in the morning before the qualifying, and then we will be able to see if we can be competitive in the races."

Position: 23rd
Time: 1'46.874
Laps: 21
"It was a very hard day, probably one of the toughest so far. Since the start of the season, I have been struggling to feel confident with the bike in the fast corners, and Mugello is all about this, so logically I have not felt good at all today. We have a lot of work to do tonight, to understand how we can have a better feeling with the front of the bike, reduce the vibrations, and hopefully we can get closer to the guys, at least Jack Miller.


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