#SpanishGP - April 28, 2024

Race day did not quite start like we would have wanted on Sunday morning at the Gran Premio de España, when rookie Pedro Acosta crashed at turn 7 during the 10-minute warm up session, forcing the race direction to show the red flag. Luckily, the young Shark came out un-injured and took his fourth MotoGP™ start in front of home fans. After a shaky start that saw him lose positions, he managed to make his way back to tenth, as he scored points for the fourth Sunday in a row. Following a double long lap penalty due to jump start, and then another penalty as he failed to complete the first one, Augusto Fernandez retired from the race.

Wow, that warm up crash was scary! The day did not start in the best way possible when Pedro Acosta crashed at high speed in the warm up, thus bringing an early end to the session. Big damages on the bike, but luckily rider ok! After some magic from the mechanics to get a bike ready to go on the grid, the young rookie was able to line up for his fourth race, in 10th again. Since the start of his MotoGP™ rider, it was the furthest on the grid Pedro Acosta was lining up from, and starting in the middle in Jerez is known to be tricky. When the lights went out at 14:00 local time, Johann Zarco, coming from P13 on the grid, touched him as they were braking in the first corner, forcing Acosta to go a bit wide. He dropped to P18 in just one corner, and from there, everything had to be redone. Nevertheless, Acosta got into his pace, knowing that the rhythm was decent after he took his maiden Sprint podium on Saturday. Zarco had lost time too, and was just ahead, with Aleix Espargaro behind him. Acosta was faster then the Aprilia rider and overtook him in the second lap, and then he got the best of the Frenchman to exit lap 3 in the point scoring positions. The next was Joan Mir, who he overtook after three laps behind. A few crashes ahead meant that he was already in P13 after eleven laps, behind Franco Morbidelli, and Raul Fernandez, but soon he overtook them, with Jack Miller next on the visor. Brilliantly, the rookie braked harder on the Australian as he went inside the KTM Factory rider, which got him an entry in the top 10. Ahead, there was Maverick Vinales, 2.3 seconds ahead. Acosta focused on his pace, managed to make the gap with the group behind, but was never in the contention to catch Vinales. Acosta claimed P10 as he scored points for the fourth Sunday in a row, a good result considering the eventful morning.

On the other side of the box, Augusto Fernandez had admitted after the Tissot Sprint that today’s race would be challenging, as he still faced a few issues to solve. However, today did not seem to be his day. A technical issue on the grid before the race start saw him move a bit his bike, meaning that he took a jump start, and therefore was given a double long lap penalty. As he failed to complete the penalty in due time, the GASGAS Tech3 rider was handed a ride through penalty, meaning that he had to go through the pit lane during the race. Once that was completed, he was very far off. He continued to struggle and was forced to retire. A Sunday to forget, but the Spaniard is feeling positive about heading to a key test day tomorrow in Jerez, as he hopes to address all the issues which have prevented him from being competitive since the start of the season.

The Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 riders will be back on track tomorrow from 10:00 to 18:15! Check our social medias to follow our day at the Official MotoGP™ Jerez Test!

Position: 10th
Championship: 4th
Points: 69
"It is never easy to destroy one bike in the morning and then jump into the race on another bike with different clutches or other parts. Anyway, considering the events of the morning, we managed to save the result after a bad start in the race. The contact with Johann Zarco is what is likely to happen when you start from the middle of the grid, so we know that we need to qualify well, and avoid the mistakes made yesterday. Then we recovered pretty well in the race, we learnt a lot today, took experience, so we need to be happy with today."

Position: DNF
Championship: 17th
Points: 10
"I encountered a drag clutch issue at the start, I was in first and the bike kept going when I positioned myself on the grid after the warm up lap. That issue is still under investigation, but it continued to cause me troubles during the race. Anyway, we got the long laps, then the ride through, and then we just had to retire. A day to forget. The position point is that we have a test tomorrow, which I am counting on to improve the feeling on the bike. I hope to be building a better base that we can work from starting from Le Mans, and hopefully it will help us be more competitive.

Team Manager
"We did not really get the conclusion of the weekend we were expecting here in Andalusia! The day started bad for us when Pedro Acosta had a high speed crash in turn 7 due to some humidity patches on track. Luckily, he was not injured, but it is obviously not how you want to head to the main race. We knew that starting from P10 is not ideal, and things confirmed our worries as he got caught at the first braking and ended up in eighteenth, which was a shame. From there, he rode at a really good pace and made it back to P10, so considering the day we had, it is a solid result for Pedro Acosta. The luck does not seem to be on Augusto Fernandez’ side at the moment. Unfortunately, he had a small issue with the bike on the starting grid, and for that he changed his position, which resulted in a jump start, and therefore a long lap penalty. He was then shown another penalty, and finally he retired. It is a really tough weekend for him, and we are working hard to get through this period. We have an important test tomorrow, and we hope that he will be able to put his head in the right direction, so we can start performing!


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