Mid season interview: “Moving to Red Bull KTM Ajo was the step I needed to fight for the title”
Augusto Fernandez has made great progress so far in his first year with Red Bull KTM Ajo. The Spanish rider has become one of the strongest competitors in the Moto2 World Championship, claiming a first victory in the French Grand Prix and ending the opening half of the season with back-to-back victories at Sachsenring and Assen. During some downtime in the summer break, Fernandez takes stock of the 2022 season to date.
What has joining Red Bull KTM Ajo this season meant for you?
“Joining the team has meant taking the step forward that I was lacking in Moto2. After a good end to last year, in which I regained my form, this is the step that allows me to fight for the title. In the end, that’s been my goal for years, and being part of a team with the experience of fighting for the World Championship every year was what I wanted for this season.”
What has been the best moment of the first eleven races?
“These last few races have been the best, and the end of the first half of the season was very good. The entire weekend in Germany was amazing, because we led the way and we did a great job. The Dutch GP was also very good, as all the victories have been. We have done a great job in all of them, but if I had to choose one it would be Sachsenring.”
Assen is a very special circuit for you, and your win was also the 50th for Spanish riders there. Does it have extra meaning that you ended the first half of the year like that?
“It is a circuit that I like very much, and where I have always obtained good results, even in smaller classes. I also won my first big race there. I’ve always gone well there and coming into the weekend off the back of the victory in Germany was an incredible way to end the first half of the year. You couldn’t ask for more.”
You are joint-top of the standings. Have you met your expectations?
“At the beginning of the year I had the same expectations, which was to fight for the Moto2 World Championship. However, with the beginning of the season that we had, everything became a bit difficult. We dropped a lot of points compared to the leaders, but we never lost hope. We always say that the season is very long, but the results weren’t coming. However, practically since the moment that we arrived in Europe, everything has gone well on track -especially from Jerez onwards, with that fourth place and the victory at Le Mans. We have exceeded the expectations that we had at the beginning of the year, but not those that we had before starting the season. We are where we need to be.”
What would you like to improve after the summer break?
“Qualifying. It’s something we have to focus on and work on, because it’s important to be quick on Saturday as well. We always have the pace to be at the front, but there are circuits where it can be more difficult to fight for the podium or the win if you start from far back. It wasn’t like that at Assen or Montmelo, but it did happen in Italy. The risk involved when starting further back is greater.”
What are your objectives for between now and the end of the year?
“We want to continue in the same way. The aim is to win the Moto2 World Championship, but we will take things race-by-race and do our best every weekend. Obviously, if I see the possibility of winning more races I will go for it, but without going crazy. It’s important to know how to score a lot of points on bad days and not go looking to win everything. In the end, that is the mentality that we have followed until now.”
How are you going to spend your time off?
“I used the first week of the summer break to rest and recharge. Now it’s time to train again and prepare to come back in August at the same level – or even better.”