By Vicentino at. Published in MOTOGP
MotoGP– Newly crowned Moto2 World Champion Augusto Fernández kicked off his 2023 season by completing his three-day program at the Sepang Shakedown from February 5-7, alongside test riders from each manufacturer. His adventure in MotoGP has definitively begun under his new colors with the GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 team, with the aim of quickly adapting to the RC16 before joining the rest of the official riders of the category in the Sepang Official Test, the next few days. February 10-11-12.
Day 1– Reunited with his new bike for the first time since the Valencia Test in November, Mallorcan Augusto Fernández kicked off his 2023 season on Sunday 5 February. Dressed in red, he took to the track around 11 a.m. local time. A simple and crucial objective for the rookie: feel the bike, find your own references and adapt as quickly as possible. Although the day was affected by rain at the end of the afternoon, the GasGas driver finished second in the time table with a time of 2’01.331, just 0.185 seconds behind the fastest lap of Cal Crutchlow.
Day 2– Monday was heavily affected by rain, considerably reducing the track time required for the rookie. However, light rain in the morning meant that Fernández was already able to ride in wet conditions, an experience that will come in handy sooner rather than later, as the season kicks off in Portimao, Portugal, at the end of March. He was able to complete 19 laps before lunch time. With the track wet but taking time to dry, the drivers had to wait until 5:30 p.m. to be able to set foot on the track again. The GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 driver finished the third day with a personal time of 2’02.770.
Day 3– Back in the sun, everything was set for a hot and dry final day of the Sepang Shakedown. By midday Fernández had already logged 29 laps, before continuing to try different setups to find a comfortable position on the RC16 in the afternoon. At the end of the day, he made his first starts and closed the last day on the time sheets with a time of 2’00.482, 0.679 seconds behind Michele Piro’s best.
Now, Augusto Fernández has two days off to recover from the Sepang Shakedown Test. On Friday, it will be time to share the track with the other riders in the MotoGP category, including his new teammate, Pol Espargaró.
Augusto Fernández– “The first test in Valencia was just riding a MotoGP bike, without thinking too much about changing the setup, so logically the objective of Shakedown was to start the job right and build my base. I’m happy to have had three days to get used to the MotoGP bike, and I already feel like I’m starting to understand why everything happens, and how to ride this bike. We got a lot of information over the last three days, both in dry and wet conditions, and it’s going to be very important to understand what I need to do to go faster in the coming days. The team did a very good job, so I would like to say thank you. I look forward to Friday”.