After a fifth of the MotoGP World Championship has been played, the great sensation is being the only rookie in the premier class. A Mallorcan who has landed with the endorsement of being a Moto2 champion and an enormous desire to learn and grow among the best. Augusto Fernández spends a few days on the island, exhausting the event break before returning to the tracks at Mugello, an Italian Grand Prix in which he appears after caressing the podium at Le Mans (he was fourth) and leaving very good feelings in the GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 box.
“Fourth place at Le Mans was amazing”
“Everything is going well, this fourth place at Le Mans has been amazing. It has been the prize for progression, although the season has gone the way expected. Scoring each race was the objective, and the truth is that I didn’t think I was going to score points so soon”, assured the 37, who at the same time sets motivating goals and challenges with three quarters of the season still to go. «More than the points and the positions and that fourth place, I prefer the distance that we have with respect to the first, with the official KTMs, with the podium… The progression is important, finishing one second from the podium (France) and six of victory, but we must continue, there is a long way to go”, assured the Sencelles driver in an event with the island media at the Nivia Born Boutique Hotel in Palma.
A long break without Grand Prix has allowed Augusto to catch his breath after a busy end to 2022 and an intense preseason and start to the course. «I have not stopped training, because in the summer we will have another strong break, but I have taken the opportunity to maintain the rhythm and the training routine, with my head set in ‘Grand Prix mode’, making a little getaway to Mallorca to recharge batteries, because Mugello is coming and a calendar with three demanding races, with circuits that I like (referring to Sachsenring and Assen)”, said the Spaniard. Once again displaying his prudence mixed with enthusiasm when he affirmed that «just like at the beginning of the season, I am going without setting a specific objective or positions. I simply want to be close to the KTM riders, the podium and who knows if the victory”, he admits.
“You arrive on Thursday and on Friday you have to give everything”
A point that has generated debate with sprint races, in which Augusto has not found the formula, recalling that «in Moto2, it was not my strong point to go out and be in front, to get everything out right away. I always had a good rhythm at the end of the race. And doing it in ten laps is hard for me. I have not scored in any sprint and it is a pending account, but without going crazy, because it is where there are fewer points and you have to work for the general race, “he says in this regard. And about the stress generated by the accumulation of demands throughout the weekend, he recounts that «on Thursday you arrive and you know that on Friday you have to give everything now. Since FP1, they have already taken out new and soft tires to make good weather, without having references in MotoGP on the circuits. The new format is not easy for adaptation, and from what I talk to other pilots it is also difficult for them, but it is the same for everyone and I have it as a pending task to solve, “he says in this regard.
After a calendar in which he has managed to accumulate 30 points, adding in the five Grand Prix, he faces a key stretch of the course. «Of those that come now, I think Mugello is the one that costs me the most. From what I have raced there in Moto2, it is a circuit that is neither good nor bad, we are there. Le Mans was good for me, Germany and Assen are also good for me and we will have to be very focused to get out now a weekend that may be more difficult than others, “adds Augusto Fernández, who when talking about the dominance exercised by Ducati and the dominating cycle of the Italian brand does not hide its cards either. “There are circuits where KTM is doing well and others where it seems impossible to beat Ducati. Sometimes you must know how to accept that defeat a bit, because you see that it doesn’t seem possible. But also make the most of it when you know you can fight. For this reason, we must be attentive to the other KTMs, because in France we were the best, but we must go step by step and fight as far as possible”, he said on the upper terrace of the centrally located Nivia Born Boutique Hotel.
Asked about the bad run for Repsol Honda and his countryman Joan Mir at the start of the year, Augusto Fernández admitted that these circumstances “go through spells. Maybe between now and the end of the year they will release another unbeatable motorcycle. MotoGP does not depend on you alone, there is a brand behind it and all the riders have been in front at some point. Personally, I think that our brand is doing a good job, getting closer to that dominant Ducati and hopefully by the end of the year we can take another small step”, continued the Mallorcan.
“I don’t think about others when I’m on the bike”
About running alongside benchmark pilots and even idols, 37 is clear in admitting that “when you run, you don’t look at the rest. After France, seeing that he was close to the podium and that Marc (Márquez) was fighting for him was shocking, because I have been a fan of MotoGP and his and seeing him so close is shocking. Of the rest, I have beaten them in small categories, I have coincided in Moto2 and, to be honest, I don’t think about others when I’m on the bike, “he said.
That his name begins to sound in the market for other brands and factories is a matter that he is grateful for, but that he puts aside in the short term. “That’s what my father is for (laughs). I will try to make the job easier. But everything happens because of my dedication and effort and because of the races that come. A summer is coming in which everything moves, but I have to focus on my work and continue to improve, “he said in this regard.
Regarding favorites or candidates for the title, it is clear when Fernández affirms that “there is a lot left and the World Cup is a bit crazy. Pecco (Bagnaia) is strong and when he has the day it is difficult to beat him. Bezzecchi is having a great season, Brad (Binder) is on top and we are making progress. I will try to get as close as possible to them, we are not far from a Top 10, it is not impossible, and we have to keep adding, although anything can happen and there are still three thirds of the season to go, it is very early, “admitted the bearer of the number 37, who at the same time regretted the absence of his teammate, Pol Espargaró, injured after a hard fall in Portugal. «It was a strong stick, because it was the tip of GasGas. And having someone with experience next to me and being able to compare myself with him helped me, as he did in preseason. He is recovering well and I think that the ideal is for him to return to 100%, we are looking forward to helping us, “he said.
He also had words of encouragement and advice for his countryman Izan Guevara, after a difficult start in Moto2. «Be patient, because Moto2 is a tough category, mentally perhaps the most. He is not having an easy start, but he is world champion for a reason,” said Augusto. “He is a very good driver and he can be on top. But he has to work a lot, because they all have the same bike. And be patient, because he has the talent to be with the best and ahead”, concluded the Mallorcan MotoGP GasGas Tech3 Factory Racing rider.
Font: Última Hora
Foto: Miguel Ángel Cañellas