Round fourteen of 2023 MotoGP allowed GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 to demonstrate speed potential and bank feelings of confidence. Augusto Fernández showed excellent wet weather skill and courage on the GASGAS RC16 to grab 7th at the Mobility Resort Motegi circuit in Japan.
Augusto gets back into the points and into the top ten for a rain-hit and shortened Grand Prix of Japan.
The 23rd Grand Prix to be staged by the Mobility Resort Motegi will be memorable for the freak rainstorm that began shortly before the start of the MotoGP race, caused a deluge across the circuit and forced the chase to be stopped and eventually classified.
GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 had originally set up for the 24 laps on Sunday afternoon with promising signs gleaned from the runs to 11th and 12th by both Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernández during the Sprint on Saturday. The rain began while the grid started to form and while the engines of the Moto3 and Moto2 classes were cooling and being stripped. The late ‘flag to flag’ status of the race meant that virtually the entire MotoGP field entered pitlane after the first lap to change to ‘wet’ bikes and continue the Grand Prix. Fernández made some decent moves to reach the inner sanctum of the top ten. The quantity of water on the Japanese asphalt meant that the race was stopped after 12 laps. Despite a delay and the intention to restart, the event was finally registered with the rain still washing out sections of the Motegi trajectory and with the afternoon light fast disappearing.
AF37 has pocketed points in 12 of the 14 Grands Prix so far this season. 7th is his second highest classification so far and he sits 14th in the standings.
Indonesia, Australia and Thailand next but not before a brief reprieve and a free weekend for the MotoGP paddock. The Mandalika Street Circuit on the island of Lombok will entertain MotoGP for only the second time on October 14-15.
Augusto Fernández, 7th:
“A crazy one! But we will take that 7th. I was ready to go again for the restart but I think the decision was the correct one because the last 2-3 laps previously we were aquaplaning a lot and there was too much water on the track. I felt good in the rain anyway and was overtaking guys every lap. A good 7th and good points.”