The speed was as intense as the heat for the first day of the IndianOil Grand Prix of India and for MotoGP’s first ever trip to the country as well as the rapid Buddh International Circuit. GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 unpacked the flight cases in New Delhi but continued to soar with Augusto Fernandez so close to Sprint points by placing 11th.
Augusto Fernández enjoys an intense fight to capture 11th place in the Indian Grand Prix Sprint and after starting 18th on the grid.
Movies, cricket, food, heat: MotoGP also discovered a vibrant passion for motorsport and motorcycle racing with their first taste of India. GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 were part of the show that finally descended on the circuit a short distance south of the major city of New Delhi and found a curious and challenging 5km mix of 13 corners and plenty of throttle-heavy action.
Interest in the series was as high as the 33+ temperatures and humidity across the four days of activity in India. The teams and riders were also getting a sweat-on as they attempted to learn the Buddh layout.
Augusto was also quick to adapt – his rivals all facing the same ‘rookie learning’ experience! – and his best effort was 0.8 of a second from provisional Pole. By the end of Friday both riders were in Q1 but with the first ‘baby steps’ at Buddh firmly locked.
Saturday’s format followed the traditional time scale. Fernández was 8th in Q1, half a second from the cut.
Augusto throttled the #37 as hard as he could and as part of a dice with two other riders for the final championship points-grab. The difference to 9th place at the flag was less than one second.
Augusto Fernandez, 18th in qualifying, 11th in the Sprint:
“We started far back on the grid but my pace was good. I felt strong. It was a shame to miss my final lap in qualifying because of the yellow flags but I made a good recovery. We need to take out more of our pace tomorrow. I also didn’t make the best start today so that’s another area where we can still improve. We had the speed to be in the top ten again, so we’ll try tomorrow.”