#AustralianGP - October 18, 2023

GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 has travelled to Phillip Island in Australia at one of the most liked destinations of the calendar, as the MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix marks the sixteenth stop of the season, with a title fight more open than ever.  After the hot conditions of paradisiac Lombok island, it is a different island climate that Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro will have to accustom themselves to this weekend, as the Spring has just begun in Australia, meaning that conditions are set to be quite cold this week in south Melbourne.

4.448 km of fast and slow turns on the cliffs overlooking the surf beaches and undulations that really test the riders await Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro this weekend, as both will be looking forward to jump back on their GASGAS RC16 to make amendments after both crashing out on Sunday’s race in Mandalika. Rookie Augusto Fernandez went through a difficult Indonesian Grand Prix which unfortunately ended with his first Sunday crash of the season, even though he was doing a great performance with a strong pace until things went down. Still, there were positives to take to Phillip Island, and the number 37 will do his best this weekend as he targets a good result on a layout which should fit his smooth riding style.

Things did not go to plan either last week in Indonesia for GASGAS Tech3 Pol Espargaro, who also crashed on Sunday. The weekend had not been an easy one as he struggled to find the right feeling, in addition to again finishing eleventh on Friday’s practice. However, it appears that Sunday’s bike was finally the one he was waiting for, and Espargaro will look forward to getting back to work and developing the bike’s setting found last Sunday, as he hopes to fight more at the front. A surf lover, the Spaniard has always enjoyed coming to the laid-back and natural Phillip Island, but he also has very good memories at the famous Australian circuit. In 2012 while he was in Moto2™, he won the race by 16.837 seconds, easily the best race of his career. Of course things have changed, but Espargaro has been fast in the past in Phillip Island, and will look to fight for the top 10 positions this weekend.

Watch out for your alarms again as there will be ‘quite a big’ time difference if you are following us from Europe. The Australian Grand Prix action will start on Friday with Free Practice 1 at 10:45 local time (GMT+11), which will be followed in the afternoon by the Practice session at 15:00 LT. Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro will then be back in action for a busy Super Saturday, with the qualifying sessions starting at 10:50 LT, both preceded by FP2 at 10:10 LT.  In the afternoon, the Tissot Sprint will see MotoGP™ riders race for thirteen laps at 15:00 (GMT+11), and the main showdown will be on Sunday with the main race at 14:00 (GMT+11). 

Championship: 15th
Points: 67
"After a hard weekend in Indonesia, I can not wait to race in Australia. It is a track that I love ; and where I had good results last season. Phillip Island suits my riding style, it is smooth and flowing so I hope that we can achieve a great weekend! Once again, we need to work better on Friday and on one lap, so we can improve our grid position.”

Championship: 23rd
Points: 12
"I really look forward to going racing in Phillip Island because it is a track that I really like and I have always been pretty fast there in the past. I did the best race of my career here back in 2012 when I was in Moto2, so I always love coming back to Australia. We are going to have colder conditions, which is really something I look forward to after a couple of hot rounds, so let’s see what we can do this weekend."

Team Manager
"The second race of October’s tripleheader will be held in Phillip Island, located south of Melbourne in Australia. The famous layout is one of the last ‘old style” tracks of the calendar, and is one of the only anti-clock circuits. It has some very famous corners and the lowest brakes of the year. One of the keys here will be the tyres spinning management, especially in the last two corners. Augusto Fernandez has shown a strong attitude on this aspect lately, and enjoys fast corners, so hopefully he should feel good in Australia. Mandalika did not go as planned as he crashed for the first time in Sunday's race, but he was doing a great race with a solid pace until then. Again, we know that our focus needs to be on Friday afternoon and we need to be fast on one lap. On Pol Espargaro’s side, last weekend was a bit tricky, and we really all want him to achieve stronger results. Last Sunday in Indonesia, he found a good bike’s setting which he will look forward to testing again from Friday, and we hope that it is what he needs to be a bit more at the front. We will see what this new round has in store for us, but one thing is sure, the weather will once again play with our nerves as some rain is expected, especially on Sunday."


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