#FrenchGP - May 13, 2023

GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 was looking forward to Super Saturday in front of its home crowd with the qualifying sessions in the morning, and the Tissot Sprint later on in the afternoon. If the weather was a bit cloudy after the rain for qualifying, the sun was completely out for the Tissot Sprint at 15:00 (GMT+2). The morning was highlighted by Augusto Fernandez reaching Q2 for the first time, before the afternoon was tainted by a double DNF at the Tissot Sprint.

In the morning, both Augusto Fernandez and Jonas Folger had the Free Practice session to get ready for qualifying. The rookie finished the session in P9 with a fastest lap in 1’32.639, while his teammate Folger rode in 1’34.220. Augusto’s pace since yesterday had been quite impressive for the first time on the Bugatti circuit with a MotoGP machine, and he continued to impress in the first qualifying session. If he admitted yesterday that there was margin to progress on time-attacks, he certainly meant business as he rode his fastest lap of the weekend, in 1’31.343 and finished in P2 of the session, just 0.075 seconds from the fastest rider of the session. In a packed Q2, he did the best he could but did not manage to get his lap time down, so his best lap of 1’31.596 meant that he got the P12, his best qualifying result of the season in what is only the fifth round of his rookie season. For teammate Jonas Folger, he continued to give all he could on the RC16. He rode faster than in the morning, in 1’33.605 and finished twenty-first.

In the afternoon, the sun was out in Le Mans just in time for the Tissot Sprint. From P12, Augusto Fernandez took a rather ok start but then eventually went wide a couple of corners after the start and lost many positions. He re-focused quickly to try recovering from the positions lost, but eventually he lost the front and crashed in lap 5, a great shame for Fernandez who had just had an amazing morning in qualifying. For Jonas Folger, it was a similar situation. He took a good start and settled well into his race pace. He also lost the front in Turn 7 of lap 8. It is a double DNF for the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team, who is always looking forward to Sunday’s race.

Positon: DNF
Championship: 16th
Points: 17
"It has been a good day, unfortunately we did not get the end we wanted with the crash in the Sprint. I got a good start, I was in P9, but then I went wide and lost a couple of positions. I tried to recover but I was struggling on the bike, and ended up with a crash. We will work hard tonight to analyze what we can do better for tomorrow, because we have a good pace, the grid position is good, so we can do something great on Sunday’s race."

Position: DNF
Championship: 22nd
Points: 4
"The Sprint was quite good until the crash unfortunately. I was trying to do the things that I had been wanting to change during the weekend, so I worked on my rhythm. After a couple of laps, I think that I was feeling good, the pace was ok, but unfortunately I crashed in Turn 7. I was not feeling on the limit, so it was a strange crash. Shame for today because we were doing a good race, but I look forward to tomorrow to try doing better.”

"Today has been a rollercoaster of emotions for the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team. We had high moments with Augusto Fernandez this morning as he reached his first ever qualifying 2, a great achievement for the rookie as we are only in round 5! He has been feeling good on both bike and track since the start of the weekend, so this twelfth position on the grid is well deserved, and also shows the progress he has been making. Unfortunately, he crashed in the Sprint, which is not how we wanted this day to end. Jonas Folger also crashed in the Sprint while he was trying to catch up with the guys ahead."


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