#DutchGP - June 30, 2024

The Motul TT Assen did not end as the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 crew would have wanted after Pedro Acosta’s crash in the final lap got us all heartbroken, while a strong seventh place was promised to us until the very last turns. Nevertheless, Acosta delivered yet again another strong performance on Sunday, as we take the positives of a blank result in Assen. Augusto Fernandez held on tight until the end as he saw the final checkered flag in P14, and scored two points.

“NOOOOOOOOOO” was probably on everyone’s mouth when Pedro Acosta lost it in sector 2 of the final lap while he was on his way for a strong 7th place, which would have been an awesome result for the young rookie on his debuts at the Cathedral of Speed. Before that happened, the rookie had taken a decent start from P10 on the grid to P7 in one lap just behind Franco Morbidelli. Two more positions were gained in the next lap as he passed through Morbidelli and Alex Marquez, making his way to the top 5, led by polesitter Francesco Bagnaia who was already on another planet. Coming in hot behind, there was the warm up fastest rider, Fabio Di Giannantonio, pressuring the rookie, and eventually he overtook Acosta on lap 5 who moved down to P6. While the VR46 rider moved on to Maverick Vinales to battle for 4th, Pedro could close the gap a bit on the top 5, but close behind there were Alex Marquez, Brad Binder and co waiting for their opportunity. Positions settled a bit for a while, but that was without counting on Enea Bastianini putting all his efforts to come back to the front, and with ten laps to go, he was just 0.1 seconds behind Pedro. Meanwhile, we started seeing some weakness on the GASGAS Tech3 rider whose tyres started to drop. Acosta held on to his position as much as he could with extremely competitive lap times, but eventually Bestia made his move in T5 of lap 18, leaving the shark in 7th. The Italian escaped to join the battle for 3rd, leaving Acosta half a second away from those. A Marc Marquez-Fabio Di Giannantonio battle in lap 21 allowed the #31 to move up to 6th, and suddenly the Shark was right back in the fight for top 5. Eventually he gave back the position. Everything appeared settled for the rookie to score strong points, but the rookie lost it, and crashed in the final lap. Heartbreaking end to what would have been a good end to a challenging Dutch campaign!

From P22 on the grid, Augusto Fernandez was eager to put into application the findings from the evening following his Tissot Sprint. After three laps, the Spaniard was in P17 behind Johann Zarco, behind whom he held on for most of the race. After ten laps, he appeared to be feeling well, clocking his fastest lap on lap 11 in 1’33.191, a pace that allowed him to close the gap on the Frenchman. On lap 15 he could move past the #5 to reach the point-scoring positions, and then he was in P14 after Miguel Oliveira’s long lap penalty, which ended up being his final position. That’s two points scored for the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 rider, as we will now head to the Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix next week!

Position: 14th
Championship: 17th
Points: 15
"I did not have a good feeling on the bike at any point of the weekend, so it was very hard for me here. After the sprint, we were hoping for improvements today, but I was wrong. We managed to finish the race, which I am happy about anyway because I was on two early DNFs in the last rounds. Let’s move on to Germany and see if we can be a bit more competitive at the Sachsenring."

Position: DNF
Championship: 6th
Points: 101
"We need to take the positives, because even after a difficult weekend for us, we were able to be competitive in the race. It is tough to understand the crash because I had eased things down within the final laps to finish in a good way. Maybe the tyres cooled down too much, it was a strange crash. Sad to end the weekend on this note, but let's continue working, we are improving and getting closer and closer each weekend.

Team Manager
"Cold conclusion to our weekend in Assen, which has probably been one of the most difficult since the start of the season. The two points scored by Augusto Fernandez is just a small reward after a tricky weekend during which he never really felt comfortable, but let’s use these two points as a little cheer up to remain motivated to continue exploring different directions. On Pedro Acosta’s side, the weekend was not easy either. Of course, we had some highs, but crashing at the last lap while being in P7 is enough to show that he did not feel too comfortable on the bike, which has been the general feeling of the weekend. The race was thirty second faster than in 2023, which shows how competitive the premier class is, and clearly we need to improve our package to help our riders to perform better. We are now off to a very different circuit, Sachsenring, so let’s see what we can do there!


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