#DutchGP - June 29, 2024

It was a red hot Super Saturday that took place at the Cathedral of Speed with a dominating Francesco Bagnaia showing supremacy at the TT Circuit Assen, after he won the Tissot Sprint from the pole position. Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernandez qualified in P10 and P22 after the morning’s qualifying ahead of the first fight for the points at stake in the afternoon’s sprint. MotoGP™’s star rookie Acosta was tenth of the 13-lap shootout, and Fernandez finished fifteenth.

After missing out on a direct Q2 ticket in Friday’s Practice, Pedro Acosta had to go through the pre-qualifying stage this morning, one session that he has managed to avoid quite regularly in his young career in the premier class. The GASGAS Tech3 rider pulled a brilliant lap 7/9 in a 1’31.272 in Q1 as thirteen riders fought for just two places, and that one lap was enough for the shark to top the timesheets and head to the next qualifying stage, despite a late crash into the session as we saw him losing the rear. Thanks to the fantastic job of his crew, Pedro was all ready to go for qualifying 2 as he joined MotoGP™ ’s big dogs. His final time-attack was the one powering within the top 10, and Acosta got himself a P10 start for his debuts in the premier class at the iconic Dutch layout. As the lights of the Tissot Sprint went out, Acosta took a rather good start, but got a bit stuck in the first corner, and dropped a few positions. After one lap, he had lost two positions and was in P12 behind Franco Morbidelli. Marc Marquez’ crash at the front saw him going up to eleventh, a position that he held most of the sprint. Miguel Oliveira made a move on him in the final laps, but eventually Acosta regained his ground, and the late crash from Aleix Espargaro secured the shark a top 10 finish.

Augusto Fernandez continued to look for solutions and areas to improve on to close the gap on his rivals on Saturday morning ahead of the weekend. In qualifying 1, he was able to gain a few hundredths on his best from Friday, but his late 1’32.669 was still a bit short and he finished twelfth of the stage, more than two seconds from the pole position time. From P22 on the grid, he gained two positions on the grid over Johann Zarco and Luca Marini to settle behind Lorenzo Salvadori. With a few crashes at the front, Fernandez was in P18 after five laps. The GASGAS Tech3 rider held his position behind Aprilia’s rider, and the few crashes at the front in the final laps gave him the opportunity to cross the line in P15. There were positives in Augusto’s comments, and he will be looking to feed from them for tomorrow’s main race, as lights will go out at 14:00 local time (GMT+2). 

Position: 10th
Championship: 6th
Points: 101
"From the start, we knew that Assen was not going to be an easy one for me. I have to say that we made very interesting steps today after we struggled a bit on day 1. This morning, we were feeling good in FP2 and then in qualifying too. In the sprint, we had a good pace, we were much faster and more competitive than yesterday, but we had a small issue at the rear from the first lap, which caused a bit of stability loss. I managed, but it was not that easy! We’ll study everything tonight, and make sure that we go into the main race fully prepared."

Position: 15th
Championship: 17th
Points: 13
"We saw some light again in the sprint today, after a very bad qualifying this morning, probably the worst for me. The feeling on the bike was so bad. Our base this afternoon was good, I felt much better and confident, so we will work hard tonight, starting from that base we used, and we will try finding some improvements to give us a chance to get a bit closer to the guys in tomorrow’s race.

Team Manager
"Tricky start to our Dutch GP so far! Pedro Acosta struggled to feel comfortable on the bike on Friday, so we made some changes yesterday night. This morning, we could see that he felt much better with a strong Q1. However, a small crash at the end put him in a difficult situation for Q2. Still, he started from the top 10, to finish in P10 in the Sprint, with zero points, which is a big shame because until now, with Marc Marquez, they were the two only riders to have scored points at every sprint this year. Anyway, he is feeling more and more happy with the bike, so we know that we have a good chance tomorrow. Augusto Fernandez has been exploring different directions for his bike setting, and he has appeared rather confident in the sprint, which is good, so let’s see if we can continue in that direction for tomorrow’s main race.


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