#PortugueseGP - March 24, 2024

What a day for Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 in Portimao! Young rookie Pedro Acosta took his first-ever MotoGP™ podium in Portugal, taking P3 after an unbelievable race, making him the third youngest rider to stand on a podium in MotoGP™. The weekend had been going perfectly so far for the #31 after he qualified in P7 on Saturday before taking P7 in the Sprint, but the rookie did not quite stop there, and went on to climb on the third step of the podium after making the show again in the main race. On the other side, Augusto Fernandez finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel with a P11-finish, one result that will do good to his morale.

After his performance in yesterday’s Tissot Sprint, he had already left us confident that something good could happen on the long distance, but maybe we did not quite imagine today’s scenario. Lining up again in P7 on the grid, Acosta took a solid start, much better than yesterday, and held his position to seventh, finding himself in a Pierer Mobility sandwich between Jack Miller and Brad Binder. The number 33 overtook Acosta, but the rookie definitively did not want to leave his spot to the Red Bull KTM Factory rider, and put pressure on Binder, leaving him no other choice than to give up his ground on the young rookie. Miller had lost a bit of rhythm, so once the factory bikes passed, the next target was Marc Marquez. Déjà-vu in Qatar, no? For sure we know that the Shark does not seem too scared to go after the eight-time world champion, so he went after him, again! On lap 7, he overtook him, and then the next on the list was two-time world champion Pecco Bagnaia. Another big dog.  As the gap with the number 1 was a lot bigger, Acosta smartly spent a bit of time behind the champion, studying his moves and learning from him, until it was time! On lap 20, SHARK ATTACK! Fearless, the rookie made a move on the world champion, and made sure to close on him so he could not overtake him back. Mission accomplished. On lap 21, Acosta was in fourth, with a three second gap to Enea Bastianini. Fourth was good, but everything changed when Maverick Vinales, second, was forced to set aside due to a technical issue before crashing in the final lap! DRAMA! That’s when we realized that Pedro Acosta, nineteen years old of age, racing for the second time in MotoGP™ , was going to finish third of the Portuguese Grand Prix. What a performance from the young boy. Congratulations to the whole Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 team.

Augusto Fernandez was starting from P18 today, and was confident that he could try to do a good job on the long distance, after he appeared to have finally reunited with the lost feeling from 2023. Augusto took a decent start and powered himself to P14, ahead of Raul Fernandez. The next lap he was in P13 behind Marco Bezzecchi. Progressively, he settled into a decent pace. He lost a bit of ground to Aleix Espargaro and lost some positions, but as he got better towards the end of the race, he managed to pass the checkered flag in P11. It is an encouraging result for Augusto who is working really hard to make it through his difficulties, but hard work will pay off. Next, the Grand Prix of Americas, in Austin on April 12-13-14 2024.

Position: 3rd
Championship: 5th
Points: 28
"It is not easy to come to a new track with no experience on the MotoGP bike, but I only have good words for my team.  They are working like hell to provide me with the best bike, I always have messages from my crew chief asking me to check some things, to try finding good ways to prepare, and honestly we have done an amazing job. Since the race start, the bike felt much better than yesterday, but I have raced on the long distance my whole life, so the main race is more natural to me. We managed our tyres pretty well, and we did many good overtakes. However, the one that I enjoyed the most was Pecco Bagnaia, because I spent a lot of time behind him before, and I was able to learn from him, it was a great opportunity. It was a great weekend for us, but we have to keep our feet on the ground, because there are many more new circuits to learn, so we will now focus on the next one and try having a good one in Austin.

Position: 11th
Championship: 16th
Points: 5
"I am happy to score some points after a tough start to the season, so we have to be happy with P11, it is a start. I felt good in the race, I could recover some positions, so it is good. We are still struggling, but we need to keep working, because there is potential. We just need to gather all the pieces together, and hopefully we can continue improving in Austin. Of course, congratulations to Pedro Acosta and the team for their result. Pedro did an unbelievable job today and is exceeding all expectations!

Team Manager
"What an unbelievable weekend we just had here in Algarve. Following yesterday’s sprint, we knew that Pedro Acosta had a good pace, and that with a good start, he could stay with the leaders. But today was beyond our expectations! He did an amazing race and made the show today with his overtakes on Brad Binder, Marc Marquez and World Champion Pecco Bagnaia. He is just a rookie, and achieving a podium on what was only his second race in MotoGP is truly a great achievement, for both himself and the whole Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 team. We are very happy, and the only thing we can do is enjoy the moment, until we head to the next round. I would also like to congratulate Augusto Fernandez, who is not giving up despite the issues he is facing, and he is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He finished in P11 today, so let’s keep working like this Augusto, and you’ll be back to the top very soon. Congratulations to the team, and head to Austin in two weeks.


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