News 9 Nov 2022

MotoGP shakedown complete for GasGas at Valencia

Espargaro and Fernandez both positive after initial laps.

Image: Supplied.

Tech3 GasGas Factory Racing took to the track for the first time officially at the Valencia MotoGP test with Pol Espargaro and Moto2 world champion Augusto Fernandez happy with the initial feedback of the bike.

On what is effectively a rebadged KTM RC 16, Espargaro returned to the KTM Group and Tech3 following two challenging years at Repsol Honda.

The number 44’s initial excitement was clear as he was seen gesturing wildly and tapping the fuel tank of his GasGas after completing the first run on Tuesday. For teammate Fernandez, yesterday’s outing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit was a learning experience as he stepped up to the premier class with Herve Poncharal’s outfit after a successful season in Moto2 with Red Bull KTM Ajo.

“It’s been an awesome day,” Fernandez explained. “I have been working hard to get used to all the new things. The GasGas is very different to a Moto2 bike and there are a lot of electronics and things to understand.

“We didn’t change much. We just went step-by-step and did laps and laps and laps to get familiar with what we have. For sure I need to train in a different way this winter because the bike asks different things of the body! We’ll have to focus on that.

“MotoGP is, for sure, more demanding. Anyway, I’m happy to have the feedback from the bike and to get my first impressions. I cannot wait until the next session already.”

Fernandez ultimately finished the Valencia test 22nd, 1.698s from the fastest time and Espargaro concluded the day in P16, 0.725s from the top. Track activity is now complete for the year, with the next official outing being the shakedown test at Sepang on 5-7 February, for rookies at test riders.