24.09.2023 | 12 Images

Espargaro brings energy, hope and points home from a hot Indian MotoGP™

MotoGP 2023 - Round 13 of 20, Buddh International Circuit, India – Race

Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo

GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 was a vibrant part of the multi-rider choreography at the Buddh International Circuit, played out in front of a 58,000 audience, as Pol Espargaro finished 13th in the first ever Indian Grand Prix. Teammate Augusto Fernandez was unlucky to encounter a technical issue and was forced to the pitlane.

  • GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 bring a GASGAS red flavor to New Delhi and for the first dance of MotoGP on Indian soil
  • Pol Espargaro strains every muscle and invests every drop of energy to reach the checkered flag
  • Augusto Fernandez again improves and progresses through the course of a race weekend but follows-up his 11th in the Saturday Sprint with a DNF
  • GASGAS Aspar Racing look to David Alonso in Moto3™ as the Columbian bags a top-five finish and Jake Dixon falls out of Moto2™ after grabbing Pole Position on Saturday
Mostly blue skies and an Indian heat haze on Sunday ensured the chances of another rainy downpour were very slim for the three races at a busier Buddh International Circuit. The teams and the riders were well-versed with the 13-corner layout after two days of practice, quali and ‘sprinting’ as well as the extra-long Free Practice sessions, scheduled to help with the familiarization.
MotoGP shot through the thick, hot air with noise and thunder at 15.30 local time to get the 21-lap race underway. The tight and weaving Turn 1 was again a hotspot for close proximity and potential trouble but GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 came through unscathed. Augusto and Pol started from the second half of the grid and tried to attack and make gains in the opening stages while being conscious of tire wear for the full distance as well as the physical drain through the heat.
Augusto’s race was over within three laps due to a glitch with his rear ride height device. Pol, still working back to prime race fitness – especially in the challenging Indian climate – pushed his GASGAS RC16 to reach 13th and collect 3 points by the time the checkered flag came out. Both riders and the full GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 will get another opportunity for results in just a few days time with the Grand Prix of Japan at the Motegi circuit.
Pol Espargaro, 13th: “I think that was one of the hardest races I have ever done. It has been a really tough weekend and I’m not so happy with the result because I was not that fast. Anyway, we reached the end of the race and that was a target because I’m not in the kind of physical condition for these conditions yet. Looking at what I can do and where I can finish it is promising for the future. Now, Motegi, and a circuit I really like.”
Augusto Fernandez, DNF: “We had an issue with the rear ride height device after three laps. A real shame because I was feeling strong: we just kept running into problems all weekend, like yellow flags and so on. We made a step in the Misano test and I think we can start each Grand Prix in a more competitive way; that’s why I am now looking forward to Motegi.”
Nicolas Goyon, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager: “We leave India with a bitter taste and after a challenging weekend. Pol’s target was to finish the race and bring some points home and he achieved that but it was one of the most difficult weekends of his career for him physically. He is not 100% for these extreme conditions. He suffered and brought the bike to the finish. The whole team would like to thank him for that huge effort. On Augusto’s side there is obviously frustration and we all felt there was potential for this weekend. He had some strong results but we missed a better qualifying and starting far back on the grid was not an advantage. The technical issue stopped his progress and it’s a disappointment for the whole team but we’ll come back even stronger in Japan for some big points.”
Results MotoGP Grand Prix of India
1. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati 36:59.157
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +8.649
3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +8.855
13. Pol Espargaro (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 +29.728
DNF. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3
World Championship standings MotoGP
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 292 points
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 279
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 248
14. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, 58
23. Pol Espargaro (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, 11
Moto3 and Moto2
David Alonso knew that the rest of the Moto3 field also had to learn a new track in India. The playing field was leveled but the speed and competitiveness of the riders was just as intense. The Columbian set-off from 17th on the grid and the sixth row, behind teammate Ryusei Yamanaka who had qualified 11th. Alonso made his customary rapid charge into leading positions and was soon eying the podium. Unusually, Moto3 broke into smaller pockets of riders and Alonso became separated and lodged into the third batch disputing the top five. With Collin Veijer’s last lap crash the battle was for 4th and David was only a tenth of a second from Daniel Holgado’s rear wheel to take 5th. The points mean he is 4th in the championship and only missing a further 22 to get into title contention! Yamanaka was busy further back in the race order but the Japanese was resolute enough to manage 15th and the final point on offer in India. The GASGAS Aspar Racing team are currently ranked 5th.

David Alonso, 5th: “Well, we made a top five from a very tough race. I’m happy because I did not back-off from my best personal rhythm for every lap and fought right until the end. In a way it was also good training because it was hot out there and we’ll have other hot races to come in the next weeks. I was missing a little ‘extra’ to go with the guys for the podium but after our first overseas of the next period of the calendar we know how and where we can improve a bit. Japan next and I want to do as many laps as I can early on to get familiar with the track.”
Ryusei Yamanaka, 15th: “I had a strange feeling on the bike during the race and it was the first time this weekend that I struggled. We have to make sure we fix it for Motegi. I want to have a much better result there for my home GP.”
A fourth Pole Position for Jake Dixon on Saturday meant the Brit had the best view of the track away from the grid and for 17 laps of Moto2 action. #96 knew the Indian chase would be as much about patience and pace as all-out attack but had little chance to enact his strategy after contact with Alonso Lopez in Turn 4 put him on the floor after just three laps of a race that had already been restarted. Jake picked up and continued but then went down again in Turn 12 while trying to charge. Izan Guevara had another taste of Moto2 education and discovery and passed the finish line in 13th.
Izan Guevara, 13th: “Quite a positive race even though it was tough! I had a better start in the first one than I did in the second! I fought with the group going for 11th but it felt like my tires were on the limit. I made as many positions as I could and, well, we come away from here with a couple of points.”
Jake Dixon, DNF: “Not great! I made two amazing starts but I was pushed wide in the second. I tried to recover my way and I was playing the long game. I made a pass on Lopez, stopped the bike but the next thing I knew I was on the floor. Not much more to say. It happens and we move on. I am learning to control myself in these moments. I’m growing and improving and I have a great team to help me with that.”
Grand Prix of India photographs can be found HERE
Results Moto3 Grand Prix of India
1. Jaume Masia (ESP) Honda 31:58.245
2. Kaito Toba (JPN) Honda +5.477
3. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna +5.784
5. David Alonso (COL) GASGAS Aspar Team +8.240
15. Ryusei Yamanaka (JPN) GASGAS Aspar Team +26.053
World Championship standings Moto3
1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) KTM, 174 points
2. Jaume Masia (ESP) Honda 174
3. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna, 173
4. David Alonso (COL) GASGAS Aspar Team, 151
14. Ryusei Yamanaka (JPN) GASGAS Aspar Team, 55
Results Moto2 Grand Prix of India
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP) 22:29.844
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA) +3.543
3. Joe Roberts (USA) +6.506
13. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS Aspar Team +15.250
DNF. Jake Dixon (GBR) GASGAS Aspar Team
World Championship standings Moto2
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP), 236 points
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA), 197
3. Jake Dixon (GBR), GASGAS Aspar Team 146
25. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS Aspar Team, 6
M: +43 676 6652 742
E: Evangelia.sissis@gasgas.com

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Images (12)

Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
David Alonso 2023 Moto3 India
4 520 x 3 013 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Ryusei Yamanaka 2023 Moto3 India
4 796 x 3 197 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Izan Guevara 2023 Moto2 India
4 575 x 3 050 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Jake Dixon 2023 Moto2 India
4 715 x 3 143 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
4 210 x 2 807 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
4 914 x 3 276 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP India Sunday
4 221 x 2 814 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo


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