26.11.2023 | 13 Images

The flag drops on a momentous first MotoGP™ season for GASGAS in Valencia

MotoGP 2023 - Round 20 of 20, Circuito Ricardo Tormo, Spain – Race

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

The twentieth and last Grand Prix of 2023 and a rapid-fire conclusion to the MotoGP campaign also dropped the mic on the first adventure for GASGAS in the sport. GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro pushed to the limit and beyond at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia with Espargaro’s recovery to 14th to guard for their efforts. On home tarmac the GASGAS Aspar Team toasted an eighth podium result for David Alonso in Moto3™ while Jake Dixon closed his best-ever Moto2™ term with 4th in the championship.

  • MotoGP wraps for GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 this year and a debut season in ‘red’ that delivered five top tens and best result of 4th for rookie Augusto Fernandez who seals 17th in the championship
  • Pol Espargaro caps an interrupted but gutsy 2023 by picking up from a crash and taking 14th place in Spain and draws the curtain for now on a decade-long career in the premier class
  • David Alonso, Moto3 Rookie of the Year, ends 2023 with an excellent 3rd in the championship and is the joint most successful rider in the class with four victories in Britain, Catalunya, San Marino and Thailand
  • Jake Dixon’s top six in Valencia means the Briton ranks 4th for the season in Moto2, thanks to five podium finishes and two wins; his first successes in Grand Prix racing
Valencia buzzed with excitement, and the flat, condensed Ricardo Tormo Circuit was packed to the seams for the final MotoGP race day of the season. 27 laps of the 4km course lay ahead of the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 duo and held promise after Augusto Fernandez’s encouraging top ten finish in the Saturday Sprint and Pol Espargaro primed to end 2023 in the best possible way.
Chilly autumn temperatures soon gave way to the warmth of the generous sunshine in the afternoon and the slightly later 15.00 start. Fernandez powered into top ten contention around the first corners but contact and an early crash between two riders cost him time. Augusto then lost control into Turn 8 and tumbled into the gravel. Pol stayed in the game and neared the top ten until he was caught out into Turn 11 with four laps to go. He managed to retrieve the #44 bike and made it home in 14th.

Fernandez ends his debut campaign in 17th overall and with five top ten finishes in his first season with the GASGAS RC16. Espargaro was 23rd with a highlight of 6th position in the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint as one of the main standpoints to accompany his brave recovery from injury at the first round in Portugal.
GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 will reset with Augusto and new rookie, Moto2 world champion Pedro Acosta set to lap the same circuit on Tuesday for the first official IRTA test with a view towards 2024.
Pol Espargaro, 14th: “Wow, an emotional day. The race, technically, was good and I was feeling stronger than I had all season but then I crashed. Maybe I was pushing just a bit too much. I wanted to get to that checkered flag and even had some points. I really enjoyed the weekend with the guys, the crew, so a big thanks to them and now we look towards the future.”
Augusto Fernandez, DNF: “I really felt we could do a good race today because we had the pace and I was feeling strong most of the weekend. So, a shame but it’s a positive season full of a lot of learning, through the bad and good moments. A big thanks to the team. We’ll have a good year in 2024.”
Nicolas Goyon, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager: “A shame for Augusto as we were hopeful of a good result but he missed the start and then had the crash. Pol also suffered a crash but somehow he managed to finish the race with a broken bike and bring it home and we thank him for that. It was an emotional end to the season. It’s been a tricky 2023 overall. Augusto showed some high potential as a rookie and needs to build on it for next year and Pol’s crash in Portimao set the season. We have now concluded this long calendar and we’ll refresh and start again here in Valencia on Tuesday.”
Results MotoGP Grand Prix of Valencia
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati 40:58.535
2. Johann Zarco (ITA) Ducati +0.360
3. Brad Binder (RSA) KTM +2.347
14. Pol Espargaro (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 +2 laps
DNF. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3
World championship standings MotoGP
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 467 points
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 428
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 329
17. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, 71
23. Pol Espargaro (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, 15
Moto3 and Moto2
20 laps of close and unpredictable Moto3 action opened the final Grand Prix. The GASGAS Aspar Team basked in plenty of noisy support from the fences and paddock for their home event and with the focus on David Alonso making a bid for 3rd place in the championship standings. The teenager had already picked up his ‘Rookie of the Year’ gong to much acclaim on Saturday night on the paddock stage and now had his eyes set on more prizes. Alonso began the race from 5th place on the grid and the middle of the second row. He wasted no time in a roving pursuit for the lead and plagued the rear wheel of Ayumu Sasaki all the way through the last lap. Only 0.082 of a second split the two at the timing beam but David’s P2 (his second runner-up in a row) meant his eighth scale of the rostrum in 2023 and confirmation of the bronze medal overall. Teammate Ryusei Yamanaka propelled his GASGAS into the reckoning for GP points in his last outing for the crew. The Japanese was quickly up to the edge of the top ten after five laps. He confirmed 10th for 13th in the championship.

David Alonso, 2nd: “What a race, and what a way to finish the season. My eighth podium of the year. It was so fast out there and I tried all I could to pass Ayumu on the last lap. I knew 2nd position would give me 3rd in the championship: I can now go to the FIM Awards and I have my suit ready! Thanks to all the awesome fans here today.”
Ryusei Yamanaka, 10th “A difficult race in the beginning because I was fighting with other people and there was a gap to the top group. I had good pace and was very fast but it was not enough to catch them. So, a bit disappointed but happy to end the season and get to the flag for the Aspar team. Thanks for all.”
The checkered flag fell for Moto3 but then the GASGAS Aspar Team were immediately aligned for Moto2 and Jake Dixon’s last chance to secure a top three slot in the championship standings. Dixon was mere tenths of a second away from Pole Position on Saturday and ended Quali in 5th while Izan Guevara raised expectations with the 15th fastest lap-time in Q2.
Dixon showed decent pace across the 22-laps and into the final stages but his P6 was enough to put the stamp on 4th for the year. Guevara’s race had ended in the first minute as he couldn’t avoid a fallen rider in Turn 4 and hit the gravel, luckily without injury. Izan closed his first Moto2 experience in the championship in 22nd.
Grand Prix engines will idle and be turned off in the coming weeks, but MotoGP will come to life again at the Lusail International Circuit on March 9-10 in just over 100 days!
Jake Dixon, 6th: “I thought I could fight for the win today. It was such a shame that I didn’t have any of the feeling and grip with the tires that I had in practice and qualifying. Aldeguer has had an incredible end to the season and deserves that third place after everything. We have to look into today properly and see what happened because I gave all I had in the race and it wasn’t enough. I want to thank the team for everything because we still finished 4th in the championship even without five DNFs. It’s been our best season and also indicates we can be even better in 2024.”
Izan Guevara, DNF: “It’s been an incredible weekend with really good feelings on the bike each day. I started from the fifth row and knew it might be complicated but today it was our turn for bad luck. Two riders touched in front of me and it was impossible to avoid them. It’s a shame my race ended because of someone else. It should have been a good GP and I reckon I could have finished in the top ten today. It’s been a complicated year for various reasons but we finished with some good potential and that gives me cause to think positively for the test. I’m looking forward to new ideas and having a better season in 2024.”
Grand Prix of Valencia photographs can be found HERE
Results Moto3 Grand Prix of Valencia
1. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna 33:03.409
2. David Alonso (COL) GASGAS Aspar Team +0.082
3. Ivan Ortola (ESP) KTM +0.128
10. Ryusei Yamanaka (JPN) GASGAS Aspar Team +6.907
World Championship standings Moto3
1. Jaume Masia (ESP) Honda 274 points
2. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna, 268
3. David Alonso (COL) GASGAS Aspar Team, 245
13. Ryusei Yamanaka (JPN) GASGAS Aspar Team, 84
Results Moto2 Grand Prix of Valencia
1. Fermin Aldeguer (ESP) 34:33.384
2. Aron Canet (ESP) +3.986
3. Alonso Lopez (ESP) +6.455
6. Jake Dixon (GBR) GASGAS Aspar Team +7.864
DNF. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS Aspar Team
World Championship standings Moto2
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP), 332.5 points
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA), 249.5
3. Fermin Aldeguer (ESP), 212
4. Jake Dixon (GBR) GASGAS Aspar Team, 204
22. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS Aspar Team, 20
M: +43 676 6652 742
E: Evangelia.sissis@gasgas.com

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Images (13)

Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
3 932 x 2 621 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
David Alonso 2023 Moto3 Valencia
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
David Alonso 2023 Moto3 Valencia
4 613 x 3 075 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
David Alonso 2023 Moto3 Valencia
3 384 x 2 256 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
4 632 x 3 088 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
4 793 x 3 195 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
David Alonso 2023 Moto3 Valencia
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Valencia Sunday
4 999 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo


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