The session was notable for the consistent pace of Augusto Fernandez with the GASGAS RC16 and the debut of Moto2 World Champion Pedro Acosta (pictured here).
The team welcomed the 2023 Moto2 World Champion into the pit box alongside the 2022 Moto2 World Champion as the new-look rider roster began work towards the 2024 season at a breezy Valencia.
While Fernandez tested small modifications on his #37 GASGAS RC16 and was repeatedly in and around the top five of the timesheets during the tests, rookie Acosta began his apprenticeship with the extra demands and technical requirements of pushing a MotoGP machine to the edge.
Acosta was keen and lapped the Ricardo Tormo layout 70 times to get used to the power, ergonomics and character of his new motorcycle. Fernandez, now content to lose the ‘rookie’ tag, was given more technical options to work on and slice away more tenths from his ‘race pace’ through the seven-hour chrono.
The GASGAS team’s second all-Spanish line-up will gather again at the start of February in Asia in preparation for their second crack at the ultra-fast and gripping MotoGP contest.
Augusto Fernandez, 14th position: “We worked on small details today and completed more laps here; the ones I didn’t get to do in the race. Good laps and good pace and a good way to finish the year. I’m looking ahead to Sepang now because that’s when we’ll have the new bike and I’m keen to see how it is. I’m happy but waiting now for Malaysia.”
Pedro Acosta, 18th position: “Super-happy. It was a really good experience and nice to have that step of feeling improvement during the day. In the first run we didn’t touch any button or device. I just tried to understand what a MotoGP bike is, and how are the carbon discs. Everything. Then focusing on the devices, the electronics and other areas to have a clear idea for the winter and also for Malaysia.”
Nicolas Goyon, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager: “The last day on track for us but the first day with a view towards 2024. It was an important day and nice to see Pedro on the bike for the first time. After his Moto2 title his next target was to test this bike and it went really well.
“This machine is always impressive for a rookie because of the power, brakes and devices. There was a lot to discover, and this was just the beginning. I think he enjoyed his day. Augusto had a few different items, especially aero that we didn’t have much time for during the season.
“This helped him to ride at a fast pace. He also tried some electronics. Overall, positive! Now it is time for everybody to take a break and then prepare as best as we can for next season. A big thanks to all the fans who have supported us in 2023. See you next year.”
Photo courtesy GASGAS, Rob Gray, Polarity Photo
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