Augusto Fernandez: 'In theory, I have a 2024 contract' but...
The dust has settled at the Indian Grand Prix, but the MotoGP silly season continues to brew with rider swaps, musical chairs, and lingering contract uncertainties.
One of the latest developments during the past weeks of MotoGP is the confirmation of Franco Morbidelli’s move to the Pramac Ducati team.
With this piece of the puzzle in place, only Fabio di Giannantonio’s future at Gresini Ducati remains officially undecided for the 2024 season.
Beyond the Italian contingent, KTM finds itself grappling with its own conundrum. The arrival of Moto2 title leader Pedro Acosta is set to shake up the Austrian manufacturer’s lineup for the next season. However, there’s a hitch: KTM currently boasts five MotoGP riders but only four available race seats.
The most plausible resolution appears to involve a tough decision for KTM’s satellite team, GASGAS Tech3. The likeliest scenario revolves around either Pol Espargaro or Augusto Fernandez transitioning to testing and wild-card duties to make room for Acosta.
Both riders have vehemently asserted the validity of their contracts for the upcoming season, a sentiment echoed by Fernandez at the Indian Grand Prix.
Fernandez acknowledged the distraction posed by the ongoing uncertainty, saying, “Well, for sure it doesn’t help!”
Nevertheless, he remains optimistic about his future, stating, “But I have my contract signed, so I have the same news as everybody [else]. In theory, I have the ride for next year. So I want to believe that and I’m focused on my job in 2023.”
Starting from Zero on Every Weekend
The fact that he usually only really makes an appearance on race weekends on Sunday, he blames on his limited experience with the MotoGP bike.
As a rookie, Fernandez starts every race weekend in 2023 with uncertainty, which makes it all the more amazing how continuously he improves his performance the longer the race weekends go on.
“I feel like every track I’m reaching the level late, on Sunday,” he said. “I’m always not bad by Sundays, especially in the pace. But I feel like I need to recover a lot during the weekends starting from zero.”