As the clock ticks down and the revs climb towards the launch of 2023 MotoGP, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 have whipped away the covers from the GASGAS RC16 race bikes to face this year’s landmark FIM World Championship.
- Unmistakeable red GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 livery unveiled for 2023 MotoGP frenzy
- Pol Espargaro, Augusto Fernandez & GASGAS management give their views on the season ahead.
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The GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team shredded slicks for the first time at the Valencia test in Spain last November and several weeks ago at Sepang in Malaysia. Ahead of the final two days of pre-season prep work at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal on March 11-12 (followed by the opening round of the 21-Grand Prix series at the same venue on the last weekend of the month), the team had the MotoGP paddock talking with their official presentation at the new Spanish GASGAS factory complex just outside of Barcelona.
The party saw Pol Espargaro (31 years old, Moto2™ World Champion in 2013, 52 GP podium finishes and 15 wins in two classes). Augusto Fernandez (25, reigning Moto2 World Champion, 20 rostrums and seven victories in Moto2) starred with the crimson GASGAS RC16 and a gathering of guests, media, and media and GASGAS fans as the crew popped the corks on their maiden MotoGP tilt.
10th year for Espargaro
Espargaro enters his tenth year of MotoGP, having sprayed premier-class podium Prosecco at least once in four of the last five seasons. He brings the experience of having raced for two other manufacturers. He made his MotoGP debut with the Tech3 squad from 2014-2016.
Fernandez is the sole rookie in the division but is floating on confidence after his ’22 Moto2 title success. He has shown excellent signs of adapting to the faster and more complicated MotoGP technology in the test outings.
GASGAS is the most exciting and dynamic new brand in the 74-year-old championship and promises to lay thick rubber on the 21 circuits that makes-up a ’23 campaign with the fresh Saturday ‘Sprints’ format to be introduced. GASGAS achieved international recognition and distinction as a manufacturer of title-winning Trial machinery.
The marque then quickly shook the establishment in AMA Supercross, MXGP, Enduro and the DAKAR rally in the last three seasons and blitzed the 2021 and 2022 Moto3™ series – thanks to the dominant Aspar Racing Team – with a total of 14 victories and the world title last autumn pocketed by rising star Izan Guevara.
Pol Espargaro, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3: “I feel like I am returning to my roots. With Tech3 and the new brand, we have a GASGAS’ mood’: friendly, close to people, and we’re hard workers, so if we fight and push together as a team, we will be there.
We will be right at the top. The potential is high on this bike. We have a lot of work to do because the level in MotoGP right now is super-high, but we can reach it. In Valencia, for the first test, I felt the DNA of the bike, and when it matches your DNA, it makes you feel so good! The bike is almost ready to fight for something great this year.”
Augusto Fernandez, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3: “Well, I’m jumping into MotoGP with this confidence of being world champion, and it’s good, but honestly, I don’t know what to expect in terms of positions. I’m looking forward to being competitive soon and trying to be in the battle with my teammate. I am facing the most important career year, but I know I must be patient.
I am discovering everything it means to be a MotoGP factory rider. But it’s good to see how many people are behind you, not just your team but the whole factory waiting for you and your results. Portugal is coming soon, and I’m looking forward to it, and it’s a dream come true: my debut in MotoGP. I honestly can’t wait.”
Pit Beirer, GASGAS Motorsports Director: “When we first put that Moto3 GASGAS bike on the grid – with our fantastic partner in the Aspar Racing Team – nobody was even dreaming of a MotoGP team two years later, but here we are with our new baby and our new brand. I feel we have a potent combination.
You have Augusto, the young one who is the world champion and is hungry, looking up to the big boys, but then you have a guy like Pol coming back to the family who is a fighter and who motivates the whole team and who, of course, brings some excellent MotoGP experience.
I feel it is a super-strong team. It is a new direction for our friends Tech3, and in terms of the structure, we combined the best of the best. We enjoy these kinds of partnerships because they make you very successful in the long term. I feel it is an exciting time, and with these two riders and this new brand, I feel we are ready to go.”
Hubert Trunkenpolz, Member of the Executive Board: “If you want to create awareness for a motorcycle brand, then MotoGP is the right platform. It’s where you reach the most people globally and where we can make GASGAS known and make the GASGAS brand more popular.
If we also look at the GASGAS brand values, then it’s young and vibrant, and it’s clear that MotoGP, with its demographics, is also the right platform for us. I think it is a perfect fit to have two Spanish riders with our old friend Pol and a rookie – Augusto. In the future, the GASGAS range will be enlarged and expanded with street motorcycles, and MotoGP is preparing the ground for these products that will come year-by-year.”
Hervé Poncharal, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, Team Principal: “I have been in MotoGP for quite a while, and I’ve experienced quite a few seasons, and every new season is always an inspiring moment. Doing it with GASGAS means a lot because I have followed this brand since it started in Trial – I love the name and am excited.
We always believe that experience and youth are a good mix. I am pretty sure Pol is happy to be back, and having Augusto with us is very exciting because it is always perfect for receiving the rookie rider as a Moto2 world champion. I am thrilled and very proud, and we look forward to creating positive vibes. Red vibes!”
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