Pit Beirer, GASGAS Motorsports Director:
Pit, GASGAS, for the future, will GASGAS still be a pathway for KTM Group talent to come into the series, or do you see it as a separate entity?
PB: No, in the meantime, It’s our new baby! A new brand. And we have this cooperation with Aspar. We have our junior program with upcoming riders for our GASGAS MotoGP project in the future. So, of course, we are still ‘within the family’, and we need to see where it makes sense to exchange talent or information.
Ultimately, it is also our job to build up the GASGAS line with its talent scouting, Moto3 project, and Moto2 project and bring these young riders into our GASGAS MotoGP team. It’s more than just a big mix of everything. Building up the GASGAS brand in the MotoGP paddock is a straightforward project.
Pol and Augusto
The team itself for 2023 is Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez, you know, two riders with distinct character, talent and experience. Pol is at one end, and Augusto is at the other. How do you feel about these two guys representing the brand this year?
PB: I think we couldn’t find any better! Talking about the family, having Pol in our group is super friendly. Somehow we owed him something because we were building up a crazy project.
When he was on a certain level and already winning a GP, he left us, so he’s coming back to GASGAS, but he’s a fighter and his positive spirit and how he motivates the whole team and everybody around him will be excellent for the GASGAS project and of course the Spanish identity for the brand, it helps with this boy onboard.
Together with Augusto, who is a lovely boy and a Moto2 World Champion, we have a super strong combination. You have the young one, a hungry world champion, glancing up to the big boys, but then you have a guy with excellent MotoGP experience. I feel it is a super-strong team.
Something everybody wants to know is, will you think, eventually, one day, GASGAS will take its direction with development, or will it be a uniform thing for MotoGP?
PB: Well, at the moment, in the concise future, we have to say the costs are high in MotoGP and to split these costs to two brands makes a lot of sense from the economic point of view
and, of course, it is not so easy there on that level where we are to try to make the last little steps to be closer to the competition to the win and to split then and make another line. It’s not foreseen; I don’t want to say ‘no’ for the future because having two complete parallel projects might be attractive one day. Using one technology base and having two different brands in MotoGP makes sense.
It says something about the seriousness of the project with GASGAS that you want to use a team with the experience of Tech3, and that combination again we seen in orange, now it will be red. It’s important. Isn’t it?
PB: That’s very important. Look at how long our riders are with our teams and us. Look at the offroad side; Jeffrey Herlings has more than fifteen years with us, and Claudio de Carli or Roger de Coster in the U.S. Our substantial projects have people with us for the long term and our commitment and friendship: make the team strong. It is the same with Hervé and the Tech3 team: he and they make us more robust, and when we are on the race track, we don’t feel that it is an external team. It is us; it’s us together.
Now we have gone GASGAS, we have made another step because it is not a satellite team, but it’s a factory team, and it is a mix of people we have chosen together but also great people
anyway from Hervé’s side. We just combined the best of the best. We enjoy these kinds of partnerships because they make you very successful in the long term. It is also an exciting time for Hervé and the Tech3 team; we are ready to go with these two riders and this new brand.
The slogan for the brand is ‘Get on the Gas!’ and there have been some fantastic success already with the Aspar Racing Team. Was MotoGP the next logical step, or was it a huge decision for you guys to move in that direction?
PB: Big decisions in our group and with our board of directors come quickly! They are not scared to take decisions. So, when we first put that Moto3 GASGAS bike on the grid, nobody was even dreaming of putting a MotoGP team two years later, but in the end, it went like bam-bam-bam!
I think Aspar was a key for having a MotoGP team because we enjoyed so much what he did with the brand and what great riders came out of the project that it motivated us to say, ‘let’s make the last step and go to the top level’ so GASGAS is there in MotoGP.
Read More: Pol Esparagaro talks about his ambition
Lastly, Pit, what are the goals for GASGAS in this first season? Will it be about the development on the technical side, or will it be on results with riders like Augusto and Pol?
PB: Let’s call Pol right now because he needs to have it in mind to participate and build up a brand slowly! No, we are going there for results, and we are ready. Pol is prepared, and Augusto, we need to give time, for sure, and he will have it to grow into the class step-by-step. By having Pol there with all his experience, the team can start the season strongly.