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Fernandez grateful for KTM MotoGP support despite “not showing anything”

Augusto Fernandez says he is grateful for the support of the KTM factory despite “not showing anything” so far in the 2024 MotoGP season.

Augusto Fernandez, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The 2022 Moto2 world champion scored a best result of fourth in an otherwise difficult rookie campaign last year, though earned a MotoGP stay with Tech3 over Pol Espargaro as KTM figured out how to solve its three-riders-for-two-bikes problem.

Though on a factory-supported KTM with the new carbon fibre chassis, Fernandez has struggled to get to grips with the 2024 RC16, which he feels is too soft compared to the frame he used in 2023.

Out of the points in 17th in the Qatar GP, Fernandez managed 11th in Portugal – but was 23 seconds adrift of rookie team-mate Pedro Acosta in third.

Despite the difficult season so far, Fernandez says he still has the support from KTM, while also noting that Acosta is “a very good reference” for him to be able to learn from.

“The truth is that the factory is pushing for the four of us; even for me, even though I'm not showing anything,” he said.

“Despite that I'm getting all the support from them.

“So, I have to thank them for the treatment in these moments when it is costing me. Let's see if I can pay them back with results soon.”

He added: “Pedro's podium is brutal. Everything he is doing, in general. On a new circuit, where he has never trained with MotoGP.

“We have a very good reference at KTM. We have him at home, so let's see if we can copy him and get close to him.”

Fernandez’s 11th in the Portuguese Grand Prix came as he made “a huge step forward” in finding a set-up that worked better for him and feels he won’t have to do anything radical to the RC16 again this weekend in Austin.

“We made a huge step forward,” he said. "In Portugal, I was able to handle the lack of grip conditions a bit better.

“We have to keep growing. The pace is not yet what we want, but we have to go little by little.

"We are changing the bike a lot during the weekends. But it's nothing I don't ask for. From now on, surely, I will ask to be more or less stable in that sense, to be able to firm up a base.

“Surely, we won't have to invent anything for Austin.”

If things don’t improve for Fernandez, however, he did not rule out the possibility of reverting to the 2023 chassis he raced last year after the Spanish Grand Prix at the end of the month.

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