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02/10/2023 News

A deluge and a seventh place for Fernandez

Motegi, Japan, October 2nd 2023 -The Japanese Grand Prix, which was run in apocalyptic conditions and halved in duration, saw Augusto Fernandez take a fine seventh place. In Moto3, Dani Holgado was back on the podium.


After enjoying excellent conditions for practice and the Sprint race, the MotoGP riders were treated to rain for the Grand Prix. The rain began to fall slowly as the riders prepared to take the start, on slick tyres… Then most of them rushed to the pit lane at the end of the first lap to change bikes and tyres as the rain started to fall harder. Twelve laps later, due to the increasingly heavy downpour, the race was red flagged for safety reasons. Augusto Fernandez ended the twelve-lap Grand Prix in seventh place.

“It was completely crazy," commented the GASGAS Tech3 rider, who had finished twelfth in the Sprint the day before. “The conditions were terrible before the race was stopped. Nevertheless, I got off to a good start and managed to overtake several riders. My lap times were OK, so it was a positive weekend.” It was a little less positive for his team-mate. Eleventh in the Sprint and fifteenth in the Grand Prix, Pol Espargaro was not at his best in Japan. “I don't really know what to make of this Grand Prix," confided the Catalan. “I lost rear grip quickly and the bike was very difficult to ride. I finished the race exhausted... We need to understand what happened because it's very likely that we'll have more rain for the next Grand Prix in Indonesia."


Tony Arbolino concluded his weekend at the Motegi circuit by salvaging points from his eleventh place, after difficult qualifying. Only thirteenth on the grid, the Elf Marc VDS Racing rider suffered throughout the Japanese Grand Prix. “I couldn't have done better today," he admitted. “I suffered with the bike from the first to the last lap, I never felt comfortable. It can happen, we just have to understand why. There are still a lot of races to go this year, and we're going to work to do better. I remain positive and motivated.” Qualifying on the third row of the grid, Sam Lowes crashed out on the seventh lap while in fifth place. “I'm disappointed because I made a tiny mistake," he said. “I felt good on the bike and I was fighting for some good places. It's a real shame.”


Even though Jaume Masia and Ayumu Sasaki overtook him in the overall standings, Dani Holgado was nevertheless happy to have refound a good feeling with his bike at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix. Now third in the overall standings, nine points behind the leader, the KTM Tech 3 rider had not been on the podium since August in Austria. At Motegi, sixth on the grid, Holgado remained in the leading group throughout the race. Unfortunately, he was unable to prevent Sasaki from overtaking him just before the finish. “I'm happy because this weekend I rode well in all the sessions," he explained. “I felt good on the bike and that's the most important thing. We have to stay calm, the championship still has a long way to go and anything is can happen." Filippo Farioli, who suffered a serious crash in practice, finished sixteenth, just outside the points.

For the CFMoto Racing team, Xavier Artigas crashed out eight laps from the finish while in 21st position. Sixteenth on the grid, Joël Kelso scored a point by taking the chequered flag in 15th position.


Pol Espargaro

11th and 15th

23rd (21 points)

Augusto Fernandez

12th and 7th

14th (67 points)


Sam Lowes


13th (74 points)

Tony Arbolino


2nd (202 points)


Dani Holgado


3rd (190 points)

Filippo Farioli


24th (7 points)

Xavier Artigas


12th (65 points)

Joel Kelso


21st (20 points)