The Pierer Mobility Group tried right up until the end to find a solution to sort out the problem that has been tormenting it for months, namely how to manage to line up Brad Binder, Jack Miller, Augusto Fernandez, Pol Espargaró and Pedro Acosta in MotoGP in 2024, with only four bikes available.
Having received a firm "no" from Dorna to the request to take over the two slots left free by Suzuki, and having not found any agreement with one of the satellite teams present on the premier class grid, the Austrian company thus had to opt for the more drastic decision: relegating one of the five riders under contract for next season to the role of tester and reserve rider.
After months of negotiations and meetings, the music has stopped at KTM and Augusto Fernandez was left out of the game of musical chairs. According to a report in Speedweek, in fact, the 26-year-old from Madrid will have to take a step back after just one year in MotoGP, leaving Acosta to take his place in the GasGas Factory Racing Tech team.
The 67 points scored in the first fourteen rounds of the season, with 4th place in France as best result, were not enough for Fernandez to convince the Mattighofen leaders, who preferred to place their trust in Pol Espargaró, still recovering after the violent injury suffered in Portimao which kept him away from racing for eight events.
Left without a bike for next season, the Spanish rookie will have to continue the development of the RC16 in 2024, having the guarantee of returning to the race for 6 wild cards (there has been talk in recent months of doubling the 3 allowed up to this season) and to replace any injured KTM riders, as well as the promise of a place on the grid in 2025. Despite not having increased its slots for the coming year, the Pierer Mobility Group appears to be counting on the possibility of fielding another satellite team in two seasons, when one of the currently occupied seats could also be freed up thanks to the expiry of its riders' contracts.