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MotoGP, Augusto Fernandez: "The carbon frame is giving me a hard time."

"I'm struggling to adapt to the new bike, because I was used to the stiffness of the old frame, but in the GP it was better: I had never felt similar sensations in the whole pre-season."

MotoGP: Augusto Fernandez:

Somewhat as it had already happened in the winter tests, the one in Qatar turned out to be a two-sided weekend for the Red Bull GasGas Tech3 team. While Pedro Acosta was making his way among the big names in MotoGP , putting on ashow and overtaking as if he were a veteran of the category, his teammate Augusto Fernandez opened the season foundering in a sea of difficulties that kept him out of the points zone.Struggling to find a good understanding with the RC16's new carbon chassis from his first outings with the new bike, the 2022 Moto2 World Champion was never able to replicate the encouraging performance of his debut year in the premier class, ending the weekend in Lusail with 18th place in the Sprint and a 17th in the Grand Prix.

"I'm down in the dumps because, honestly, I can't explain it myself. I don't know why I'm not going fast. I don' t feel like myself. I feel slow with the bike. I don't have confidence and I'm not riding well. It's important to have races so I can tell the team what I need, what we can find to get confident with this new bike. I want to get back to the speed of last year, when we were more competitive. We have a better bike this year, but I'm not adapting and I'm not riding it the way it wants. I have to understand what it needs," the 26-year-old had said dejectedly on Saturday, as reported by the Spanish news outlet AS.

It was a less-than-ideal start for Fernandez, who was gripped bythe same difficulties he encountered during practice, which prevented him from keeping up with his brandmates.

"I lose a lot in corner entry. I'm slow and I don't find myself there. It's a point in which last year I was very comfortable and rode very smoothly, letting the bike slide a lot and turning very well, while this year I'm struggling," Augusto explained, admitting that he considered taking a step back: "I thought about the possibility of using the old chassis, to make a comparison. You have to take into account that this year the lap times are much faster than last season, but I could also do a mix between last year's bike and the new one. This one has more grip coming out, but the carbon frame flexes so much, and that's what I'm struggling with. I got used to the stiffness of last year's and that limits me when it comes to going fast."

A tunnel in which the Iberian rider saw tentative glimmers of light and hope filter through during Sunday's GP. Despite finishing at the foot of the points zone, Augusto was in fact able to feel some small progress, which he hopes will help him climb back up the slope as early as the next Round in Portugal, scheduled for two weeks from now.

"We make radical changes to the set-up at every start, and in the four laps we did in Warm-Up I noticed fewer problems in corner entry. It was the first time I was able to get behind Brad and follow him ," he recounted with a veil of optimism. " The race went better and I was in the group close to the points. I had never felt like that in the whole pre-season. It was the best feeling I've had in all this time, the best day with this bike. We will leave like this in Portimao, to try to build from here and see if we can go back up."

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