Fernandez sets his sights on the Moto2 title| MotoGP Staff | MotoGP
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez headed into the summer break equal on points at the top of the Moto2 Championship after back to back victories.
His first year with the orange machine after moving across from Elf Marc VDS, Fernandez started slowly but has come alive in recent races. Securing his first win at the French Grand Prix, the Spaniard went on holiday on a high after taking the top step at both Sachsenring and Assen.
“These last few races have been the best, and the end of the first half of the season was very good,” he reflected after some well needed rest. “The entire weekend in Germany was amazing, because we led the way and we did a great job. The Dutch GP was also very good, as all the victories have been. We have done a great job in all of them, but if I had to choose one it would be Sachsenring.”
His Assen victory also secured Fernandez’ name in the history books as the 50th Spanish winner at the venue.
“It is a circuit that I like very much, and where I have always obtained good results, even in smaller classes,” he said of the Dutch track. “I also won my first big race there. I’ve always gone well there and coming into the weekend off the back of the victory in Germany was an incredible way to end the first half of the year. You couldn’t ask for more.”
While Celestino Vietti was the clear favourite for the title at the start of the season, the Mooney VR46 rider has had a tricky time of late. Something that Fernandez has suitably capitalised on, but did he expect to be this strong?
“At the beginning of the year I had the same expectations, which was to fight for the Moto2 World Championship,” he confirmed. “However, with the beginning of the season that we had, everything became a bit difficult. We dropped a lot of points compared to the leaders, but we never lost hope. We always say that the season is very long, but the results weren’t coming. However, practically since the moment that we arrived in Europe, everything has gone well on track - especially from Jerez onwards, with that fourth place and the victory at Le Mans.
“We have exceeded the expectations that we had at the beginning of the year, but not those that we had before starting the season. We are where we need to be.”
“Joining the team has meant taking the step forward that I was lacking in Moto2,” he said of his arrival at KTM Ajo. “After a good end to last year, in which I regained my form, this is the step that allows me to fight for the title. In the end, that’s been my goal for years, and being part of a team with the experience of fighting for the World Championship every year was what I wanted for this season.”
With nine races left to play out for the 2022 season, what is the main focus of improvement for the 24-year-old?
“Qualifying,” he admitted simply. “It’s something we have to focus on and work on, because it’s important to be quick on Saturday as well. We always have the pace to be at the front, but there are circuits where it can be more difficult to fight for the podium or the win if you start from far back. It wasn’t like that at Assen or Montmelo, but it did happen in Italy. The risk involved when starting further back is greater.”
“We want to continue in the same way,” he continued on his potential after the summer break. “The aim is to win the Moto2 World Championship, but we will take things race-by-race and do our best every weekend. Obviously, if I see the possibility of winning more races I will go for it, but without going crazy. It’s important to know how to score a lot of points on bad days and not go looking to win everything. In the end, that is the mentality that we have followed until now.
“I used the first week of the summer break to rest and recharge. Now it’s time to train again and prepare to come back in August at the same level - or even better.”