Fernandez: ‘Pressure was really there, I was afraid of everything’

New MotoGP rider Augusto Fernandez claims he was ‘afraid of everything’ heading into the final Moto2 race of the season, before eventually winning the title as Ai Ogura crashed out whilst battling for the win.
Augusto Fernandez, KTM MotoGP Valencia
Augusto Fernandez, KTM MotoGP Valencia

In what turned out to be a titanic battle between the two riders throughout the season, Fernandez, who has since moved up to MotoGP for 2023 with the rebranded Factory GASGAS Tech 3 team, took the title through making fewer mistakes than his rival.

Both riders showed incredible consistency, however, the final three races saw Fernandez make one mistake (Phillip Island), while Ogura crashed out at both Sepang and Valencia.

Revealing just how intense the pressure was heading into his home round, Fernandez told MotoGP.com: "The pressure was really there! I was afraid of everything. I tried to do everything like normal but it was not easy. 

"I said ‘that’s it [when Ogura fell], I’m world champion’. I wasn’t really conscious of what we did but it was a dream come true."

Unlike 2022 when MotoGP had five rookies join the grid, only Fernandez will be making his premier class debut in 2023 after Ogura and Pedro Acosta rejected offers to move up from Moto2.

Part of a very strong KTM line-up that includes Brad Binder, former Ducati rider Jack Miller and Pol Espargaro, Fernandez is keen to learn as much as possible.

"To be a MotoGP rider is what everybody wants and I think I have a very good team,” added the Spaniard. 

"Pol [Espargaro] as a team-mate has a lot of experience and with the KTM team we have Brad [Binder] and Jack [Miller] who also have a lot of experience. 

"I’m looking forward to learning a lot from these guys."

‘Normal’ progression to MotoGP was ‘too expensive’ - Fernandez

Although his dream of becoming a MotoGP rider has been realised, it was far from a certainty that Fernandez would make his way to the top level of racing growing up.


The Madrid-born rider was unable to take the traditional path into racing due to financial constraints, which led him to competing in ‘cheaper’ categories.

And despite finding his way into the Grand Prix paddock in 2017, Fernandez still faced his fair share of challenges after describing some moments of his professional racing career as ‘the toughest period’ of his career. 

Fernandez stated: "It’s been a long way and a different way. The moto speedway and all the normal way was too expensive for our family. 

"We couldn’t afford that and we tried to go to different classes that were a little bit cheaper and try to win those classes to have the opportunity to move up to the next one. 

"Then, even my years in the world championship were difficult and at some point I didn’t enjoy riding because I was not feeling good. This was the toughest period of my career until now. 

"In 2021 I was back at the good level and I enjoyed riding again. I am the rider that I am today because of those bad years."

Read More