FIRST LOOK: 'Red vibes!' - Tech3 unveils GASGAS livery for Espargaro, Fernandez

Ducati won't be the only brand with red bikes in MotoGP this season: Here is the new GASGAS livery for Tech3 riders Pol Espargaro and rookie Augusto Fernandez.
2023 GASGAS MotoGP livery for Tech3 riders Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez
2023 GASGAS MotoGP livery for Tech3 riders Pol Espargaro and Augusto…

GASGAS, a Spanish manufacturer famous for its off-road bikes, was purchased by KTM in 2019, the same year that Tech3 split from Yamaha and joined forces with the Austrian manufacturer in MotoGP.

As in the Moto2 ((Kalex) and Moto3 (KTM) classes - where KTM rebrands bikes as GASGAS, Husqvarna and CFMOTO - the GASGAS MotoGP branding is only cosmetic and Tech3 riders Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez will be racing factory-spec KTM RC16s.

The official presentation was held at the new GASGAS factory just outside of Barcelona.

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 “When we first put that Moto3 GASGAS bike on the grid - with our fantastic partner in the Aspar Racing Team - nobody was even dreaming of a MotoGP team two years later but here we are with our new baby and our new brand," said KTM/GASGAS Motorsports Director Pit Beirer.

"I feel we have a strong combination. You have Augusto, the young one who is world champion and is hungry, looking up to the big boys but then you have a guy like Pol coming back to the family who is a fighter and who motivates the whole team and who, of course, brings some really good MotoGP experience.

"I feel it is a super-strong team. It is a new direction for our friends Tech3, and in terms of the structure we combined the best of the best. We enjoy these kinds of partnerships because in the long-term they make you very successful. I feel it is an exciting time, and with these two riders and this new brand; I feel we are ready to go.”

2023 GASGAS branded Tech3 KTM
2023 GASGAS branded Tech3 KTM

'Red vibes!'

After winning the 2000 250cc world championship, Tech3 joined the then 500cc class with Yamaha the following season.

Herve Poncharal’s squad remained with the Japanese factory for the next 19 years, as 500cc became MotoGP, celebrating podiums with Shinya Nakano, Alex Barros, Marco Melandri, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and Johann Zarco.

While Dovizioso had also finished 4th in the 2012 world championship, a race win continued to elude Tech3 until the second season of its KTM era, when Miguel Oliveira snatched victory at the final corner of the restarted 2020 Styrian round.

Oliveira then signed off his Tech3 career by dominating his inaugural home event in Portimao, but the team’s best result since is a fifth place by Danilo Petrucci in the wet 2021 Le Mans race.

Rookies Raul Fernandez (no relation) and Remy Gardner limped home 22nd and 23rd in last year’s world championship, both leaving the team without ever cracking the top ten. Fernandez has switched to RNF Aprilia, while Gardner was unable to find an alternative MotoGP seat and has joined the World Superbike championship.

Poncharal is handing the day-to-day role of team manager to long-serving Tech3 crew chief Nicolas Goyon for 2023 but will remain involved as team principal, alongside being president of teams' association IRTA.

"I have been in MotoGP for quite a while and I’ve experienced quite a few seasons and every new season is always a very exciting moment," Poncharal said.

"To do it with GASGAS means a lot for me because I have been following this brand since it started in Trial – I love the name – and I’m excited

"We always believe that experience and youth is a good mix. I am pretty sure that Pol is happy to be back and having Augusto with us is something very exciting because it is always perfect to receive the rookie rider as a Moto2 world champion.

"I am very happy, very proud and we are looking forward to creating positive vibes. Red vibes!”

Pol Espargaro, 2023 GASGAS colours (Sebas Romero)
Pol Espargaro, 2023 GASGAS colours (Sebas Romero)

'GASGAS street bikes in future'

Executive Board Member Hubert Trunkenpolz confirmed that the GASGAS brand will follow the path of KTM and Husqvarna by releasing a range of road bikes in future.

“If you want to create awareness for a motorcycle brand then MotoGP is the right platform," he said. "It’s where you reach the most people globally and where we can make GASGAS known and make the GASGAS brand more popular.

"If we also look to the GASGAS brand values then its young and vibrant and it’s clear that MotoGP with its demographics is also the right platform or us. Having two Spanish riders with our old friend Pol and with a rookie – Augusto – I think it is a perfect fit.

"In the future the GASGAS range will be enlarged and expanded with street motorcycles and MotoGP is preparing the ground for these products that will come year-by-year.”

The current GASGAS motocross and enduro range, like Husqvarna, is based on KTM models, a pattern thought likely to continue for the road machines.

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