Jack Miller: Augusto "shocked me", Aleix: "His race was crazy!"

Jack Miller and Aleix Espargaro were among those to praise the performance of MotoGP rookie Augusto Fernandez in Sunday’s French Grand Prix.

The reigning Moto2 world champion charged from twelfth to fourth for the home Tech3 GASGAS team, beating his previous best MotoGP finish by six places.

Along the way, Fernandez overtook early race leader and top KTM rider Miller, then spent the closing stages resisting an attack from another MotoGP winner in the form of Espargaro.

Fourth was also Tech3’s best result since Miguel Oliveira’s victory in the 2020 Portimao season finale, with Fernandez only 1.5s from Johann Zarco and the final podium place.

Remote video URL

“He's doing well. He's doing his work, he's not complaining, he's doing what a rookie should do,” Miller said of Fernandez.

“Results like today come when you keep your head down and keep working.

“It's a credit to him and the team around him. They're doing a fantastic job and I'm really happy for him.

“I was surprised when he came past me today, he kinda shocked me. But I was happy to see another KTM doing well.

"As I've said in the past, this bike is working well for all of us, and we all have quite different riding styles.”


Aleix Espargaro: "I didn't want to ruin his amazing race"

Espargaro, who spent the final ten laps trying to catch and then pass Fernandez, said:

“Augusto’s race was crazy! Congratulations to him because it's not just about to start on front, but he was able to overtake the [other] KTMs and to have a really solid pace.

"So I was very happy for Augusto."

Espargaro was also impressed that Fernandez has been able to put aside speculation over his future, a reference to the rumours that Moto2 star Pedro Acosta is in contention for a KTM seat next season:

“I know how difficult it is to stay and to maintain your position in this paddock, you have to fight like a lion and he's doing it in not the best situation,. In a team that we know in the past, what [KTM] did with the rookie riders…

“So his position right now is not easy. But he still works hard and he's the reigning Moto2 world champion."

With Fernandez holding firm despite a worn soft front tyre, Espargaro (on the hard front) revealed he had resisted the urge to try a risky last-gasp lunge.

“Actually, on the last lap, I had some opportunities to overtake him in the last split. But I decided to don't try because I think the risk was too high and I didn't want to ruin his race because what he did today was amazing.”

Fernandez is 14th in the world championship, with 30 points.

Aleix’s younger brother Pol is yet to race as a team-mate to Fernandez, having been injured in practice at the Portimao season-opener. Pol hopes to return at Mugello next month.

Read More