Tough Sunday at COTA for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto210/04/2022
Fernandez finishes 9th at the Americas Grand Prix, overcoming an incident at the start of the race, as teammate Acosta crashes out.
COTA was the scene of the fourth race of the 2022 Moto2 World Championship, the Americas Grand Prix, on Sunday. Red Bull KTM Ajo had to face the strong winds in Austin, for what was a crash-heavy event. Augusto Fernandez finished in ninth position, despite an initial incident that relegated him to the back of the group. Pedro Acosta was riding in fifth place, but, at the start of Lap 3, saw his contest come to an early end due to a crash.
Fernandez, who began from the sixth row of the grid, had a tough start to the race, needing to take evasive action to stop one of his rivals from colliding with him. This caused him to lose many positions, dropping down to 28th place. However, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 talent did not throw in the towel and kept his focus, trying not to make any mistakes in a very complicated contest. For the remainder of the round, overtaking moves made by Fernandez and the multiple crashes among the riders at the front took him up to ninth at the chequered flag.
The Moto2 Americas Grand Prix started well for Acosta, who moved up from tenth on the grid to fifth on the first corner. Thanks to this initial effort, he joined a second group that tried to stop the leader from escaping. The reigning Moto3 World Champion was putting in a good performance but, on the third lap, he was unable to avoid a crash at Turn 3. Unhurt in the incident, he was nevertheless unable to re-join the contest.
Fernandez occupies 8th place in the Moto2 World Championship, with 31 points. Acosta is 13th with 20. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo will now enjoy a week off before heading to the next round, the Portuguese GP, from April 22nd-24th.
Results (Moto2 Race)
1. Tony Arbolino (Kalex) 39:06.552
2. Ai Ogura (Kalex) +3.439
3. Jake Dixon (Kalex) +4.787
4. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) +14.529
5. Jorge Navarro (Kalex) +16.347
9. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +24.595
DNF. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2022
1. Celestino Vietti (Kalex) 70 points
2. Ai Ogura (Kalex) 56 points
3. Tony Arbolino (Kalex) 54 points
4. Aron Canet (Kalex) 49 points
5. Somkiat Chantra (Kalex) 45 points
8. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 31 points
13. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 20 points
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“It was not an easy weekend for us in Moto2. Generally, we are still at a good level, but we’re just building the pace for the season with our riders. Our feeling is when we come back to Europe, we’ll have a chance to be really there, fighting for the top positions.”
#37 AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ
“I suffered a lot in this race. I expected to feel better, like we had throughout the whole weekend in practice, but that wasn’t the case. Despite the fact that we made a good start, on the first corner another rider knocked into me and I almost went down. After the incident, we stayed at the tail end of the group. I tried to finish the round in the best possible position and get the maximum amount of points, knowing that the main favourites for the title were out of the race. I’m looking forward to going back to Europe, after some tough rounds in which we couldn’t finish the job in the contest. I want to thank the team for their effort and apologise for not achieving the expected result, but we did get some important points today.”
#51 PEDRO ACOSTA
“It was a short race, due to the crash, but really productive. We were at the front again and, most importantly, we understood what we need to do in order to be fighting for the top positions. Overall, it has been a very fruitful weekend for us, in which we did a good job together with the team and we were able to remain calm. Now, it’s time to think about the next round, in Portugal, where we’ll try again.”