Mixed day for Fernandez in scorching Sumbawa-Indonesia

2023-08-21 08:55
Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez had a strong opening couple of sessions at this weekend’s MXGP of Sumbawa-Indonesia, finishing second and third in the free and timed practice sessions, before putting in a great first few corners of the qualification race to round for the first lap in second place. Unfortunately, midway through the race, he lost his flow and a couple of riders passed him, so he ended up in fifth place.

After a long trip to Sumbawa for the first of this Indonesian double-header, the riders had to adapt quickly to the hot temperatures that greeted them on arrival at this picturesque island circuit. First up in the morning was the free practice where it didn’t take Fernandez long to get back in the rhythm of things and lay down a lap that was second fastest. The #70 followed that up with another impressive display in timed practice, placing in third, at a track where he also finished third overall last year.

This set up the Honda CRF450R rider nicely with an early gate-pick in the qualification race and he used that to good effect by sweeping around the first couple of corners and into second place. In the first half of the race, he settled into a fast pace, trying to match the leaders’ speed and also keep those behind him at bay, however midway through the race a couple of mistakes crept in and he dropped some spots. It was a disappointing end to a promising day, but with fifty points on offer tomorrow, there is still a strong chance for him to continue his excellent 2023 MXGP World Championship campaign.

Ruben Fernandez 70

It was a bit annoying to drop back to fifth after getting myself into second position early-on. I made a couple of mistakes, and with the guys being so close behind me, that meant they got around me and unfortunately in these short qualification races it is difficult to recover and get those positions back. Still, my speed at the beginning was good, and I enjoy riding here, I just need to find better flow for the whole races. However, I’m feeling confident that I can do that and I expect my results to be much better tomorrow.

Ruben Fernandez

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager - MXGP

We knew coming into the weekend that Ruben likes this track and enjoys riding here and that proved to be the case for the majority of the day. He was second in free practice and then third in timed practice and that gave him a good gate-pick for the qualification race. Despite not getting the best jump, he quickly moved himself into second within a couple of corners and looked like he might challenge the leader. Unfortunately, he made a couple of small errors which cost him positions and ended up fifth, so that is a shame, but it gives him motivation for tomorrow’s GP-scoring races where he’ll be looking to rebound and get on the podium.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

Qualification Race
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
1 Febvre Romain 3 FRA 25 Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP 24:59.527
2 Seewer Jeremy 91 SWI 22 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team 0:04.138
3 Coldenhoff Glenn 959 NDL 20 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team 0:04.790
4 Prado Garcia Jorge 61 SPA 18 Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing 0:09.483
5 Fernandez Ruben 70 SPA 16 Team HRC - MXGP 0:11.724
6 Vlaanderen Calvin 10

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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