Sixth in the Moto2 world championship last year, thirteenth in 2020. Augusto Fernandez’s first season with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS has been tough, further complicated by the compartmental syndrome issue affecting his right arm and a left foot fracture, which called for significant mental strength and grit.

“It was a hard season in which I didn’t expect to suffer so much. Considering how 2019 went, I had very high expectations. We worked hard but something was always missing. Often this was very little, but it made a difference to the final result”, comments the 23-year old Spaniard.

"Right from the first pre-season test, we were looking for that something that would allow me to feel comfortable, as I did the previous year. I carried that lack of confidence in the bike with me all year long, and this causes you to lose those two tenths per laps that prevent you fighting for the top five and the win.

Moto2, Lowes: “I'll fight to become world champion in 2021”

"It’s not the tyres fault”

In trying to analyse the reasons behind this complicated season, Fernandez does not want to place the blame entirely on the new front tyre.

"It affected my performance, but it wasn’t the only thing. I was surprised because when they changed the rear tyre last year, I adapted very quickly, but I suffered right from the start with this year’s front tyre. But it was the same for everyone and I was never able to win this year. It wasn’t just the tyres, there were other things”.

When asked what he takes away from 2020, Fernandez has no doubts.

“Mentally I’m stronger. There were some very tough times that I faced with the support of my team. It was a good test because even when we thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. Not giving up and coming to Portimao fighting for the top positions made us stronger. I’m sure that if things go well for us in the future, it will be down, at least in part, to what we’ve learned this season”.

Augusto Fernandez has a tattoo that reads: "We are not shaped by easy victories but by great defeats”.

“I’ve often repeated this phrase throughout the season because it also reminds me of my first defeat, when I had to return to the CEV after completing half a season in the world championship, in 2017. I was on the point of walking away from motorcycling. But I had faith in myself and carried on. And in the end I was able to return to the world championship. You can’t give up, you have to continue to fight to be ready to exploit opportunities when they arise".

"I had a terrible time"

What was the hardest aspect of the season and what did you like best?

“I had a terrible time, scoring no wins. Not winning for a full year is difficult. I think it had only happened to me in 2017. Us riders like to win. Every hour we spend training is done with the goal of winning and so not doing so weighs heavily on me. But I enjoyed some good times when I made strong laps or completed a solid training session and this pushed me to continue to work and fight”.

Augusto is already focused on the new season.

“I really want to reset, and don’t want to repeat last year’s mistakes, instead applying what I’ve learned and giving it my all on track.

“The first goal is to find good sensations again. That means working hard during the pre-season so that I get to Qatar with a solid base and no doubts. I really want to be competitive again, winning races and fighting for the world championship. This is my plan for 2021. The goal to achieve is to win the championship”, concludes Augusto Fernandez.

Translated by Heather Watson

Moto2, Sandi: “Bastianini has become a champion and a man”