Red Bull KTM Ajo are fighting for the Moto2 world championship with their sixth different rider from the last six years and Augusto Fernandez has already won promotion to MotoGP for 2023 regardless of how the season plays out. We asked how he got into the groove…

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez pushing for his third victory in a row at the Silverstone circuit (GB)
PC @PolarityPhoto

Augusto Fernandez landed on the grand prix radar with a big splash. The Majorcan – who speaks impeccable English – wrestled his way into the Moto2 class with a lot of hard-won and often desperate performances in regional and national series and in his second world championship term in 2019 he started to claim races.

Fernandez is no teenage exploding star like current Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Pedro Acosta; he had to graft and tear his way to recognition and knew that losing or middling through the various series like the European Junior Cup, Stock600 and CEV was not a reality if he wanted to make it to Moto2. The intermediate category in MotoGP is infamously tough, with near-identical machinery and tires and where a riders’ instincts, rubber-preservation, determination, and ability ultimately standout.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team celebrating a 1-2 at the German Grand Prix
PC @PolarityPhoto

2019 was the breakthrough and his future seemed set but then Fernandez toiled in his quest to win more Grands Prix and fight for a championship in 2020. Towards the end of 2021 – in the wake of his 24th birthday – he signed with Aki Ajo’s dominant squad. After a slightly slow start to 2022 he hurried to the top of the Moto2 standings with eight podiums and 4 triumphs (at the time of writing). The title pursuit will be fought out in the coming weeks as MotoGP rushes to a conclusion at Valencia on November 6th.

Fernandez could be the sixth Spaniard to claim the Moto2 crown… before he departs to be a MotoGP rider and teammate of Pol Espargaro (the 2013 Moto2 champ) in 2023. For Ajo, it will be another success story after his superlative work with Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder, Jorge Martin, Remy Gardner, Raul Fernandez and Pedro Acosta waiting in the wings…

“The moment when the confidence came flowing…” – Augusto Fernandez with his first victory of the season in Le Mans (FR)
PC @PolarityPhoto

Here Augusto tells us in his own words how 2022 came to mark the pinnacle of his career to-date…

I wanted the last piece of the puzzle to fight for the championship and I saw that could happen with Aki’s team after their dominance in 2021…

at the first test with the team – and going on my first impressions of my new Crew Chief and mechanics and with Aki – I remember jumping off the bike and telling my Dad “we can do it this year”. [But] It’s true that until Le Mans [round seven of twenty] we didn’t get the first win or confirm the right approach to fight for the championship. I felt great from the beginning though and even in the bad moments at the start of the season Aki and Massimo, my Crew Chief, knew how to keep me with the mentality of winning the title even if I was not winning races or was quite far away in the points. Step-by-step I was coming into the right mindset until we won in Le Mans and that was the moment when the confidence came flowing back to be doing what we are doing right now.

Augusto Fernandez elbow down pushing hard for a podium at a tough Catalan Grand Prix
PC @PolarityPhoto

I had to get used to the pressure of going for the championship…

but then it was also something I was looking for. Ever since I arrived in Moto2 I wanted to get into a position where I would be fighting for the title. I had two hard years in 2020 and 2021 but it was that same conviction that led me to Aki and to KTM. So, when I had that feeling of ‘this is what I have been missing’ then at first it was relief and then it was ‘OK, let’s do the job’.

Working with Aki?…

he is very direct when he talks to you. He’s straight! There is no confusion. He ‘attacked’ me when he had to but then also spoke to me in a relaxed mode when necessary. This was one of the key things to help me look at the championship in general. He has a big picture view. Of course, you focus on individual races but there is a general point of view to the title. I was missing this. Looking back, I was missing someone from the outside that could help with my mentality and focus on the things I really have to do and forget about the rest. He takes away all the silly things or changes your ideas on what you might think is important…when they are really not!

Augusto Fernandez celebrating yet another podium and extending his championship lead in Aragon
PC @PolarityPhoto

I’ve won races easily and won some tough battles but…

victory is the biggest thing when it comes to confidence. Winning three in a row helps a lot! Also, I know how difficult it is to win and how it is to keep the level up. The championship comes into view with top-fives; not only victory. Also, now I have the security of knowing that if I don’t win then the top five is possible. Having confidence means you not only get into a position where you can win more but to manage the bad moments well when they come.

Augusto Fernandez will make the jump to MotoGP where he will be the only rookie in the 2023 season
PC @PolarityPhoto

I want that Moto2 title badly but whatever happens I’m going to MotoGP next year…

and I would say that move is 97% happiness and 3% worry! I will have to work a lot and open my mind to new styles: do things that I maybe never had to do before. I’ve ridden a Moto2 bike for four years now and I feel I’m at the end of the cycle. For sure I am going to have to change things: riding style, the way to brake, open the gas, leaning, corner speed. It feels like the right moment. Not only do you have to adapt to the MotoGP bike but you have to adapt at the right time and to prove you can be in the class and be a top rider. I’ll take that challenge.