SportMotoGPRaúl Fernández: "We are not friends, but my relationship...

Raúl Fernández: "We are not friends, but my relationship with Gardner is incredible"

No rider in the history of Moto2, not even Marc Márquez when he was champion, achieved numbers as overwhelming as those achieved by Raúl Fernández in 2021, leaving a record of eight wins, twelve podiums and seven pole positions in his first year in the category, some numbers never seen before and that, however, were not enough for him to become world champion.

The final result was frustrating for the Spanish rider, who denounced some situations within the team that blurred the relationship with his partner, the world champion Remy Gardner, with whom he will share the box again this season, now in the MotoGP Tech3.

Raúl wants to leave the controversies behind and start from scratch in this challenging adventure of making his debut in the higher class, where he will once again have it out on the track with the Australian.

“My relationship with Remy is incredible. We’re not friends, but if we have to go to dinner together, we do it. The past is the past, and now I’m delighted to be with KTM this year,” the Madrid native wanted to settle the matter, after being the best rookie last year in Moto2 aspires to be this year in MotoGP, but without becoming obsessed or sticking to just that goal.

“I would like to win the rookie of the year again, like in 2021, but I don’t think you have to set any goals, you have to work day by day, it’s going to be a long process, the KTM project is still very young and more to get the rookie of the year, which I would like, the goal is to prepare a good bike for the future”.

Although he does not want to set ambitious goals, Miguel Oliveira, a brand partner in the official KTM team, points to him as a candidate to go fast from the beginning.

“I am focused on my work, as I did last year, starting to hang out with the team, and I don’t set any goals, or any pressure. The project is not made to be doing the rookie of the year, it is clear that We want to fight, but the project is long-term and I don’t see the pressure anywhere”.

Fernández ‘s career is being meteoric and after only one year in Moto2 and with just turned 21, he faces a leap that is never easy for such a young athlete.

“There was nothing in particular that made it difficult for me to understand more about MotoGP, what was more, perhaps, was understanding how to lift the bike, because with so much power the work accumulates a little. I am not focused on a single point. There are many things I want to learn.

“We don’t have any plan, we’ll go day by day,” explains Raúl, who at over 1.80 meters is better suited to a big bike. “When I went from Moto3 to Moto2 I noticed a big change and I was more comfortable, but from Moto2 to MotoGP the bike is very similar (in size), so by height I’m doing quite well, I haven’t grown as much as when I moved up from Moto3 either. Now I am in the meter eighty and with 21 years already I believe that I am not going to grow more”.

What the man from Madrid did notice is the physical demand to which MotoGP subjects the riders.

“After two training sessions in Jerez with the MotoGP I was unable to get out of bed for a day. That made me see that I needed to change things in my physical preparation,” he says. “We have changed that in the last two seasons we focused more on cardio, and now we have increased the weight to gain muscle”, a situation that allows him some liberties. “Now I can go out for pizza with my friends more often,” he laughs.

Raúl is already in Sepang, where this Monday the shakedown starts, the test for testers, rookies and riders of teams with concessions and in which he will be able to ride on a circuit that he has not set foot on since his Moto3 days.

“It will be very difficult, I have only been here once, I don’t remember the circuit or the lines, or anything, it was in 2019, it will be like going to a new circuit with a new motorcycle. I plan it to get to know the circuit, go around and pick up mental speed again, little by little and working”.

The Tech3-KTM rider already highlighted the presence of Dani Pedrosa at the Jerez test in November as an interesting help.

“Pedrosa’s presence is super important, he helps you in small details that as a rider you don’t see because of his great experience, which contributes a lot. Dani has not gotten off a motorcycle despite having retired and for me he is very helpful in the small details in a category that is completely different. During the year it will help us because it will come to more grand prizes and that can go very well for us”, settles the boy from San Martín de la Vega .

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