The reigning Moto2 world champion told Motorsport.com he is “really happy” for a 2024 deal to have been completed amid rumours he would lose his seat to KTM prodigy Acosta, who is currently second in the Moto2 standings.
Acosta already confirmed earlier this year that he would be stepping up to MotoGP in 2024, but with KTM having Pol Espargaro, Brad Binder and Jack Miller on two-year deals, Fernandez’s future was in doubt.
Fernandez had his best MotoGP result so far at the French Grand Prix, finishing fourth, and has scored in every Sunday race this year.
Ahead of the British Grand Prix, he has now confirmed he will remain at Tech3 next season, with the team saying the plan is for him to ride alongside current team-mate Espargaro – who will make his MotoGP return at Silverstone having been out since March with serious injuries.
Asked whether Acosta’s impending promotion had affected him, he said: “You think about that and you’re worried, but now it’s done so super happy to stay here.”
He added: “I’m happy to stay with the same people, because this helps a lot.”
Speaking about his goals for next year, Fernandez said: “First we have a big job on this second half, so let’s see how we finish.
“I think we can do good things this second half, we can be closer to KTM, to the official team and the top guys and then we will see next year.”
In July, KTM boss Stefan Pierer told Speedweek that Fernandez’s contract had been extended, and that “it will all work out” despite having three riders for two seats.
He also said Espargaro would return to the team next season “if he performs as expected” upon his return from injury.
Asked by Motorsport.com whether he thought Pierer’s comments were surprising given he has a contract for next year, Espargaro said he knew he needed to perform to keep his ride.
Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Espargaro said: “No, but this is clear. We’re all here, we need to perform, it’s not surprising.
“I’ve been in MotoGP already [almost] 10 years and I always have a clear idea that if I want to stay in MotoGP, I need to perform.
“It’s the only way, and especially in the situation I am that I come back from a huge injury and not racing so much, the doubts are there, for sure, but the doubts are there for everyone, me included.
“So I’m the first one who wants to come back in my normal state. For sure I have for 2023 and 2024 signed a contract, but for sure I’m the first one that I want to perform and if not I will move apart.
“I love the factory, I’m one more rider of this factory but I really feel like I’m a part of it, I’m a part of this family, and I will not hesitate to move apart if there was an upgrade, because what I want is to see the factory shining.”
Acosta’s likely destination remains Tech3, unless KTM can find a last-minute solution to its space problem – something that doesn’t look possible at this stage.
KTM had approached LCR Honda boss Lucio Cecchinello about partnering up in 2024, but he said “it is not my intention” to split with Honda.
The move would have handed KTM a further two spaces on the grid, easing its seat issues, but Cecchinello intends to honour his contract with HRC, which runs until the end of 2024.
KTM had already sought the possibility of buying out the grid slots vacated by Suzuki at the end of last year to field a second satellite squad, but was denied by Dorna Sports, who is reserving this for a factory entrant.
It is thought KTM approached Gresini Racing about a potential tie-up for 2024 at the Dutch GP ahead of the summer break, but Ducati is set to extend its contract with the Italian squad.