Augusto Fernandez to remain as Hector Barbera's Pons replacement
The Pons team has announced Augusto Fernandez will remain with the squad in Moto2 in place of the ousted Hector Barbera for the rest of the 2018 season.
Ex-MotoGP rider Barbera stepped back down to the intermediate class this year after losing his ride with the Avintia Ducati team, but was released from his contract by the Pons team after being convicted for a second drink driving offense last month in Spain.
Barbera – who last raced in the intermediate category when it was the 250cc class in 2008 - was sentenced to 22 days of community service, and has had his driving license suspended for the next 12 months.
Fernandez made his Moto2 debut last year as Axel Bassani's replacement at Speed Up from the Italian round onwards, and was called up by Pons for the Barcelona race, where he managed a 14th-place finish.
“We're very happy to announce that Augusto Fernandez will remain one of our riders in what remains of 2018,” team boss Sito Pons said.
“He's very young and has a lot of talent, and adapted well to the team's way of working in Barcelona.
“He showed glimpses of what he's capable of, and together we begin a great project that motivates us all.
“I'm sure we'll see a good evolution and we'll enjoy good results.”
Fernandez, who will join Jerez race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri on a Kalex, added: “I'm delighted to be able to continue with the team and keep working with them. I want to thank them for the confidence they have and the opportunity. I'm really eager to get to Assen and see the team now.”
Ahead of this weekend's Assen round, Pons' Baldassarri sits firmly in championship contention in fourth in the standings, 26 points adrift of leader Francesco Bagnaia.
A victory at Mugello and a second in Barcelona, while Bagnaia could only manage fourth and eighth respectively, has seen KTM's Miguel Oliveira cut the Sky VR46 rider's points lead to just one.