MotoGP: Bezzecchi tops first day of 2023 pre-season testing
Ducati sophomore Marco Bezzecchi topped the opening day of pre-season testing for the 2023 MotoGP season. The entire MotoGP grid assembled for the opening day of three at the Sepang International Circuit as testing got underway.
Maverick Vinales ended the day 0.130s behind Bezzecchi.
Enea Bastianini was third ahead of Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin , with Francesco Bagnaia rounding out the top five from the sister Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.
The headlines in terms of development at Ducati are concentrated on the new machines and, of course, the Ducati Lenovo Team line-up as Enea Bastianini joins reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia. Bastianini was fastest of the two and third overall, with Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) just five thousandths in arrears in fourth. Bagnaia was fifth, another tenth further back. But what did we see?
Bastianini was on 2022-looking machinery, and so was Bagnaia for much of the day – but the eagle-eyed spotted a small difference. One bike had the ride height device controls on top of the left handlebar and one on the triple clamp. Later in the day, Bagnaia also headed out on the new aero seen at the Shakedown test.
There was lots of interest on Marc Marquez’s (Repsol Honda Team) side of the garage, where the eight-time World Champion had four bikes at his disposal – one that he finished 2022 on, two 2023 bikes that we’ve seen a few times now, and one with some new, relatively unseen parts on it.
This is where the story lies on the opening day for HRC. The bike features the new air intake but also sports the aero wings that Marquez ran in the second half of 2021. In addition, this particular RC213V has the ground effect lower side fairing and an aluminium swingarm – but it’s not a Kalex one. The number 93 admitted that the bike in question had a bit of a “different character”, but the lap time and performance were similar.
Day 1 Results
|1||Marco Bezzecchi||VR46 Ducati||1m58.470s||0.000s||55|
|4||Jorge Martin||Pramac Ducati||1m58.737s||0.267s||67|
|7||Johann Zarco||Pramac Ducati||1m58.966s||0.496s||56|
|8||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini Ducati||1m59.021s||0.551s||47|
|9||Alex Marquez||Gresini Ducati||1m59.036s||0.566s||53|
|13||Luca Marini||VR46 Ducati||1m59.469s||0.999s||50|
|14||Miguel Oliveira||RNF Aprilia||1m59.730s||1.260s||50|
|15||Raul Fernandez||RNF Aprilia||1m59.813s||1.343s||54|
|18||Alex Rins||LCR Honda||1m59.963s||1.493s||66|
|19||Augusto Fernandez||Tech3 Gas Gas||2m00.027s||1.557s||58|
|20||Pol Espargaro||Tech3 Gas Gas||2m00.078s||1.608s||58|
|22||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||2m01.204s||2.734s||49|