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

Pos. Rider Team Time Behind Laps
1 Marco Bezzecchi VR46 Ducati 1m58.470s 0.000s 55
2 Maverick Vinales Aprilia 1m58.600s 0.130s 67
3 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1m58.732s 0.262s 54
4 Jorge Martin Pramac Ducati 1m58.737s 0.267s 67
5 Pecco Bagnaia Ducati 1m58.857s 0.387s 58
6 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m58.941s 0.471s 49
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
10 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1m59.118s 0.648s 59
11 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1m59.422s 0.952s 58
12 Marc Marquez Honda 1m59.424s 0.954s 58
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
16 Jack Miller KTM 1m59.826s 1.356s 53
17 Joan Mir Honda 1m59.832s 1.362s 53
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
21 Brad Binder KTM 2m00.085s 1.615s 60
22 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 2m01.204s 2.734s 49
23 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha 2m01.239s 2.769s 58
24 Stefan Bradl Honda 2m03.501s 5.031s 3