Now yes, MotoGP has celebrated the new year on the asphalt. Despite the fact that the tests in Valencia after the grand prix are part of the new season, it has not been until now when the queen category has opened 2023 putting the bikes on track. The great protagonists were not there, but those who will become their allies throughout a course that, from this Sunday until next Tuesday, will clear up some of the doubts that the new season presents. And that is the most relevant of this test. It was literally about tune up the bikes that were rebuilt during the winter. Starting tomorrow we will have to start drawing conclusions and from there, continue making decisions that will begin to be seen in the different frames with which the riders have ridden on this first day of testing.
In total they have been eight hours with the green light which Yamaha mastered, though they were frustrated much sooner than desired. In the early afternoon it started to rain at a circuit in Sepang that exceeded 40ºC ambient temperature and the track got wet, practically canceling all the activity. But there was more than plenty of time to make the first decisions regarding a motorcycle that has covered more kilometers than anyone with Bradl (57 laps). Honda’s need to get back on top is reflected in this start, where the German tested two different frames with the renewed aerodynamics, among which the new Akrapovic exhaust stood out, above all, for its extension in the frame. The HRC pilot finished fourth with a time of 2:01.605, that improved the only rookies of the session: Augusto Fernandez.
The Spaniard continued adding kilometers together with his GasGas in a category where he will be the only rookie. He will not have anyone to measure himself against on a personal level, but he will have on an asphalt that today, among all the testers, gave him the second fastest time. 2:01.331 It was the mark of an Augusto who finished far from the best time in Sepang, Jorge Martín’s 1.57.790 on pole in 2022, but he was not the only one. Because Crutchlow set the fastest time and he only improved Fernández’s reference by one tenth on asphalt in which, during these tests, it seems difficult to go below two minutes due to the lack of rubber on the track. But that is now the least of it. The most important thing is not to leave anything out and try the majority of possible solutions as you did Aprilia in a day where he was the one who stood out the most visually.
While ducati It barely showed any significant changes (only in a front fairing apparently smaller than that of the GP22), the other Italian factory was the one who showed the most aerodynamic changes. Savadori tried six mounts given that it is also doing tests for the new satellite team, the RNF, and among all of them they highlighted the side fins that were presented in their most extreme version. This aerodynamic element in the position of maximum inclination is practically parallel to the ground and in addition, they also mounted two new elements on the swingarm to generate additional downforce.
In that same area they also tested novelties at Yamaha (with three YZR-M1s for Cal: two with 2023 specifications and another with 2022 specifications), which tested a different rear end with an aerodynamic package similar to that of the tests in Valencia. In addition to Crutchlow, he was also tested by Nakasuga and Nozane, the other two test pilots of the Japanese brand, and as for the engine, the great workhorse of the M1, it seems that the performance is already closer to what a brand that wants equaled in number of pilots to KTM. Those from Mattighofen have incorporated a Folger into their test team that appeared as the only Austrian motorcycle on the track, although MotoGP uploaded photos to their social networks where Pedrosa, the fastest driver, was also seen rolling of the day without counting the official time. The Spaniard rolled in 2:00.4, improving the reference of the M1 by more than half a second, so it may be that from Austria they want to keep part of their cards for a new season that is getting closer and closer.
|1. yamaha motorcycle t2||yamaha||2.01.146|
|2. Augusto Fernandez||GasGas||2:01.331|
|3. yamaha motorcycle t1||yamaha||2:01.573|
|4. Stefan Bradl||Sling||2:01.605|
|5. Lorenzo Savadori||Aprilia||2:01.646|
|6. yamaha motorcycle t3||yamaha||2:01.947|
|7. Michele Pirro||ducati||2:02.115|
|8. Stefan Bradl||Sling||2:02.215|
|9. Augusto Fernandez||GasGas||2:02.477|
|10. Lorenzo Savadori||Aprilia||2:02.846|