SPAIN: The MotoGP paddock assembled at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, kicking off the 2023 MotoGP campaign. The riders and the teams got the new season underway with the pre-season testing just two days after the end of the 2022 season.
At 9:30 a.m. local time, Michele Pirro, the test rider for Ducati, took the first ride on the newly crowned MotoGP world champion Francesco Bagnaia’s bike during the eight-hour session.
Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo was the first full-time rider on the track on Tuesday. He tried a new engine, chassis, and aerodynamic fairing, among other things.
Maverick Vinales of Aprilia finished the first hour of the pre-season testing as the fastest rider with a time of 1m 30.715s. He led Marc Marquez of Honda by 0.498 seconds.
Marquez had a choice of three RC213Vs to ride. One was the bike with 2022 specs, and two prototypes for 2023. Interestingly, he decided against running soft tyre time attack runs.
Pramac’s Jorge Martin led the way at the end of hour two with a 1m 30.576s before Vinales got back to the top of the time sheets with a 1m 30.325s before the end of hour three.
Luca Marini riding his VR46 Ducati set the pace with a time of 1m 30.267s with two hours to go. In the final 90 minutes of the session, he improved that time to 1m 30.032s.
The time set by Marini remained unchallenged to the finish line, with Vinales 0.225s behind in second place and Marco Bezzecchi, riding the sister VR46 Ducati, completing the top three despite having stopped at Turn 1 earlier in the day due to a technical issue.
Miguel Oliveira, former rider for KTM, finished fourth on the RNF Aprilia, 0.335 seconds off the pace. He was the highest-placed rider who switched manufacturers in 2023.
On the second Aprilia, Aleix Espargaro finished fifth, with Fabio Di Giannantonio moving up to sixth on his Gresini Ducati late in the session, ahead of KTM’s Brad Binder, Pramac’s Martin, and Quartararo.
On his first official MotoGP session as a factory Ducati team rider, Bastianini finished in the top 10, but in the final two hours of the pre-season testing session, he was involved in a minor crash at Turn 6.
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