MotoGP: What I learned in the Valencia Test

The 2023 MotoGP season started early as teams and riders completed an eight-hour test on Tuesday.

The twenty-two riders who will be participating in the 2023 season had the opportunity to test an early version of their 2023 machines. The riders had ample time to assess where their machines are for the upcoming season.


Ducati managed to get its eight riders into the top fifteen at the end of the test. The Mooney VR46 Racing Team drivers set the pace as Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi finished first and third. Gresini Racing MotoGP riders Fabio Di Giannantonio and Alex Márquez finished sixth and 15th.

As the GP22 drivers raced to the top of the timesheets, all eyes were on the GP23 drivers. The Ducati Lenovo team had extra eyes on them on Tuesday. Francesco Bagnaia being the new Champion and the newcomer Enea Bastianini had her first day in red drawing attention.

Bagnaia finished his first test as MotoGP Champion in 12th place, completing 59 laps and testing new fairings. New Factory Ducati rider Bastianini finished 10th but crashed in the afternoon. Pramac Ducati riders Jorge Martín and Johann Zarco finished eighth and eleventh.


Three Aprilias were in the top five at the end of the Valencia test. Both Factory Aprilia riders and one of the RNF Aprilia MotoGP Team riders. Viñales was the best Aprilia rider at the end of the eight hours and was sitting second in the standings. Fellow Factory Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro finished in fifth place. The Factory Aprilia riders had almost nothing to prove as the 2023 RS-GP is not ready yet.

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Miguel Oliveira impressed in his first test with the RNF Aprilia MotoGP Team. The Portuguese rider finished fourth and completed 75 laps switching from the KTM to the Aprilia. Raúl Fernández finished his first test on an Aprilia in 21st place and completed 78 laps.


The only KTM rider continuing from 2022 to 2023 is Brad Binder. The South African rider was the only KTM rider to finish in the top ten and set a lap time that put him seventh in the standings. Fellow Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider and KTM new kid, Jack Miller completed his first test as a KTM rider in 17th place.

Pol Espargaró made his return to Tech3 and KTM by joining the new Tech3 GasGas Factory Racing Team. Espargaró finished 16th on his return to KTM and completed a total of 86 laps. The only rookie for the 2023 season is Augusto Fernández, the new Moto2 Champion finished his first MotoGP test in 22nd place, 1,698 seconds from first place.


Yamaha only has two riders for 2023 and its quest to regain the MotoGP title is off to a slow start. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli had been praying for higher top speed in 2023. Early developments of the 2023 engine saw clear improvements. However, the engine tested in Valencia has clearly gone the other way.

Quartararo, who finished ninth, tested new aerodynamics and found improvements. But he claimed that the engine was not as good as it was in his first test at Misano. Morbidelli finished 14th and was also unimpressed with the new engine.

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Honda did not have any of its four drivers in the top 10 at the Valencia test. The best Honda rider was Marc Marquez in 13th place, Marquez was less than satisfied with the new RC213V. Even after testing new chassis, exhausts, seats, rear units and a carbon clutch, even Marquez doesn’t think this bike will win him a World Championship.

New Honda guys Joan Mir and Alex Rins tested the same parts that Marquez tested during testing. Both Mir and Rins finished 18th and 20th. Takaaki Nakagami finished 19th also for LCR Honda. images

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