MotoGP: All Teams Will Test This Week At Sepang

MotoGP: All Teams Will Test This Week At Sepang

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna:

#SepangTest: 3, 2, 1… 2024 is GO!

The time has come! The entire 2024 grid gets ready to head out in Malaysia

Monday, 05 February 2024

After a star-studded Shakedown that saw rookie sensation Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) top the timesheets, it’s time for the whole grid to join the number 31 out on track. So far we’ve already seen the race riders from Honda and Yamaha head out thanks to the new concession system, but now we get even more headliners – including reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and now-Gresini Racing MotoGP™ rider Marc Marquez. So where can you stay up to date and what can we expect on track?

 
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION

Live Timing is available on motogp.com across all three days, and there will be live text updates on motogp.com with minute-by-minute updates before an end of day round-up.

There will also be a live show beamed from Sepang across MotoGP™’s social media channels at 14:00 local time every day, hosted by Jack Gorst and Simon Crafar, to debrief the key moments and get to the heart of the action.

Then, from 17:30 local time every day until 19:00, After The Flag will be live on VideoPass to provide a full overview of the day’s action. Pitlane reporter and 500cc Grand Prix winner Crafar will once again be joined by eagle-eyed tech reporter Gorst in Malaysia, and the show in Barcelona will be anchored by Louis Suddaby and Elliott York to analyse all the action alongside exclusive interviews with riders and team managers.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Ducati Lenovo, Prima Pramac, Pertamina Enduro VR46 & Gresini

A lot of eyes will be on Bagnaia, and 2023 Malaysian GP winner Enea Bastianini alongside him in the Ducati Lenovo Team box, as a new campaign begins. We saw updated aero from Ducati at the Shakedown, put through its paces by test rider Michele Pirro, and now it’s all hands on deck to define and refine the machine the Bologna factory will field in 2024.

At Prima Pramac the task will be similar for Jorge Martin, who will want to hit the ground running as he aims to fight for the title again. However, we wait to see if his new teammate Franco Morbidelli will be out on track after the Italian suffered a crash during a private track day in Portugal and continues his recovery.

At Pertamina Enduro VR46, those fluo yellow and white vibes will accompany Marco Bezzecchi, who’ll be trying to tune in and get to grips with the slightly different 2023 machine, and the incoming Fabio Di Giannantonio the same. Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) likewise gets his hands on the bike that fought for the title last year, and so does his new teammate…

Marc Marquez was already fourth fastest in Valencia after switching from Honda to Ducati machinery, and now there are three more days of track action ahead for the number 93 to settle in, find and learn the limits, and see if he can redefine them. On the 2023 machine for this season, the eight-time Champion faces down the biggest sporting challenge of his career for a decade – and we can’t wait to see what happens.

 
Red Bull KTM & Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

The RC16 topped all three days of the Shakedown, first with MotoGP™ Legend Dani Pedrosa, then with new test rider Pol Espargaro, and finally in the hands of superstar rookie Pedro Acosta. We saw new aero from the Austrian factory and we also saw Acosta running the carbon chassis, which could be a clue that’s their intended direction overall.

Now it’s time for Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), teammate Jack Miller and sophomore Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) to join the fray as the marque push to breach that gap to Ducati. Acosta, meanwhile, now gains a host more benchmarks on the timesheets, and has three more whole days in Sepang to learn his way round the premier class.

Aprilia & Trackhouse Racing

At Aprilia, we’ve also seen new aero during the Shakedown, with test rider Lorenzo Savadori at the helm. Now it’s time for factory riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales to head out and start defining what they’ll race in 2024, alongside Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez at the new Trackhouse team. Aprilia were close to the top in terms of speed for much of 2023, but they’ll want more. And they’ll want to iron out the hurdles that seemed to keep pausing their upward trajectory at times last season.

At Trackhouse too, although we’ll likely see plenty of black fairings in testing, we hope we’ll also see that new, very American livery recently launched in LA.

Monster Energy Yamaha

We saw a few updates from Yamaha at the Shakedown. A new aero body, an updated tail unit and that longer exhaust were all on show, with test rider Cal Crutchlow on track on Day 1 before being joined by 2021 Champion Fabio Quartararo and new Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ teammate Alex Rins for the rest of the test. After a difficult 2023, the race is on for the factory to leverage those concessions and try and bridge the gap, and Rins will be an interesting addition to the fold with race-winning form on an inline four and a V4 in only the past couple of seasons…

 
Repsol Honda & CASTROL/IDEMITSU Honda LCR

Like Yamaha, Honda were able to field their race riders at the Shakedown, and like Yamaha, they sat out Day 1 before the full flotilla joined the fray. Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) confirmed they’d had no 2023 bike in the box, with a true new direction chosen and work all focused on that. The mood was markedly lighter as the behemoths aim to get back on top.

They’ll continue to count on Mir, a MotoGP™ World Champion and with some experience with the marque, and long-time HRC rider Takaaki Nakagami at IDEMITSU Honda LCR. They gain Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR), with his wealth of experience on different machines, and finally, Luca Marini joins Repsol Honda. The Italian now has some good MotoGP™ experience, is known for his love of data, and has built a reputation around relentlessly putting the pieces together to improve. Where will the Japanese giants be by the end of the first official test?

We’ll find out soon as the test takes over Sepang from Tuesday the 6th until Thursday the 8th of February, with the track action running from 10:00 local time (UTC+8) until 18:00 each day… so make sure you join us!

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Trackhouse Racing:

Trackhouse Racing – ON TRACK!

America’s MotoGP Team arrives in Malaysia to put rubber down on the pavement at Sepang International Circuit – the first ever pit garage exits for Trackhouse Racing MotoGP and the debut of its riders’ #88 Miguel Oliveira and #25 Raul Fernandez for the new outfit. 

NASHVILLE, Tennessee. USA. – Trackhouse Racing MotoGP arrives at the Sepang International Circuit, in Malaysia, fresh from its 2024 Team launch in Hollywood a week prior. Swapping the bright lights of Tinsel Town for the heat of Asia herald’s the start of Trackhouse’s ambitions on track and getting down to the serious business of finding speed. 

The first official test of the 2024 MotoGP season, between Tuesday, February 6 – Thursday, February 8, sees Miguel Oliveira hit pit-road on the brand new #88 Trackhouse Racing Aprilia RS-GP 24 and team-mate, Raul Fernandez, taking to the track on the 2023 version which he tested in Valencia, back in November, after the conclusion of last season.

Arriving in Sepang and running on pavement for the very first time, is the culmination of a whirlwind 10 weeks for Trackhouse Entertainment founder and owner Justin Marks and the team. Since announcing its entry and the two grid places in the MotoGP World Championship, the ambition has been clear; bring the values of Trackhouse’s NASCAR operation to the premier class of two-wheel racing – hunger to compete, be the very best racing team possible and deliver entertainment and enjoyment to fans in the USA and around the world. The organization has shown its ability to win in the NASCAR Cup series on multiple occasions since its rookie year in 2021 and intends to set the same benchmark in MotoGP.

With the support of Aprilia Racing, who have moved mountains to add the build of four new full factory specification 2024 Aprilia RS-GP prototypes to its resource plan – two with the #88 plate from the get-go and two to follow with #25 plates – Trackhouse is coming into the Championship as a committed racing partner with the Italian manufacturer’s Racing Department. The aim; double the strength of the marque across the two garages, build and share data and analysis at twice the rate, test more developments and boost performance. At the pinnacle of motorsports, firepower is everything and Trackhouse is looking to help make a difference to Aprilia’s challenge on track and within the race engineering operations. Two great riders on two great bikes is a strong starting point.

The speed and endeavor at Aprilia Racing to manufacture the new bikes in a matter of weeks, at Dorna and IRTA in aiding Trackhouse’s entry so whole-heartedly and the body of work done by all the staff on the team is testament to the spirit and level of professionalism that exists in MotoGP. Trackhouse Racing aims to show its gratitude and repay the welcome and support it has received by going racing with utmost respect for its rivals, everyone who contributes to this great sport and its fans across the world.

Keep an eye on the timing screens in Sepang – Trackhouse MotoGP rolls onto pit-road after lights go green at 10am (local) on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

Welcome to the House!
 
JUSTIN MARKS – TEAM OWNER

“So much work in such a short time has finally culminated in the Trackhouse Racing MotoGP bikes hitting the track in Sepang. I’m proud of everyone that has put in tireless hours into making this team a reality so it feels like we finally can exhale a bit and get to the business of racing. Aprilia has poured so much effort into developing the new 2024 machines and it will be a thrill seeing them turned in anger in the capable hands of Raul, Miguel, and the amazing mechanics and engineers at Trackhouse.”

 

Miguel Oliveira. Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.
Miguel Oliveira. Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.

 
MIGUEL OLIVEIRA

“I am very excited! We’ll be back to what we know best; riding a MotoGP bike. I’m looking forward to see all the crew and get our hands to work. It’s been a long, but productive winter, but I feel ready to get three intensive days testing. Our goal is to adapt to the new machine and understand where we need to work on. From then we will access the best strategies for Qatar.”

 

Raul Fernandez. Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.
Raul Fernandez. Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.

 
RAUL FERNANDEZ

“I’m really happy to be back on track very soon. I am very enthusiastic to start this new project. It will be a really great opportunity this year that kicks off this week in Sepang. After two months off the bike, I can’t wait to sit on my RS-GP again and it will obviously be very important to regain a good feeling straight away. This first test, I want to enjoy myself again on the bike and try to collect some information for the season.”

 
WILCO ZEELENBERG – TEAM MANAGER

“After a very short winter break, we are ready to rock and roll again. It has been a strange winter, leaving one team, jump into a new project, inform all people and get connected. But finally, we receive very new equipment and both riders are fit, which was completely different in Valencia last year. This is a good sign. We are all motivated. Our target this season is to end up a little bit more in front with our amazing looking bikes, that will be seen straight away inside a group. I’m personally looking forward to fly to Sepang to see some sun. Riding for three days in Malaysia to start off is always quite demanding, but for the riders it’s also a good moment to start again and get some confidence on the new bike. We’ll see where we stand after three days.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Lenovo Team:

The Ducati Lenovo Team is back on the track at Sepang, Malaysia, for the first pre-season test of 2024

After the Campioni in Pista event and the team presentation at Madonna di Campiglio (Italy), Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini are now ready to hit the track at Sepang for the first three days of pre-season testing, scheduled from February 6 to 8 at the Malaysian circuit.

On the same track that will host the Malaysian GP in November, test rider Michele Pirro participated in the ‘shakedown’ from February 1 to 3. Thanks to mostly stable weather conditions, the rider from San Giovanni Rotondo could conduct several tests on the Desmosedici GP, try new components, and initiate the development work. It is now up to the factory riders to continue the work over the next three days of testing at Sepang.

 

Michele Pirro (51). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Michele Pirro (51). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Michele Pirro (#51, Ducati MotoGP Test Team):

“During these three days of ‘shakedown’, we accomplished a significant part of the development. The first day was completely dry, while the following two days had a downpour towards the end. Overall, we managed to make good use of our time. The hot conditions at Sepang allowed us to conduct some specific testing. Additionally, we tested the new aero package, tried the new engine, and made a solid working base for the upcoming three days of testing that the factory riders will now face. The start has been positive, and we are satisfied. Now, we will try to continue in this direction.”

 

Francesco Bagnaia. Photo courtesy Ducati.
Francesco Bagnaia. Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team):

“I’ve missed my Desmosedici GP during this winter break, so I’m thrilled to finally be back on track at Sepang for the first test of 2024. The last test at Valencia last year provided positive feedback, and Michele has already put in some work in these three days. I expect to find a good base on which to continue developing the new bike. We have three demanding but also crucial days ahead of us. Hopefully, the weather will allow us to take full advantage of all the available time.”

 

Enea Bastianini. Photo courtesy Ducati.
Enea Bastianini. Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Enea Bastianini (#23, Ducati Lenovo Team):

“I’m thrilled to be back. Throughout the winter, I’ve dedicated myself to reaching the right physical condition before the Sepang test. Last week, I was also in Portimão with fellow Ducati riders, training with my Panigale V4 S, and now I’m ready! In the Valencia test, I received positive feedback, and I immediately took a liking to the new bike. Here, we’ll try with some new items, but overall, I’m confident. These three days are crucial, and I’ll be putting in a lot of hard work”.

The factory Ducati Lenovo Team riders will hit the track for the first day of testing at Sepang tomorrow, Monday, February 5. They will have eight uninterrupted hours on the track, starting at 10:00am local time.

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