MotoGP: Marini Quickest During Testing Monday At Misano

MotoGP: Marini Quickest During Testing Monday At Misano

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Editorial Note: Scroll down to page two of the results PDF to see the combined testing times.

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More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Misano Test: novelties & narratives from pitlane on Monday

Marini tops the timesheets ahead of Viñales as Honda and Yamaha steal the limelight

Monday, 11 September 2023

After what could prove a pivotal Grand Prix at Misano in terms of the title fight, MotoGP™ got back on track on Monday for what could prove a pivotal test too. Topping the timesheets was Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) on his 47th lap of 49 in the afternoon session, deposing Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) as the two duelled it out for top honours. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was third quickest with a late leap up the order.

The key stories were less focused on the timesheets, however, as plenty of novelties broke cover on a crucial day of track action for Honda and Yamaha. Read on to get a rundown of what was spotted in pitlane, and where!

Mooney VR46, Prima Pramac & Gresini

Not every rider was out on Monday, and pitlane was noticeably missing reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) as he sat it out, his teammate Enea Bastianini who is sidelined due to injury, and test rider Michele Pirro after his crash as a wildcard yesterday. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) didn’t take to the track either.

 

Jorge Martin. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jorge Martin. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

In terms of novelties, there wasn’t too much on show across the Ducati stables. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) had both bikes with the bigger side fairings instead of the downwash duct setup he’s used the last few races, but there was nothing new in terms of the classic Ducati, innovation-driven novelties with the Ducati Lenovo Squad not on track either.

 

Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

P1 Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – 1:30.602

P4 Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) – 1:31.168

P9 Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) – 1:31.337

P14 Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) –  1:31.492

 

Aprilia & CryptoData RNF

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

At Aprilia, there was a new chassis. Aleix Espargaro said it wasn’t better or worse, just different: it felt softer and handled the bumps better, which is something that affects the Noale factory at some venues. Viñales even said on Thursday in the pre-Misano press conference that he’d never realised the track had bumps until he arrived at Aprilia.

 

Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

There was arguably another headline-stealer, however: Miguel Oliveira had a 2023 Aprilia in his CryptoData RNF MotoGP™ Team box, alongside his usual 2022 machine. His review? A step forward in every way.

 

Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

P2 Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) – 1:30.836

P7 Miguel Oliveira (CryptoData RNF MotoGP™ Team) – 1:31.232

P10 Raul Fernandez (CryptoData RNF MotoGP™ Team) – 1:31.362

P11 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) – 1:31.381

 

Red Bull KTM & GASGAS Tech3

At Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Jack Miller had one of the chassis that wildcard and test rider Dani Pedrosa used over the weekend, rumoured to be fully carbon fibre. Pedrosa didn’t join the test. Binder had a black chassis, but it looked similar to his standard 2023 chassis. Miller also had a run out on that.

 

Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

At GASGAS Tech3 Factory Racing, there seemingly wasn’t much to report, but the duo put in the laps to gain some more data. Pol Espargaro also crashed, rider ok. He didn’t go out in the afternoon but rookie teammate Augusto Fernandez continued putting in the laps.

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

P3 Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – 1:31.154

P5 Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – 1:31.175

P15 Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) –  1:31.686

P17 Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) –  1:31.844

 

Monster Energy Yamaha

In the morning, one of Fabio Quartararo’s machines had the bigger aero for a couple of runs, before it was then switched back. But then another aero package broke cover: a combination of the first iteration of the 2023 aero plus additions previously tried by Franco Morbidelli at the Portimao Test.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Morbidelli was also trying his current aero and the original 2023 aero throughout the day, as well as a new larger air box/fuel tank covering. The Italian also tried the double exhaust, already seen previously, again at Misano, and a new chassis that didn’t gain a good review from the number 21.

However, there was also a fifth bike in the Yamaha box, likely the bike that contained a new engine. The reports? Team manager Massimo Meregalli was positive, but when Quartararo debriefed, he said he’d expected more.

P6 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) – 1:31.177

P8 Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) – 1:31.301

 

Repsol Honda & LCR Honda Castrol

There was a lot of talk about Honda ahead of the test, and much of it may now likely continue. Repsol Honda teammates Marc Marquez and Joan Mir both had one of the bikes that HRC test rider and wildcard Stefan Bradl used during the Grand Prix weekend with the new chassis, new tail unit and new exhausts.

 

Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Marc Marquez (93) on one of the Hondas he tested Monday. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Mir did a short run on the “new” bike before work continued in the garage, only heading back out on it much later in the day. Marc Marquez, meanwhile, did a few runs on the machine, and made more than the odd headline in his debrief.

 

Marc Marquez (93) on another Repsol Honda he tested Monday. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Marc Marquez (93) on another Honda he tested Monday. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Bradl had a machine with the new chassis, new tail unit and new exhausts, and LCR Honda Castrol’s Takaaki Nakagami also tried it. The general consensus for those trying it for the first time? Different, but not necessarily better at this stage. Now it’s on to India as the clock keeps ticking down to see what will happen next in the rumour mill!

P12 Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) – 1:31.434

P14 Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) –  1:31.575

P16 Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) – 1:31.687

P18 Stefan Bradl (HRC Team) – 1:32.146

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