Viñales fastest, Marc Marquez debuts with Ducati in P4 & Acosta lands in MotoGP™
2024 is go – and it arrived in style in Valencia
Tuesday, 28 November 2023
2024 is here, and there is already plenty to talk about. The Valencia Test honours went the way of Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales as the Spaniard’s 1:29.253 gave him the top spot, but the headlines will go the way of Gresini Racing MotoGP™’s Marc Marquez. The eight-time World Champion ends his first day as a Ducati rider in P4, behind Viñales, second fastest Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and third quickest Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team). Marc Marquez was 0.171 off the top and only 0.078 off being the fastest Borgo Panigale machine on the timesheets. Earlier in the afternoon, at times, he was.
So as well as that, and the very impressive MotoGP™ debut of Pedro Acosta (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3), here’s a rundown of the main talking points regarding each factory in Tuesday’s crucial outing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
With Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) forced to sit out most of the day after his injury – which was sustained in Qatar – worsened, the heavy lifting was left to Viñales. The Noale camp brought a new swingarm to the Valencia Test, as Raul Fernandez was able to try the 2023 RS-GP for the first time. The Spaniard spent most of the day well inside the top five and briefly sat top of the pile too.
It was P1 and P4 at the close of play for Viñales and Raul Fernandez, with the former completing a whopping 86 laps – the most of anyone. Important data gained as Aprilia get set to unveil their full 2024 package at the Sepang Test in February.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing/GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3
Donning GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 red for the first time was Moto2™ World Champion Pedro Acosta as the #31 made his much-anticipated MotoGP™ debut. The Spaniard had 2023-spec RC16s available and it was a properly impressive debut from the 19-year-old, with Acosta finishing the Test just 1.2s off P1. The only tiny negative was a small crash at Turn 2 with 30 minutes left on the clock, but that won’t worry him or GASGAS.
The fastest Austrian machine was nearly the fastest overall though. Binder’s time that propelled him to P2 came in the final 10 minutes of the Test – and not on the 2024 bike that he also gave a runout – but on the very next lap at Turn 5, the South African lost the front and crashed. Not the end of the day #33 wanted as KTM head into a busy winter knowing small changes could make all the difference in their 2024 title quest, but the speed was very much there as he’d been setting red sectors.
Acosta’s teammate Augusto Fernandez claimed P14 after notching up 72 laps, while the other big talking point from the Austrian camp – aside from Acosta’s debut – was the RC16 that Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was lapping on. The zebra-camouflaged KTM sported a new aero and a new air intake in what was a pretty big change, and after producing a great save at Turn 2, Miller penetrated the top 10 for the first time on the new bike. The Australian finished P9 following 62 completed laps.
Mooney VR46 Racing Team, Gresini Racing MotoGP™, Ducati Lenovo Team, Prima Pramac Racing
There was always going to be one place to start when talking about the reigning World Champion constructor. Marc Marquez didn’t take long to start threatening the top of the timesheets as he made his debut on Ducati’s 2023-spec Desmosedici, with the #93’s smile once he’d sat down after his first outing telling us everything we needed to know. Pleased? You bet.
Marc Marquez went fastest with just over 90 minutes of the day remaining as his 1:29.460 briefly saw him sit 0.250s quicker than anyone. Viñales then moved the goalposts with just over an hour left. But ending his day early, Marc Marquez completed 49 laps ahead of the winter break and finished the Valencia Test 0.171s off the top.
World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was joined by teammate Enea Bastianini and his 2023 title rival Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) in testing a new chassis for the Champions, and the latter suffered two unexpected crashes. A new engine was tested too, as Pecco completed 51 laps and ended the day in P10, with Bastianini P8 and Martin P15.
2023’s bronze medallist Bezzecchi was joined in the Mooney VR46 Racing Team box by new teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio, and like Marc Marquez, the Italians were getting to grips with the 2023-spec Ducati for the first time.
Di Giannatonio was a happy rider at the end of the day. Focusing on race pace, the Qatar GP race winner felt great in his new team and managed to improve the pace he displayed in Sunday’s Valencia GP – and that wasn’t exactly bad. ‘Diggia’ bagged a P7 ahead of a well-earned break, 0.4s off P1.
The same can be said for Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™). The Spaniard had a 2023 and a 2022 Ducati in his side of the box and speaking towards the end of the day, the #73 said the ’23 Ducati was a bigger change than expected compared to the ’22 version and there was a good improvement from the engine and power side.
Marc Marquez wasn’t the only rider getting used to a Ducati for the first time either. Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) began his new MotoGP™ chapter by inheriting Johann Zarco’s bikes from 2023, but with the additions of the updated tail unit and aero that the Frenchman had not been running. Morbidelli’s fastest lap of the 69 he completed was a 1:30.206, handing the #21 a P16 finish.
Repsol Honda, CASTROL Honda LCR, IDEMITSU Honda LCR
It was the beginning of a new era for the Japanese giants as they welcomed Luca Marini to the Repsol Honda Team garage alongside the recovered Joan Mir, and Johann Zarco (Castrol Honda LCR) lined up with Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda LCR). From the off, new factory team recruit Marini headed straight out on Honda’s new-look 2024 RC213V.
The new Honda is essentially a completely updated motorcycle that boasts a new chassis, a new swingarm, new aero, new exhausts… the lot. In the latter two hours of the day, Mir was spotted with Honda’s new rear-end aero which is similar to what we’ve seen on the KTMs in recent races.
The good news is that chatting in pitlane, Repsol Honda Team Manager Alberto Puig said Mir was quite pleased with the progress being made with the new bike, and the feeling is pretty different – in a good way – to the 2023 bike. Mir also worked with Marc Marquez’s former Crew Chief, Santi Hernandez, for the first time before the two take on 2024 together.
Elsewhere, Zarco had one 2024-spec bike and one 2023-spec machine at his disposal. The Frenchman crashed unhurt at Turn 4 with just over an hour to go and ended the day in P17, a second off the top after an important 61 laps. Nakagami completed a handy 63 laps and finished P21.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™
Alex Rins joined Fabio Quartararo in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ garage for the first time as both the factory riders worked with Yamaha’s longer, duel exhausts. Test Rider Cal Crutchlow joined the Frenchman and Spaniard on track too, and the British rider was seen with a new Yamaha chassis. In addition, Team Manager Miao Meregalli said that both Quartararo and Rins were testing an updated version of the 2024 engine that was tested back at the Misano Test.
The results on paper saw Quartararo finish P12 after completing 63 laps, with Rins and Crutchlow P19 and P20 respectively – Rins getting 54 laps in on his debut, with Crutchlow bagging 74 laps. The latter said there were some positives and some negatives from the day – as always – and also gave an early indication about potential wildcards on the table for 2024. One to watch.
So that’s it – MotoGP™ bikes have been on track for the final time in 2023, and technically, the first time in 2024. The season is underway, the first test day is done, the clock has started on the first window for the new concession system, and a 75th anniversary season awaits that’s already teasing exactly what it could deliver. Stay up to date on motogp.com in the meantime, and we’ll see you at the Shakedown!
More, from a press release issued by Mooney VR46 Racing Team:
S24 AT THE START: EXCELLENT BEZZECCHI IN P3 AND DI GIANNANTONIO DEBUT WITH THE P7
The riders of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team ended the first day of testing on the GP23 both in the Top10. For Fabio Di Giannantonio this is the debut with the colors of the Tavullia Team
November 28th 2023, Valencia (Spain) – On the one hand the last act of 2023 for the Mooney VR46 Racing Team, on the other the first chapter of a 2024 with Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio as true protagonists of the first day of testing of the new season on the Ducati Desmosedici GP23.
With the spotlight of Sunday’s Gala behind him where he collected the bronze medal for the third place in the overall standings, Marco returns at work and finds the good sensations of the weekend. He finishes with the third best lap time (1.29.346) and a gap of only 93 thousandths from the leader of the day (Vinales, 1.29.253).
Debut on the track with the neon yellow of the Tavullia Team and first approach to the new technical staff for Fabio Di Giannantonio. Among the first to take the track this morning, he signs a good 1.29.662, a time that means the seventh place.
For both, time to recover energy and rest in view of 2024. The next official appointment, first MotoGP test at Sepang (6-8 February 2024).
MARCO BEZZECCHI – 72
A good test, I’m quite happy. The GP23 is fast, but different in some specific points of riding compared to the GP22. We have to work on the setting and take care of some aspects of my style, such as entry in the corners with the brakes and touch of gas. I’ll have to get used to it, but I’m satisfied. And now it’s holidays time – well deserved – for me and the whole Team who did an incredible job this 2023.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO
I really enjoyed this day: the first approach with the Team was very positive. They made me feel like a child on the one hand, but a true professional on the other. I felt at ease and tried to do well to make them proud. I managed to be very fast with all the tires and made a good step forward on the pace compared to the race. The feelings are very positive and we can go on holiday with a smile. In terms of the bike, the GP23 is different, but at the same time similar to the GP22, we need time to push it to the limit.
More, from a press release issued by Lenovo Ducati:
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders end positive first day of official testing in Valencia in preparation for the 2024 MotoGP season
After a spectacular 2023 season finale in Valencia, which saw Pecco Bagnaia and Ducati reconfirmed as World Champions, the Ducati Lenovo Team was back in action at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste (Spain) to tackle their first day of official testing in preparation for the 2024 MotoGP season.
Despite less than ideal weather conditions, with strong winds and low temperatures, Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini were able to make the most of their day. After a few laps on their Desmosedici GP 23s, the riders of the Bologna-based team were finally able to test the bike in the 2024 configuration. With a total of 56 laps and a best time of 1:29.796, Bastianini ended the day in eighth position, while Bagnaia finished eleventh in 1:29.970 after completing 51 laps.
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th (1:29.796 – 56 laps)
“I’m happy with the work we were able to do today. We’ve never had the chance to do a test this year, so we took the opportunity to try two different setups, and I really liked one of them. The feeling with the new engine was also positive: it definitely still needs some tweaking, but overall the impact was positive. We would also have liked to try a time attack, but the conditions today were not ideal. It was very windy and I preferred not to risk it. Now we start the holidays, where I will try to dedicate myself above all to training to try to get back to 100% fitness after the two injuries I suffered this year.”
Francesco Bagnaia (# Ducati Lenovo Team) – 11th (1:29.970 – 51 laps)
“I’m satisfied with today: the engine is good. It will be crucial to work on certain aspects, but compared to last year we already have a good starting point, and above all, there is still a lot of room for growth. We have been consistent and fast with both new and used tyres, so I am very happy. Now we can say that the season is really over and we can go home and rest. See you at Sepang in February!”
With the Valencia test over, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track for the next official test in 2024, from 6-8 February at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
More, from a press release issued by GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3:
ACOSTA MAKES IMPRESSIVE MOTOGP™ DEBUTS IN VALENCIA, FERNANDEZ ROLLS ON WITH 2024 TESTING PLAN
The 2024 MotoGP™ season started on Tuesday at the circuit Ricardo Tormo as the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 welcomed new Moto2™ World champion and sensation Pedro Acosta amongst its ranks. Indeed, the now MotoGP™ rookie made his debuts on the GASGAS RC16 this morning as the world awaited his first steps in the main class during the much awaited end of season Valencia Test. Acosta reunited with his old teammate Augusto Fernandez who began his second season in MotoGP™ with the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 squad.
He is not a rookie anymore! Augusto Fernandez officially became one of the ‘regulars’ as he started his second campaign in MotoGP™ at the Valencia Test. With now a complete season in the bag, there are many learnings to feed from in order to prepare for the new season ahead. Through the season, we were able to recognize Augusto’s strengths, but also his weaknesses, and these are the ones that the number 37 will need to address ahead of the 2024 season. Today, Fernandez focused mainly on aero parts currently used by his fellow Pierer Mobility teammates, Binder and Miller, as he aims to maximize his performances on the RC16. In addition, he had the 2024 Michelin specification to try at the front, and the feeling appeared to be positive for the rookie. 10:00 (GMT+1) was the official start of the Valencia Test, but few riders jumped on the track, as the morning temperatures were a bit too cold. After two hours of play, Fernandez sat in fourth of the standings with a best in 1’30.563 with seventeen laps complete, and by 14:00, he had ridden forty laps already. With the temperatures expected to go down quickly and early, there wasn’t much time for a lunch break after the rookie barely took out his leathers to grab a bite. Just like that, he was back to work as he continued to get the laps and the data in. Time attacks was not the priority today, but he started to get close to going below the 1’30 towards the end of the day, with a 1’30.077 on lap 66. (His qualifying lap on Saturday was a 1’29.230). Having gathered what needed to be gathered, Augusto Fernandez ended his day before the 5 o’clock checkered flag, and he completed this last official day on track of the year in P14, 0.824 seconds from the fastest man of the day, Maverick Vinales, with seventy-two laps completed.
On the other side of the garage, the new number 31 of MotoGP™, Pedro Acosta, did not disappoint on his first day in the main class. Born ready, the new rookie of the class headed on track shortly after 10am for everyone’s biggest satisfaction. Appearing super confident, his first laps were quite impressive, and he even treated himself directly with a little battle against Maverick Vinales. He was not impressed! Emotions were high after he returned to the pit box following his first run as he gave his first feedback of what riding a MotoGP™ bike looks like, but then the pressure calmed down and the work could get on for the day. Only one goal for the day: riding the bike. Getting the first feeling. Finding his marks. After one hour of play, he had done eight laps with a 1’33.259. Appearing to learn quickly, the next hour, he had taken his time down to 1’32.258 after nineteen laps. He rode another fifteen laps before taking a short lunch break after what we can call a really impressive morning. The work continued for the new sensation, and he continued to leave us voiceless as he was getting lower and lower in the turns after only a couple of hours on the bike! With one hour to go, Acosta had improved to 1’30.506, and then he took it down to 1’30.476. Impressive first day for the rookie who closed his first day in P18, just 1.223 seconds from the fastest man, with seventy laps in!
2024 looks tasty, and we will be here for it! See you in Sepang in February!
“The day was positive for us overall. We did not have a new bike, we focused on small things and details. Obviously, I did not get many laps during the race on Sunday as I crashed, so today we focused on getting the laps in, getting the data that we needed so we have enough to work from this winter, so I am happy with the work done. In Sepang, we will have the new bike, let’s see what it will look like! Time to recover from an intense season, enjoy some family time, and then we will get ready for Sepang!”
“I am super happy with our first day because we improved all day and we leave Valencia with a big step made already! The first run, we did not touch anything, we just tried to understand what it was being on a MotoGP bike, how the carbon disks work, and everything else in general. Then we tried to focus on the devices, on the brakes, then the electronics so I could have a clear idea of each area. This has helped us understand how we will need to approach the winter period, and what we need to do to arrive in Malaysia prepared, so we can make another step.”
“It was the last day on track 2023 for the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 squad, but it was the first day of the 2024 season! It was a really important day for the whole Pierer Mobility Group as two-time World Champion Pedro Acosta joined our ranks and rode the GASGAS bike for the first time. Everyone had been waiting for this moment for a while after the incredible season he did in Moto2. Seeing a rookie for the first time on a MotoGP bike is always a nice moment and seeing their reactions after they discover the power, the carbon brake, the devices, etc is really interesting. The main target was to try all of these, and I think that Pedro enjoyed his day overall, so it is really positive for us. On his side, Augusto Fernandez had a few different items to test, especially aero parts that we did not get the chance to try during the season, and these helped him ride at a fast pace while being more comfortable, which is one of our targets, so it was positive. He also tried some electronics, and everything went well for him. Now it is time for everybody, riders and team, to take a much deserved winter break, and prepare as much as we can for next season. Thank you to everyone who has supported us this season, and see you in 2024!”
More, from a press release issued by Estrella Galicia:
Stand up and enjoy: Marc Márquez opens the first official test of MotoGP 2024 with the fourth fastest lap time
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 ambassador, his younger brother Alex Márquez, Alex Rins and Joan Mir will once again fight to the maximum in a campaign that will begin on March 10th with the Qatar GP.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Marc Márquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP), Alex Rins (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Alex Márquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP) and Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) took part today in the first official pre-season test of the 2024 MotoGP World Championship. Only Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia Racing Independent Team) missed the day as he is still recovering from his recent right arm injury.
Under the premise of “Get up and enjoy”, as it could be read this morning on the back of Marc’s seat at the Gresini Racing team garage, the first Estrella Galicia 0,0 ambassador begins a new era full of enthusiasm in his career in the premier class of MotoGP.
That message on Marc’s seat sums up the philosophy of Estrella Galicia 0,0, a way of life that invites not to conform, to constantly strive to improve and make dreams come true while enjoying the experience along the way; just as the Galician brewers have been doing by elaborating their recipes since 1906.
While Alex Márquez and Joan Mir repeat experience under the same racing structures as last season, in the case of Alex Rins there has also been the long-awaited moment of his first outing with the official Yamaha team with which he will compete in the 2024 campaign.
After the official test in Valencia, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 ambassadors in the MotoGP World Championship will return to the track from February 1st to 3rd at the Sepang International Circuit, in the first official test of next year. This will be followed by a second outing at the same Malaysian venue from February 6th to 8th and a new IRTA practice session on February 19th and 20th at the Lusail International Circuit, where the season will begin again on March 10th.
Marc Márquez began his new adventure at the handlebars of a Ducati Desmosedici shortly after 11 a.m. under a huge expectation of the media present, wearing a personal livery to immediately place himself among the fastest riders, ending the day covering a total of 49 laps to achieve the fourth fastest lap time with 1’29.424.
Alex Rins also took the track for the first time on the Yamaha YFR-M1 of the Japanese factory team, also attracting a lot of attention from the media and totalling 51 laps with a best time of 1’30.564 (19th).
Alex Márquez could not miss the day either, taking his first steps on track with the prototype that he will develop for next season, while welcoming his brother to the Gresini Racing MotoGP team garage in a situation that already occurred in his debut season in the premier class of MotoGP in 2020. His best time was 1’29.638 (6th), totalling 56 laps.
Joan Mir began his second season with Repsol Honda Team testing different prototypes brought by the brand to the official test in Valencia, adding 69 laps throughout the day with a best time of 1’30.051 (13th).
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
NAKAGAMI COMPLETES THE TEST IN VALENCIA
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami has finished 21st at the Valencia test.
Tuesday in Valencia has meant a busy day for Nakagami and the crew, who have been testing new items and the last Honda updates for the next season. Despite the position, the feeling is positive, as there is room for improvement and potential.
Now it’s time to analyze the gathered data to prepare for the upcoming tests, after the winter break.
Takaaki Nakagami 21st
“I’ve tested the protobike, and despite doing just a few laps, the feeling was quite positive, and I’ve realized there is potential for the next season. Let’s keep working; 2024 can be a better year for us”.
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Take First 2024 Pre-Season Step in Valencia Test
Cheste (Spain), 28th November 2023
VALENCIA MOTOGP OFFICIAL TEST
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and his new teammate Álex Rins returned to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo today to kick off their 2024 testing programme. They took 12th and 19th place respectively in today‘s final results.
12th F. QUARTARARO 1’30.022 / 63 LAPS
19th A. RINS 1’30.564 / 54 LAPS
After a one-day break, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team came back to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo to start the 2024 pre-season at today‘s one-day Valencia MotoGP Official Test. It was a full-on day for Fabio Quartararo and new recruit Álex Rins, who mainly worked on aerodynamics. They concluded the day in 12th and 19th place respectively in the overall timesheets.
Quartararo is eager to make a good start to the 2024 championship and used today‘s available riding time (from 10:00 – 17:00 GMT +1) to test new aero parts, which the Frenchman evaluated as a positive step in the right direction. He also spent some time on the 2024 prototype engine and a new fairing. The number-20 rider posted a best time of 1‘30.022s on lap 59/63 that put him in 12th position, 0.769s from the top.
Rins was excited to give the M1 a first try today. The Spaniard used the available track time to get familiar and comfortable with the Yamaha bike. In the afternoon, he opted to solely focus on collecting data on the new fairings rather than doing a time attack. His best time, a 1‘30.564s, set on lap 45/54, put him in 19th place, 1.311s from first.
Cal Crutchlow and the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team also participated in today‘s test, collecting extra information and insight into the new 2024 items. His 1‘30.765s, set on lap 63/74, put him in 20th place, 1.512s off today‘s top time.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP will now recharge their batteries during the winter break. They will be back in action in the new year for the Sepang shakedown from 1st – 3rd February, followed by the Sepang Test from 6th – 8th February and the Qatar Test from 19th – 20th March.
It was a long season, but today was an important day for our team. The wind wasn‘t ideal, but we used the seven-hour session well. We mainly worked on three different items with Fabio today: aerodynamics – which was our priority, the first step of the 2024 engine, and a new chassis. Álex adapted so quickly to the bike that he too had the opportunity to test the new fairings. One day was maybe not enough to get everything set up perfectly because we had so many things to try, but all in all it‘s been a positive day. Both riders noticed an improvement, and this confirms our course of action has been the right one. This test had good value, so we can now enjoy the winter break satisfied with the work we‘ve done. We will send all the data to Yamaha Motor Company in Japan and Yamaha Motor Racing in Italy, where the Yamaha engineers will work tirelessly to prepare the next steps for the tests in Sepang.
I think we got some positives today, but we still have to change many things. There were some big changes, especially on the aero side. But I think that the direction we took was the right one. We made a few steps, and hopefully at Sepang we can be at our 100%. Today, I was also feeling okay. I have to keep going with the antibiotics for a few days, but today was much better.
It was my first day with the Yamaha team, and I‘m so happy because it was a really good day. We tested many things: small things regarding set-up. We only worked on the aerodynamics. I‘m quite happy because I adapted quite well to the bike so early on. The last hours, from midday to the end of the session, we were trying fairings, and they made a step forward compared to the fairing I used in the morning, which was the race fairing.
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Day of positives and progress for the Repsol Honda Team as 2024 preparations commence in Valencia
Work for the 2024 MotoGP World Championship is already well underway as Joan Mir and the Repsol Honda Team sampled the 2024 prototype Honda RC213V for the first time, the double World Champion ending the day in 13th and positive about future progress.
Late November in Valencia made for a cold start to the first day of the 2024 MotoGP World Championship pre-season as wind whipped around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. This didn’t stop the Repsol Honda Team who were the first out on track just after 10:00 Local Time. Joan Mir would venture out not long after, starting the day on his 2023 machine before stepping onto the newest evolution of the Honda RC213V.
Completing a total of 69 laps, Mir posted a fastest time of 1’30.051 to end the day in 13th. Starting Tuesday assessing his physical condition after missing the Grand Prix due to a crash, Mir was able to ride without major limitations and diligently worked through his testing plan. Running until the final moments, the #36 left the test content with initial developments made by HRC engineers since the Misano Test. The busy schedule meant that Mir was unable to do a final time attack, but the overall pace he showed was promising.
Luca Marini finished the day in tenth with a best time of 1’29.956 and 72 laps completed.
All involved will now enjoy a well-earned break after the 20-race season, MotoGP action returning with the Sepang Test in early February.
“It was a good day today and I am pleased with what we have seen from the protobike. The first success was being able to test because after the fall on Friday, it was not guaranteed. At the end of the day I did start to feel some pain but the important thing is we were able to have a busy and successful day, getting through a lot of items. We were trying things until the very end of the day and we didn’t have a chance to do a proper time attack, but this is not the focus – our pace was good and the developments are positive. There is still work to do, but the first steps are in the right direction and we can head into the winter looking forward what is to come.”
More, from a press release issued by KTM Factory Racing:
FIRST FAST STRIDES TO NEXT YEAR WITH WINDY AND CHILLY VALENCIA TEST WRAPPING 2023 MOTOGP™
2023 Motorsport news
The last official bout of MotoGP action in 2023 concluded at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia as the one-day IRTA test allowed teams and riders to try new parts and ideas well ahead of the 2024 season. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing ploughed through an aerodynamic and electronic test program and ended the session with both riders in the top nine of the fastest lap-times.
Brad Binder rounds Valencia for 51 laps and with the 2nd quickest time as the South African closes his fourth campaign in MotoGP and with the KTM RC16
Jack Miller sets the 9th best effort in the chrono and with some further experimentation to refine the performance of the #43 race bike
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, the 4th best team in the championship and the vanguard for the second best Constructor, now transfer their working duties to the factory and with a view to the first pre-season test at the Sepang International Circuit from 6-8 February 2024
Afternoon sunshine arrived to coat the last three hours of the Valencia test and the first strains of work towards the 22-round 2024 MotoGP season. With just 70 days between the laps in Spain – less than two days after the final race of the 2023 campaign in which Red Bull KTM claimed a podium finish – and the next test outing in Malaysia, there was plenty of data to collect, components for Brad Binder and Jack Miller to try, and ideas to be evaluated.
Clearly on display was the next development of the RC16 aerodynamics package but the factory crew also clicked off a number of internal question marks with the bike’s setup. Binder had a push at a time attack and ranked 2nd after sitting around the top ten for most of the day with his fifth effort of the test. Miller accumulated more laps and moved to 9th position from the full allotment of 23 riders working in Spain.
Brad Binder, 2nd: “Today we tried a few different things with aero, some exhausts. We didn’t have anything big or radical but we learnt a lot about what we did use, and that’s the most important thing. We played with some electronics to try and put the bike a bit more ‘in our hands’ and that was cool but there is still some room to work. Everything was pretty much the first starting point towards the next test in Malaysia.”
Jack Miller, 9th: “A busy day and the weather conditions were not ideal but I’m happy enough. We tested a lot and we already have a clear direction for where we want to improve. We are working hard to make a broader power range, we tried some aero, and we made a step with grip today so I’m happy with that. Pleased to have reached the end of the season. It’s been a hectic year!”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Just one day here in Valencia so a matter of getting through as much as we could. It was important to collect information for the winter work for the Sepang test. We never stop evolving the bike, there was a lot during the race weekends as well, so we are not looking for big steps. We need to work on little details and the rider needs to understand how and where to use the potential. We are looking for small gains on electronics, aerodynamics, everywhere. We know our engine is strong and the chassis is the first spec of the new technology: there are plenty of areas where we can still work.”
Sebastian Risse, Red Bull KTM Technical Manager MotoGP: “After some intense weeks we had one last chance to work on the next steps and I think we – the team and the riders – did a great job exploring some directions for aero because this is the thing to homologate for next year. We also had some other projects like the exhaust with a lot of mapping behind it, some engine management with a view towards next year’s fuel. I believe we really learned a lot today, and there is a lot of input that can help us for next year. I don’t think we are on the final version of anything we have tried but it was very important to get all this feedback. It has been a very high workload in the last weeks and the team did great. I’m proud of that and I think we can look forward to a very good season next year.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
JOHANN ZARCO COMPLETES THE FIRST TEST WITH LCR
LCR Honda CASTROL rider Johann Zarco finished 17th in the first test with LCR in Valencia.
The new addition to the team, Johann Zarco, has carried out the first day back on a Honda, with LCR. The rider completed 61 laps throughout the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and felt comfortable on the bike. During the day, the Frenchman has been able to compare the 2023 bike and the 2024 protobike, and has ended up admitting there are some positives and potential.