MotoGP: Seen During The 2023 Pre-Season Test At Valencia

MotoGP: Seen During The 2023 Pre-Season Test At Valencia

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By Michael Gougis.

By Michael Gougis

MotoGP teams opened the 2023 pre-season at Valencia with new equipment, new riders, and new team members. The traditional post-race test in Spain is the last chance for the factory engineers to test their concepts before starting to produce machines during the winter break. It is also typically the first chance for rookies to come to terms with the power of a MotoGP machine, as well as the first chance for riders swapping manufacturers to come to grips with their new mounts.

Former Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir rode a Honda RC213V for the first time today, while 2022 Moto2 World Champion Augusto Fernandez moved up to the GASGAS Tech3 RC16 to partner with Pol Espargaro, formerly of Repsol Honda.

Raul Fernandez moved from a KTM to an Aprilia in the new RNF MotoGP Team, alongside fellow KTM expatriate Miguel Oliveira. Former factory Ducati rider Jack Miller moved to the factory KTM squad, while Alex Marquez left the LCR Honda team for the Gresini Ducati seat vacated by Enea Bastianini, who moved to the factory Ducati team.

 

 

Honda mixed and matched aerodynamic devices. New Repsol Honda rider Joan Mir rode bikes with two different types of front wings, with and without the lower fairing ducts, and had two different chassis to test. One appeared identical to the chassis used by Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro in Sunday's race, while another appeared similar to the chassis used by Takaaki Nakagami in Sunday's race. HRC had the new wing on the fairing without the lower ducting, as used by Marquez in Sunday's race. The wing used by Espargaro was not seen on the test bikes on Tuesday. Note the wing in the foreground, with a split upper element and a loop down to a lower element. Note also that the device looks like it was hastily 3-D printed. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Honda mixed and matched aerodynamic devices. New Repsol Honda rider Joan Mir rode bikes with two different types of front wings, with and without the lower fairing ducts, and had two different chassis to test. One appeared identical to the chassis used by Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro in Sunday’s race, while another appeared similar to the chassis used by Takaaki Nakagami in Sunday’s race. HRC had the new wing on the fairing without the lower ducting, as used by Marquez in Sunday’s race. The wing used by Espargaro was not seen on the test bikes on Tuesday. Note the wing in the foreground, with a split upper element and a loop down to a lower element. Note also that the device looks like it was hastily 3-D printed. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Close-up of a new wing on Alex Rins' LCR Honda RC213V. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Close-up of a new wing on Alex Rins’ LCR Honda RC213V. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

KTM tested with multiple bodywork configurations. Note the different tail sections. Photo by Michael Gougis.
KTM tested with multiple bodywork configurations. Note the different tail sections. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Ducati has been using Johann Zarco as an in-race tester for its Desmosedici, and the Frenchman reportedly has been using a different chassis than the other Ducati riders since mid-season. Note how thin the cross-section of the lower part of the spar is on Zarco's Pramac machine. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Ducati has been using Johann Zarco as an in-race tester for its Desmosedici, and the Frenchman reportedly has been using a different chassis than the other Ducati riders since mid-season. Note how thin the cross-section of the lower part of the main frame spar is on Zarco’s Pramac machine. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

 

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