MotoGP: New Riders & Rides Debut In Testing At Valencia (Updated With Test Results)

MotoGP: New Riders & Rides Debut In Testing At Valencia (Updated With Test Results)

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

By Michael Gougis

Four World Champions took to the track Tuesday at Circuit Ricardo Tormo for the first test of the 2023 season. And several riders were on new machines for the first time in their careers, some switching brands, one moving up to the big bikes.

At the end of the day, the Ducati riders were still fastest. Luca Marini topped the day with a 1:30.032, quicker than Maverick Vinales on the factory Aprilia by 0.225-second.

When it came to top speed, Ducatis ruled as well. MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia was fastest, clocking 335.4 kph (208.4 mph). The next five riders, all Ducati-mounted, each tripped the speed trap at 332.1 kph (206.4 mph), matched only by Marc Marquez on the Honda. Marquez said the machine he rode had a slightly revised engine for more torque, but added that it was not a major upgrade.

The most poignant moment of the afternoon came when members of the departing Suzuki MotoGP team came through the Media Center, handing out hats that were no longer needed for promotional purposes.

 

Enea Bastianini (23) moved up to the factory Ducati squad, now partnering MotoGP World Champion and fierce rival Francesco Bagnaia in 2023. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Enea Bastianini (23) moved up to the factory Ducati squad, now partnering MotoGP World Champion and fierce rival Francesco Bagnaia in 2023. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

The 2020 MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir (36) leads 2022 Moto2 World Champion and MotoGP rookie Augusto Fernandez (37) in testing at Valencia. Photo by Michael Gougis.
The 2020 MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir (36) leads 2022 Moto2 World Champion and MotoGP rookie Augusto Fernandez (37) in testing at Valencia. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Alex Marquez (73) switched from Honda to Ducati for the 2023 MotoGP season. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Alex Marquez (73) switched from Honda to Ducati for the 2023 MotoGP season. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Pol Espargaro (44) moves from Honda to GASGAS for 2023. It is essentially a move back home for Espargaro - his best results came on the KTM, and the GASGAS is a re-badged KTM RC16. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Pol Espargaro (44) moves from Honda to GASGAS for 2023. It is essentially a move back home for Espargaro – his best results came on the KTM, and the GASGAS is a re-badged KTM RC16. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Luca Marini (10) was on top of the time sheets at the end of the day on the Mooney VR46 Racing Team Desmosedici. Photo by Michael Gougis
Luca Marini (10) was on top of the time sheets at the end of the day on the Mooney VR46 Racing Team Desmosedici. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Raul Fernandez (25) turned nearly 80 laps in his first outing on the RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Raul Fernandez (25) turned nearly 80 laps in his first outing on the RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

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