Understandably, it was factory duo Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia Racing teammate Maverick Viñales occupying most of the testing duties though, the main one being a new swingarm. Espargaro described the update as “quite good, in terms of grip and acceleration we found some positive things,” while in Sepang, the main objective will be to find some more torque and power from the “bottom end”. Look out for that. Meanwhile, Viñales admitted he didn’t have too many things to try, his main objective was to give some important feedback to new crew chief Manu Cazeaux.
That means it’s Michele Pirro out for Ducati as the Ducati Lenovo Team look to begin their defence of not one, not two but three titles, aka that coveted triple crown. Yamaha, meanwhile, expect to field three test riders – Cal Crutchlow, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Kohta Nozane – as they look to take back to the top.
In 2023, MotoE™ welcomes Ducati as the single manufacturer, with plenty to look forward to as the grid switch machinery and get ready for the most comprehensive season ever. Eight rounds in seven countries sees MotoE™ join the MotoGP™ paddock from Le Mans, kicking off competition alongside the 1000th Grand Prix, and the season runs all the way through to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. That’s every MotoGP™ stop in Europe between May and early September, creating a 16-race, eight-round, action-packed MotoE™ season.
Unfortunately, it proved a false dawn, with both rider and bike struggling throughout the course of the season, and the #44 only managed to crack the top 10 once more that year. For obvious reasons, he often cut a frustrated figure in the paddock, but despite all the negatives, Espargaro holds no regrets over his move to Honda, fully believing it has helped him not just grow professionally, but also personally.
“As you may know, I will be doing an appearance as a wildcard rider at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez later this year,” started Pedrosa. “I’m really happy about this opportunity with the KTM Factory Racing Team. We’ll be doing this wildcard mainly to get more experience out of MotoGP Sprint and the new MotoGP format. Hopefully, we can get as much experience as possible from the weekend.
Fabio Di Giannantonio is a name that will be well known to fans of MotoGP™, with the Gresini Racing rider now entering his second year in the premier class. After a successful debut campaign, where he stole a shock pole position at his home GP in Mugello, the Italian is looking to kick on and hopefully add to his three wins and 19 podiums earned throughout his Moto2™ and Moto3™ days. Ahead of the new season, why not learn a little more about one of the fastest men on the planet? So, without further ado, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Fabio Di Giannantonio.
“I believe that will help Fabiano to improve the bike quicker. They’ve added very experienced people and, importantly, they’re now Fabiano’s people. This means a lot. It’s one thing working with the people you find in the company, sometimes you can be lucky and find people that you like and that share the same ideas, but now he’s signed his own people, people he believes KTM really needs. So, I’m confident they’re about to make a step forward.
Saturday is now an absolute blockbuster. MotoGP™ has a 30-minute free practice session, similar to the previous FP4, and then it’s time to qualify as Q1 starts at 10:50 before Q2 finalises the rest of the grid at 11:15. Once that’s concluded, our new post-qualifying show will take riders to a new stage for some live interviews in front of the fans. Then, it’s time to sprint!
The British Talent Cup, powered by Honda, returns this season with an eagerly anticipated nine-round calendar, supporting the Bennetts British Superbike Championship and the British Grand Prix racing alongside MotoGP™ at Silverstone. The Cup will also feature a new title partner for the forthcoming season as R&G increase their support of the series for upcoming riders on the Road to MotoGP™ programme.
The 2020 MotoGP™ World Champion lines up alongside Marc Marquez in the factory HRC ranks for the 2023 campaign, in what is one of the most exciting rider pairings we’ve seen in MotoGP™ with the duo boasting 10 World Championships between them. Mir began his Honda adventure at the one-day Official Valencia Test in November 2022 and as pre-season training ramps up, Mir headed back to Valencia’s familiar stomping ground to spin some important laps on Honda’s superbike.