The Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia is the scene of the first MotoGP preseason test of 2023. The opening day of action was held in good weather conditions.
Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) was the fastest rider of the day, setting a time of 1:58.470. Behind him, Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) put in the second fastest time after a last-minute attempt at the end of the day that left him just 130 thousandths of a second behind, with Enea Bastianini (Ducati) in third position, two tenths of a second off the best time.
The differences were minimal between those behind them, with Jorge Martín, Francesco Bagnaia, Aleix Espargaró, Johann Zarco, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Álex Márquez all separated by three tenths of a second.
Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) rounded off a Top 10 practically monopolised by Aprilia and Ducati riders. His teammate, Fabio Quartararo, closely followed him in eleventh.
Marc Márquez completes 58 laps and finishes 12th
The Repsol Honda team finished the day with a total of 111 laps completed. Marc Márquez stopped the clock at 1:59.424 to place twelfth, whilst Joan Mir finished in 17th.
1. Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) – 1:58.470
2. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) +0.130
3. Enea Bastianini (Ducati) +0.262
4. Jorge Martín (Ducati) +0.267
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.387
6. Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) +0.471
7. Johann Zarco (Ducati) +0.479
8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati) +0.551
9. Álex Márquez (Ducati) +0.566
10. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +0.648
12. Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda) +0.954
17. Joan Mir (Repsol Honda) +1.362
“It was a really busy day, trying a lot of different things like you normally do in the pre-season. We started first on the 2022 bike just to confirm the feeling and then we jumped straight to the new bikes. We tried a few bikes and some different setups for them, getting a lot of interesting information and data from it which now the engineers and technicians need to analyse. We will see what the situation is at the end of the pre-season, it has just been a single day so it is very early to understand anything. We’re trying different things right now and working hard, it is what testing is for”.
“For sure it was a demanding day, we did a lot of laps and we tried many things. We haven’t made a huge step compared to Valencia, but we are taking some steps. The goal is to improve each day and close the gap to the top riders. I am still adapting to the bike, but I think it is going well so far. There’s a lot of information to process at the moment, from the technical side and in regards to my riding. Everything is moving and developing on all sides, we have to be satisfied with this first step but we need to keep going”.