Luca Marini was fastest in the one-day MotoGP test at Misano from Maverick Vinales as teams trialed things for 2024 season.
After what could prove a pivotal Grand Prix at Misano in terms of the title fight, MotoGP got back on track on Monday for what could prove a pivotal test too. Topping the timesheets was Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) on his 47th lap of 49 in the afternoon session, deposing Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) as the two duelled it out for top honours. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was third quickest with a late leap up the order.
The key stories were less focused on the timesheets, however, as plenty of novelties broke cover on a crucial day of track action for Honda and Yamaha. Read on to get a rundown of what was spotted in pitlane, and where!
Mooney VR46, Prima Pramac & Gresini
Not every rider was out on Monday, and pitlane was noticeably missing reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) as he sat it out, his teammate Enea Bastianini who is sidelined due to injury, and test rider Michele Pirro after his crash as a wildcard yesterday. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) didn’t take to the track either.
In terms of novelties, there wasn’t too much on show across the Ducati stables. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) had both bikes with the bigger side fairings instead of the downwash duct setup he’s used the last few races, but there was nothing new in terms of the classic Ducati, innovation-driven novelties with the Ducati Lenovo Squad not on track either.
Aprilia & CryptoData RNF
At Aprilia, there was a new chassis. Aleix Espargaro said it wasn’t better or worse, just different: it felt softer and handled the bumps better, which is something that affects the Noale factory at some venues. Viñales even said on Thursday in the pre-Misano press conference that he’d never realised the track had bumps until he arrived at Aprilia.
There was arguably another headline-stealer, however: Miguel Oliveira had a 2023 Aprilia in his CryptoData RNF MotoGP Team box, alongside his usual 2022 machine. His review? A step forward in every way.
Red Bull KTM & GASGAS Tech3
At Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Jack Miller had one of the chassis that wildcard and test rider Dani Pedrosa used over the weekend, rumoured to be fully carbon fibre. Pedrosa didn’t join the test. Binder had a black chassis, but it looked similar to his standard 2023 chassis. Miller also had a run out on that.
At GASGAS Tech3 Factory Racing, there seemingly wasn’t much to report, but the duo put in the laps to gain some more data. Pol Espargaro also crashed, rider ok. He didn’t go out in the afternoon but rookie teammate Augusto Fernandez continued putting in the laps.
Monster Energy Yamaha
In the morning, one of Fabio Quartararo’s machines had the bigger aero for a couple of runs, before it was then switched back. But then another aero package broke cover: a combination of the first iteration of the 2023 aero plus additions previously tried by Franco Morbidelli at the Portimao Test.
Morbidelli was also trying his current aero and the original 2023 aero throughout the day, as well as a new larger air box/fuel tank covering. The Italian also tried the double exhaust, already seen previously, again at Misano, and a new chassis that didn’t gain a good review from the number 21.
However, there was also a fifth bike in the Yamaha box, likely the bike that contained a new engine. The reports? Team manager Massimo Meregalli was positive, but when Quartararo debriefed, he said he’d expected more.
Repsol Honda & LCR Honda Castrol
There was a lot of talk about Honda ahead of the test, and much of it may now likely continue. Repsol Honda teammates Marc Marquez and Joan Mir both had one of the bikes that HRC test rider and wildcard Stefan Bradl used during the Grand Prix weekend with the new chassis, new tail unit and new exhausts.
Mir did a short run on the “new” bike before work continued in the garage, only heading back out on it much later in the day. Marc Marquez, meanwhile, did a few runs on the machine, and made more than the odd headline in his debrief.
Bradl had a machine with the new chassis, new tail unit and new exhausts, and LCR Honda Castrol’s Takaaki Nakagami also tried it. The general consensus for those trying it for the first time? Different, but not necessarily better at this stage.
Here’s photos from test: https://www.motogp.com/en/news/2023/09/11/best-photos-2023-misano-test/477814
[Note: The story is as per press release]