Francesco Bagnaia was fastest in the combined results of the first official MotoGP test for 2024 held in Sepang, Malaysia.
O Francesco Bagnaia he was the one who finally saw his name appear at the top of the final results immediately after the three-day test that ended a few hours ago in Sepang, Malaysia. The 2022 and 2023 World Champion made the most of the upgrades brought by Ducati – new fairing and engine – and “wrote” on the saddle of the GP24 a time of 1:56.682, thus taking a head from his great rival and last year's runner-up, Jorge Martin, which was adapted today to the special characteristics of the new Desmosedici.
Having finished in #1 position yesterday, the second consecutive day of the #SepangTest, o Enea Bastianini he settled for third today, proving his “return” to the top after a bad year last year marked by injuries.
In fourth place was another Ducati, his Alex Marquez, who stopped the clock at 1:56.938. His brother Marc Marquez he too put a soft rear tire on Gresini Racing's Ducati GP23, clocking a time of 1:57.270 today – which earned him 6th place overall. The eight-time World Champion continued his adjustment to the new… world of Ducati admitting that it will take time and kilometers in order to reach absolute speed at the levels of the rest of the Borgo Panigale riders.
In turn, on the contrary, Fabio Di Giannantonio from the Pertamina Enduro VR46 camp, he was 8th, but with amazing pace in the long-runs on his Desmosedici GP23. Nine riders simulated a sprint race today, with 'Diggia' fastest ahead of Enea Bastianini and Jorge Martin.
In contrast, the Marco Bezzecchi, the other rider of Valentino Rossi's team, found things much more… dark in Sepang, having three total crashes during the three days of the first official tests of the year. So, combined with the different braking style required by the GP23 and the wilder nature of its engine, the Italian was unable to improve his times, finishing 15th in the combined standings.
“Mixed” were also the results in the Aprilia Racing camp. On the one hand, Mr Aleix Espargaro he managed to set a very competitive time (1:57.091) and was fourth in the sprint simulations – and 5th overall in absolute speed, among the Marquez brothers. On the contrary, the Maverick Vinales he struggled with a lack of grip on the Italian bike's rear wheel, finishing only 12th.
THE Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing), also driving Aprilia's new RS-GP, finished 18th, while his companion in the American team, Raul Fernandez, he did not complete his attempt, due to an injury after falling on the first day of official testing.
In the camp of four KTM motorcycles, the spotlight was focused on him Pedro Harasses. And not unfair.
Although O Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the one to finish in front on the combined results of all three days (7th best time), the young Tech3 Gas Gas rider finished 9th, just 0.058s off the lead. from the protagonist of “orange army”. In the sprint simulation, this season's only rookie was also fast – more than nine laps faster than World Champion Francesco Bagnaia and less than 1 second overall from Marc Marquez and Aleix Espargaro.
THE Jack Miller, the other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider tested all the aerodynamic upgrades for the RC16 brought to the track by the Austrian company, including the new engine and of course the carbon frame, finishing in 11th place, with a difference of just over 1s. from the top.
THE Joan Mir from Repsol Honda managed to enter the top 10, recording a time better than the one that gave pole position to Francesco Bagnaia last year. But despite an improvement of 1.1 seconds per lap, Honda has plenty of work to do with the new RC213V both in terms of rear-wheel grip and the bike's aerodynamic performance. THE Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), with a time of 1:57.765, finished 13th, ahead of Johann Zarco (LCR Honda) and Luca Marini (Repsol Honda) who took 17th and 19th place, respectively.
At Yamaha, finally, the Fabio Quartararo scored with the M1 for the 11th year, being satisfied with the higher power output of the new in-line 4-cylinder engine – but not with the Japanese bike's cornering behavior. His counterpart, Alex Rins, he began his adaptation to the all-new for the same bike with a badge, finishing in 16th place.
Of the riders on this year's grid, the big absentee was Franco Morbidelli, who was kept out of on-track action as a precaution as a result of the crash he had with a 'political' Ducati Panigale in Portimao, Portugal a few days earlier.