Preparations for the new season resume on the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, where in precisely two weeks, from 24th-26th March, the Portugal GP, the opening round of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, will take place.
On Saturday, the 11th and Sunday 12th of March, MotoGP riders will be busy with the last two days of preseason testing at the Portuguese track. For Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini, the two sessions of 8 hours will be essential to complete the development work on their Desmosedici GPs in 2023 configuration that began last February at the Sepang Test, but they will also be crucial to start fine-tuning the bikes ahead of the first race weekend.
Starting this year, the weekend schedule will include a sprint race on Saturday afternoon in all Grands Prix, requiring teams and riders to adopt a different strategy than a traditional race. Bagnaia and Bastianini will also have to work on this different approach to the race weekend over the two days of testing.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team)
“We are now very close to the first race of the season, and so this test will be crucial. In Sepang, we managed to do a good job and bring the new bike to the same level as last year’s. We are very close to being 100%, and I am sure we will be able to complete our work here. Portimão is a very different track from Sepang, and, of course, so are the weather conditions. So it will be crucial to try the different fairings tested in Malaysia again to have more data to analyze before making a final decision. We will also have to work on the race weekend, especially the sprint race. It will be two intense days, but I am ready and excited to return to work.”
Enea Bastianini (#23, Ducati Lenovo Team)
“I am happy to get back on track this weekend and return to work to prepare for the new season. We are now practically two weeks away from the first race, and I can’t wait! Although we completed a good part of our program in Sepang, two very intense days await us here. It will be important to repeat some of the tests we did in Malaysia to have different data to compare. In addition, we will need to start working on fine-tuning the bike for the race and simulate a sprint race to understand how we will have to approach this year. We hope to find good weather on both days.”
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will take to the track on Saturday, 11th March, at 9:30am local time (CET -1) for the first 8-hour test session.
- From Ducati Media House