The 2023 MotoGP season officially begins. Three days of testing to start work on the new bikes while waiting for the big names to return to the track.
MotoGP finally opens its doors on the 2023 season with the so-called MotoGP Shakedown Tests on the Sepang circuit. From February 5th to 7th the test drivers of the five brands, the rookies and the licensed teams will be able to take to the track to test the new prototypes in view of the championship which will start from Portimao from 24th to 26th March. The only rookie will be Augusto Fernandez of the GASGAS Tech3 team, however there are no teams that benefit from the concessions after Aprilia collected the good results of 2022.
The winter preseason continues after the first test on 8 November in Valencia. In Sepang, the premier class brands will begin the real work on the new bike components, from aerodynamics to the engine, from chassis to aerodynamics, before proceeding with the homologations on the eve of the first race on the calendar. From Sunday 5 to Tuesday 7 February there will be three days that will serve as a warm up before the official IRTA test to be held from 10 to 12 Februarywith the presence of all the riders on the grid.
The first outing of MotoGP 2023
The pre-season work begins with the testers. KTM has officially announced the signing of the new test rider Jonas Folger, who will join the reconfirmed Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio. Aprilia at work with Lorenzo Savadori, Ducati with Michele Pirro, Honda with Stefan Bradl. Yamaha, on the other hand, will field the two testers Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Kohta Nozane alongside Cal Crutchlow, on the eve of a season in which the Iwata-based manufacturer will field only two YZR-M1s.
The Sepang Shakedown will not have television coverage and no timing is foreseen, so at the end of the day, don’t expect times and standings. The local time of the tests will be from 10:00 to 18:00 during the three days, ie from 03:00 to 11:00 in Italy. On the track, air temperatures above 30°C and humidity levels of over 80% are expected. It will be a real tour de force for the riders involved in the Malaysian circuit and who will have to deal with truly extreme weather conditions.
Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha test rider and old acquaintance of the MotoGP paddock, described the commitment of the coming days in this way. “The problem is not only the heat from the engine of our bike, but also the heat that escapes from the back of the exhausts of the other bikes“, he explained to Crash.net. “Here we get blasted at 1,000 degrees… People don’t understand how hard it is to drive here“.