Misano MotoGP Test Analysis Part 1 - Aprilia And Ducati Make Subtle Changes, Yamaha Goes All In

What were the MotoGP factories testing at the two-day Misano test this Tuesday and Wednesday? That depends what day you asked, and which factories you looked at. Tuesday was the day most teams and factories spent on improvements to their 2022 setup – with 6 races left, there are meaningful gains to be made in the title race. On Wednesday, the focus mainly switched to 2023, with new frames, new engines, new aero, and more rolled out.

There was another reason to work on 2022 on Tuesday. The bane of all MotoGP tests is that they usually take place after a MotoGP weekend, so they start on a track which is nicely rubbered in from the Michelin tires used by MotoGP (and at Misano, also the MotoE Michelins), and then spend another day or (in the case of Misano) two laying down yet more Michelin rubber. By the end of the test, the riders have grip coming out of their ears, a very different proposition from the tricky conditions which prevail after a Moto2 race.

Even the data collected on the first day has to be filtered and carefully examined. "We have to do a good technical debrief, because as you just saw, everybody is very fast during the test," Aleix Espargaro said. "The grip is completely different than during a GP, so you have to analyze everything carefully and see if something was good or not for the future."

The track grip was so good on Wednesday that it was hard to tell the difference between a used an an old tire, Fabio Quartararo said. "Now it's difficult to know something, because you know the track, I made 1'31.3 with a tire of 26 laps," the Frenchman said. "So at the end, you put a new tire in and you don't even feel that you have a new tire."

Testing, Testinger, Testingest

Testing must go on, however, and the factories appear to be split into three groups: Ducati and Aprilia, who are pretty happy with where they are and are making small changes now, and waiting for Valencia and the winter break to make bigger changes; Honda, Yamaha, and KTM, who brought a lot of new parts, as they know they have work to do to catch up; and Suzuki, who have nothing much to test because they are pulling out at the end of the year.

In fact, the only thing that Suzuki really had to test was Dominique Aegerter. The Swiss rider – Moto2 veteran, World Supersport champion and double MotoE cup winner – is a possible substitute for Joan Mir, should the Spaniard still not be fit for the Aragon MotoGP round on September 18th.

Aegerter rode only on Tuesday, as Suzuki packed up and went home on Tuesday afternoon. But his times were respectable, ending the day 2.6 seconds behind Pecco Bagnaia, half a second behind Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori, and a second behind the tail end of the MotoGP pack. Not bad, given this was his first time riding a real MotoGP bike.

But first to Ducati and Aprilia, and what they were up to, focusing more on 2022 than 2023.

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Thank you for the analysis and thank Niki for the nice pics!

PS: Domi is only 1 time MotoE Cup winner (could have been 2 without the clash of the last race of 2021...)