Misano, Italy

Provisional 2023 WorldSBK Calendar Released: 11 Rounds Confirmed, 1 Still To Be Announced

The FIM have released the provisional calendar for the 2023 WorldSBK season. A total of twelve rounds are planned, with one round still to be confirmed.

The season kicks off in its traditional location of Phillip Island on February 26th, with a test in the week before the opening round. It then heads to Mandalika, before returning to Europe and the TT Circuit in Assen. Barcelona follows, then Misano, Donington, Most, Magny-Cours, Aragon, and Portimão, before the season ends in Argentina at the San Juan Villicum circuit.

The WorldSSP300 class is set to race at all of the European rounds bar Donington Park.

The calendar appears below:

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MotoGP Expands to 21 Rounds, Adds India And Kazakhstan, Drops Aragon

As predicted earlier this month, the MotoGP calendar is to expand even further for 2023. Next year, there are to be 21 races in total, with two new circuits being added to the calendar.

The news that Sokol in Kazakhstan is being added had been expected, given the announcement on Tuesday. The surprise is that India is to have a MotoGP round next year, with the expectation in the paddock that it would not happen until 2024. But MotoGP is to race at the Buddh International circuit at the end of September in 2023. There had been concerns over customs and tax issues importing equipment and bikes into India, but paddock sources indicate these issues have been settled.

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Misano MotoGP Test Analysis Part 3 - Marc Marquez On His Return, And Honda's Big Gamble On Kalex

In our review of the Misano MotoGP test, we come at last to Honda. Undoubtedly the team with the most work to do, and the most going on. And the most attention, too, but that was more down to personnel than hardware. Marc Marquez was back on a MotoGP bike for the first time since the fourth operation on his right arm, with the aim of solving the multiple issues he has suffered since his crash at Jerez in 2020 once and for all.

Naturally, journalists and fans wanted to know if Marquez would be able to ride again, and if he could ride, whether he would still be winged, as he was after previous operations, or have full use of his right arm and get back to his old self. So far, it looks like the answer is that he can ride, and will be back to his pre-Jerez crash form.

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Misano MotoGP Test Analysis Part 2 - KTM's Radically Revised RC16 Rear

The two factories which saw the biggest changes at the Misano test were KTM and Honda. Honda were at a disadvantage here: they had Marc Marquez back, which obviously brought with it a lot of attention; they had a widely publicized and visually conspicuous new aluminum swingarm from Kalex; and Marc Marquez was trying new aero. It was hard for HRC to hide what they were doing. Or some of it, at least.

KTM were flying under the radar a little, but they were also bringing some major updates. The bike Dani Pedrosa was testing had some major changes to it, though you had to look carefully to see them exactly. The fact that their riders spoke mostly about the work for this year, and avoided talking about the 2023 bike meant we really did learn very little about the bike.

KTM

But let's start with KTM. Brad Binder offered a good explanation of KTM's method of working compared with last year. "I think we needed to start at a point at the beginning of the season, so we locked in the chassis, we locked in the aero, we locked in a whole lot of things, and said, OK, that's our base, now, how do we make this better?"

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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.

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2022 Misano MotoGP Test Day 2 final Result: Quartararo Leaves Test As Fastest

Fabio Quartararo leaves the Misano test as fastest, the Yamaha rider diving under Pecco Bagnaia's pole record in the afternoon session of the last day. It was a relatively quiet session, half the grid having completed their work before the lunch break, choosing to pack up and head home.

Pecco Bagnaia ends the test second fastest overall, with Maverick Viñales third quickest. Miguel Oliveira is the fastest KTM rider at the test, ending eighth half a second behind Quartararo. Marc Marquez is best Honda rider in thirteenth, just under six tenths off the time of Quartararo.

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2022 Misano MotoGP Test Day 2 1pm Result: Quartararo Fastest As New Yamaha Shows Speed

Testing continues at Misano, though the paddock is slowly starting to empty. Teams have moved on from working on the 2022 setting, and shifted focus to 2023. There is good news for Fabio Quartararo, as not only is he fastest on track - his 1'31.116 is just 0.05 off the outright lap record set by Pecco Bagnaia last year - but the 2023 Yamaha M1 appears to have real top speed. Quartararo is currently third on the top speed charts, with a best top speed of 298.3 km/h. That is 1.6 km/h faster than the best of 296.7 km/h he set during qualifying.

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2022 Misano MotoGP Test Day 2 Final Result: Bagnaia Leads Ducati Onslaught At End Of First Day

Pecco Bagnaia leaves pit lane at the Misano MotoGP test

Pecco Bagnaia has finished the first day of the MotoGP test at Misano at the top of the timesheets. Despite not having a great deal to test, the Ducatis spent a lot of time on track, Bagnaia ending the day fastest. Luca Marini set the second fastest time of the day, ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia.

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2022 Misano MotoGP Test Day 1 1pm Result: Aprilias Lead As Marquez Makes Comeback

Marc Marquez at the Misano test, riding for the first time since the fourth operation on his right arm

Testing is underway at Misano for one of the most important tests of the year, where the factories roll out the first prototypes of their 2023 MotoGP machines. On the first morning of the test, however, most of the work done has been on this year's bikes, with only a few new parts making an appearance.

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Misano MotoGP Subscriber Notes: Bagnaia's Dovizioso Tribute Act, Fabio's Unfixable Problem, And Aprilia's Rising And Waning Stars

There were many, many tributes to Andrea Dovizioso on the day that he retired as a full-time MotoGP racer, but there was perhaps none so fitting as the winner of Sunday's MotoGP race at Misano. Pecco Bagnaia, riding the bike Dovizioso had a massive, massive part in developing in the eight years he was at Ducati, took two and a half laps to get to the front of the race and then controlled it right to the end.

It was the way Bagnaia managed the race that was so reminiscent of Andrea Dovizioso. The way you usually win a race from the front is by taking off at the front and trying to lay down a pace that no one else is able to follow. Once you've opened a gap, you can then manage the pace to keep the gap consistent right to the end. The benefit is that you don't have to worry about fending off attacks, and can just concentrate on your own riding.

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