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.
As the riders break for lunch, the Aprilias lead the way, Aleix Espargaro faster than teammate Maverick Viñales, both riders half a second off the outright lap record set by Pecco Bagnaia in 2021. Fabio Quartararo is third fastest, just ahead of Pol Espargaro, who once again proves his speed in testing.
The most prominent participant is Marc Marquez, making his return on a MotoGP bike for the first time since his operation after Mugello to straighten the humerus he damaged in the Jerez crash two years ago. Marquez had been optimistic after riding a Honda CBR600RR around the Motorland Aragon kart track, and so far, things appear to have gone well for the Spaniard. He has done 39 laps, in a sequence of 5 and 6-lap runs, on a par with the rest of the field. Marquez has tried a new aero package, but there is so far no sign of the new aluminum swingarm built by Kalex, in a breach with long-standing tradition in HRC to do everything in-house.
We are expecting to see the 2023 Yamaha M1 at some point, though given Yamaha's record, it will be difficult to see the differences. The biggest difference is the engine, which should have more power and more acceleration to allow Fabio Quartararo to take on the Ducatis more successfully.
The test continues this afternoon and on Wednesday, with more novelties expected. Photos and updates will follow over the next few days.
Times at the end of the first four-hour session:
|9||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati||1'31.950||0.419||0.014|