News 29 Nov 2023

Valencia MotoGP test concludes with Vinales fastest

Eagerly-awaited first outing complete for riders with 2024 teams.

Image: Supplied.

The highly-anticipated MotoGP post-season test at Valencia is complete, with Maverick Vinales topping the timesheets as a number of riders made their anticipated debuts with their 2024 teams.

Vinales’ quickest effort on the day was a 1m29.253s – roughly three tenths slower than his pole time. That said, the conditions were cooler and wind played a factor on Tuesday.

Second fastest was KTM Racing Team’s Brad Binder, who sampled the 2024 RC16, however, his best lap was not set on that platform. The South African also suffered a fall turn five.

Top Ducati was Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) in P3, with Marc Marquez wasting no time in getting up to speed with Gresini Racing onboard the 2023-spec Ducati. The eight-time world champion posted a 1m29.424s for fourth.

In P5 was Raul Fernandez, who completed the day with the Aprilia Test Team after his CRYPTO Data RNF team was revoked of its grid slots for 2024. Fernandez got to sample the 2023 RS-GP for the first time, and it is expected the future of both himself, and currently injured teammate Miguel Oliveira is safe for next season when a new independant outfit to fill RNF’s vacant grid slots, using Aprilia machinery.

Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio debuted with the Mooney VR46 team after it was publicly announced at the 11th hour that he would race for the outfit next year, and by all accounts was pleased with how the day went as he focused on race-pace.

Eigth fastest was Ducati Lenovo Team’s Enea Bastianini, ahead of Australia’s Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in P9 who was lapping on a zebra-camouflaged KTM that sported a new aero and new air intake.

Freshly-minted Repsol Honda Team racer Luca Marini wasted no time in getting out on track, sampling Honda’s new-look 2024 RC213V. The new Honda is A heavily updated platform that boasts a new chassis, a new swingarm, new aero, plus new exhausts. Teammate Joan Mir, 13th fastest, appeared happy with the signs of progress with the new bike.

Back-to-back MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) concluded the day in P11, testing a new chassis and engine throughout the day.

In the Monster Energy Yamaha garage, Alex Rins made his debut with the team alongside Fabio Quartararo. Both riders used Yamaha’s longer, duel exhausts, and also sampled an updated version of the 2024 engine. Quartararo concluded the day in P12, Rins P19.

Highly-rated Moto2 world champion Pedro Acosta made his premier-class debut with GasGas Factory Racing Tech3, completing 18 laps with his quickest being a 1m30.476s, placing him 1.223s from Vinales out front.

The Spaniard was one place behind Johann Zarco who made his return to the LCR Honda team, while Prima Pramac Racing newcomer Franco Morbidelli finishing the outing 16th, just behind teammate Jorge Martin who suffered a challenging day with two crashes.