2023 Portimão Moto3 Test Friday Session 2 Results: Moreira Leads Masia
With testing for the MotoGP class done and dusted, the Paddock Pass Podcast crew get together to draw conclusions from the final test at Portimão. Adam Wheeler, Steve English, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett take a long look at how testing went for the factories.
There was plenty to discuss. Are Ducati as unstoppable as they look? Has Fabio Quartararo got a bike he can fight for the championship with? What are Honda doing, and can they be competitive? And can KTM fix the lack of rear grip the RC16 suffers with?
We finish up with our winners and losers: Is a Pecco Bagnaia repeat inevitable? What's going on with Franco Morbidelli? Is Jorge Martin set for a breakthrough season?
Testing may have finished for the MotoGP class, but the news rolls on. A few interesting items have popped up over the past few days, which are worth examining.
Honda turns to Kalex again
Two rounds into the WorldSBK season and it already feels that the back is broken on the season. After the shortest winter in memory, some team personnel said that they had just a few days off over Christmas, it’s been a hectic time for the paddock. This week will be a rare chance to catch their breath but with tests in Aragon, Montmelo and Assen on the schedule for teams it’s clear that there’s still plenty of work to be done!
After a hard winter, Indonesia should have been a reward for much of the paddock. With the track sitting on the stunning coastline of Lombok it’s a perfect holiday destination. Good weather, nice hotels, white sand and local cuisine makes for a perfect destination. Unfortunately, that postcard image didn’t quite work out for most teams. Food poisoning seemed to affect half the paddock and the weekend became a test of endurance on and off track.
It’s been a long, hard winter and this was the culmination of that for many...
Toprak wins again
Yamaha know the challenge they are facing in 2023; a horde of fast Ducati’s that can be competitive everywhere. For Toprak Razgatlioglu that means he has to be perfect week in and week out. Australia was far from that objective for the Turkish star, and with Alvaro Bautista having claimed five wins from six races it was critical that Toprak would win at least one race in Indonesia.
So the final test of the 2023 preseason has finished. In reality, of course, testing finished on Saturday – Sunday was the first day of practice for the first round of the 2023 MotoGP season at Portimão. It's just that there are eleven days between the eight-hour FP1 session we just had and the 45 minute session officially titled FP1 on Friday March 24th.
That is an exaggeration, but only a slight one. There were a few things being tested – mostly factories finalizing aerodynamics, as well as the odd experiment – but for the most part, the teams were using the day to prepare for the first race of the season in just under two weeks time. Almost everyone did a sprint race simulation, and pretty much everyone tried to set a fast time. So the timesheets may not tell us everything, but they are actually meaningful, at last.
But first, about those experiments. Yamaha finally rolled out the F1-style rear wing on the tail of Fabio Quartararo's Yamaha M1, much to the revulsion of a sizable part of the fan base on social media. (Though notably, a younger section of fans were in favor of such innovation.)
Pecco Bagnaia has destroyed the Portimão lap record at the final MotoGP test of the year to lead the test going into the opening race of the season in two weeks time. Bagnaia posted a lap of 1:37.968, nearly eight tenths faster than his own pole record from 2021.
Bagnaia wasn't the only rider to get under the lap record. Everyone in the first 12 places was faster than Bagnaia's 1:38.725 from 2021.
Times with 1 hour of the test to go: