Like this Saturday, Francesco Bagnaia set the fastest time on the second and final day of pre-season testing in Portimão. The reigning world champion is followed by Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo, who claims to have progressed with his Yamaha.
Francesco Bagnaia will approach the start of the 2023 season with confidence. The reigning world champion has confirmed that Ducati will remain the team to beat in MotoGP with the best time on the very last day of pre-season testing. On the Portimão circuit, which will host the first round of the year on March 26, the Italian has clearly improved his own benchmark established this Saturday. In effect, the official Ducati rider completed the best of his 61 laps in 1’37”968, which is nine tenths better than the time set just 24 hours earlier. But, if the Italian motorcycles monopolized the first places this Saturday, the situation has changed somewhat.
Indeed, after a first day marked by a fall, Johann Zarco moved up to second place just under three tenths off the fastest time. The Frenchman was immediately followed by… his compatriot Fabio Quartararo. The 2021 world champion, after a very complicated day on Saturday, regained momentum while being one of the most diligent drivers on the track. Riding his Yamaha, “El Diablo” took the third time just 334 thousandths from Francesco Bagnaia’s time.
👊🏼 Hit that fist, Ducatisti! Not a bad day in the office today!🔥😎 #PortimaoTest#ForzaDucati #DucatiLenovoTeam pic.twitter.com/phdxKy0OhW
— Ducati Corse (@ducaticorse) March 12, 2023
Quartararo: “We don’t give up”
Facing the press, the Yamaha rider assured that “great progress” has been made through a kind of backtracking. ” We rode with last year’s aerodynamic package, old settings on the bike and it worked, he summarized. We could see a little bit where the problems were and that was really good. I feel that I am one with the bike. In reality, Fabio Quartararo took part in this day of testing with what is similar to the chassis used last year with the new, more powerful engine, developed under the guidance of Luca Marmorini, former Ferrari engineer in Formula 1 .
“It’s not about new stuff, maybe even old pieces,” he said. It was a matter of settings and it worked pretty well. It’s almost a second gained in the rhythm. “But, if he claims to have reduced the gap, Fabio Quartararo insists on not having the feeling of being ready for the start of the season. ” We are still missing some things, he added. First of all, I think we did more than half the job today (Sunday). For me, the grip was better today (Sunday) than during the race weekend. We’ll see. We will give the best of ourselves, we do not give up. »
#PortimaoTest – Day 2 Results ☀️
3rd – @FabioQ20
19th – @FrankyMorbido12#MonsterYamaha | #MotoGP pic.twitter.com/TFRopbO5Fn
— Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP (@YamahaMotoGP) March 12, 2023
Espargaro diminished, Honda with absent subscribers
Apart from Fabio Quartararo’s Yamaha, only one other motorcycle that was not a Ducati or an Aprilia slipped into the Top 10 of the day. This is Brad Binder’s KTM, whose best of 62 laps was completed half a second off the time set by Francesco Bagnaia. The South African is less than a tenth ahead of Aleix Espargaro in his Aprilia. Decreased due to pain in the right arm, the Spaniard could soon be operated on for fibrosis, that is to say an increase in the amount of muscle.
« We did an ultrasound and it looks like I have a big fibrosis pressing on the muscle and that’s why I have no strength in my arm., told the Aprilia rider to the press. Looks like we’re going to have to open it up, clean it up, then close it. “A day of testing in which Fabio di Giannantonio did not take part, suffering from a concussion after the fall suffered this Saturday. Finally, on the side of the Honda team, the difficulties are still relevant, Joan Mir not doing better than the 13th time at eight tenths and just ahead of his teammate Marc Marquez. The teams will now have two weeks to digest these trials before returning to Portimão for the start of the 2023 season.
MOTOGP / ESSAIS DE PORTIMÃO
Ranking of the 2nd day – Sunday March 12 2 to 23
1- Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) in 1’37”968 (61 laps)
2- Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati Pramac) at 0”296 (69)
3- Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha) at 0”334 (88)
4- Luca Marini (ITA/Ducati VR46) at 0”342 (54)
5- Marco Bezzecchi (ITA/Ducati VR46) at 0”383 (86)