Tech recap: a look back at the Valencia Test

by | Feb 5, 2023 | Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, KTM, motoGP News, Yamaha

Tech recap: a look back at the Valencia Test

Wade through our analysis of what we saw the factories roll out in last year’s Valencia Test ahead of the upcoming Sepang Test

Just a couple of days after Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was crowned 2022 MotoGP™ World Champion in Valencia’s title decider, strenuous work began for 2023 as factories rolled out a number of new parts for their riders to test at the annual Valencia Test. 

Plenty happened, so let’s look back at what we learned to get us warmed up for the upcoming Shakedown and Official Sepang pre-season tests.

YAMAHA:

The main story in the Yamaha camp was – and still is – the 2023 engine. The noise from the Barcelona and Misano tests, plus Cal Crutchlow’s feedback from his Motegi and Jerez tests, suggested that a crucial step forward had been made in terms of power. However, both Fabio Quartararo and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ teammate Franco Morbidelli felt no difference to the 2022-spec they’d been running all year, with Team Manager Massimo Meregalli saying after the test in the team’s press release: “We were surprised that we didn’t see the performance from the engine that we were expecting. We will send it back to Japan along with today’s data and check what the reason is.” 


We have since learned that Yamaha were able to identify the issue, and it’s something that they’re hoping won’t be a problem in Sepang. Elsewhere, a new chassis was spotted and a couple of different aerodynamic packages were seen, including the introduction of the stegosaurus-like rear wings. In truth, most of the initial attention will be on the top speed charts when it comes to checking what Yamaha are up to in Sepang. 

HONDA:

Marc Marquez’s assessment of the Valencia Test summed up how the Honda camp were feeling after the one-day outing. “We need a lot more to fight for a title” was the overriding feeling from the eight-time World Champion, as HRC rolled out what was essentially a new bike.

A fully revised tail unit, a tweaked aero package and a new air intake were thrown at the RC213V to try and find some gains, to which there were minimal. It’s a huge Sepang Test for every factory, but none more so than Honda as they try and climb their way back to the summit of MotoGP™. Plenty of focus will be pinned their way.


DUCATI:

The Italian marque were the manufacturer to beat in 2022, but that didn’t stop the reigning Triple Crown holders from bringing some fresh items to test in Valencia. Ducati Lenovo Team Manager Davide Tardozzi explained a new engine was being put through its paces, while a new chassis and updated aerodynamics package were also run – this included an ‘Aprilia-style’ side fairing.

The World Champions will be all too aware of not making the same mistake as they did at the start of last season. Another slow start to the campaign won’t be accepted by the Bologna brand, as they aim to try and stay ahead of the fierce competition.


KTM:

Fierce competition is something KTM hope they are in 2023. It’s a huge year coming up for the Austrian factory and the vibes coming from the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing camp were positive after the Valencia Test, as the orange outfit gear up for what Brad Binder calls the “best opportunity” yet to try and win a premier class title.

Weight distribution was a key focus point back in November, with a fully redesigned rear end of the RC16 and a new chassis making an appearance. A new aerodynamic package was also on display, but expect to see KTM roll out a number of innovative parts in Sepang after their continued work with Red Bull’s F1 department. Pol Espargaro’s (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) joyous outburst in Valencia was another sign that KTM and GASGAS are on the right track.


APRILIA:

The addition of two more RS-GPs was a welcome sight for the Noale factory at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, and Miguel Oliveira’s (RNF MotoGP™ Team) P4 finish on the timesheets caught the eyes of many.

Understandably, it was factory duo Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia Racing teammate Maverick Viñales occupying most of the testing duties though, the main one being a new swingarm. Espargaro described the update as “quite good, in terms of grip and acceleration we found some positive things,” while in Sepang, the main objective will be to find some more torque and power from the “bottom end”. Look out for that. Meanwhile, Viñales admitted he didn’t have too many things to try, his main objective was to give some important feedback to new crew chief Manu Cazeaux.


Keep your eyes peeled for some early tech sightings during the Shakedown Test across motogp.com and our social media platforms, before we really get stuck into the action at what promises to be a compelling three-day Official Sepang Test on the 10-12 of February.

VideoPass allows you to watch every single second of every single sector LIVE and OnDemand

Source link

MotoGP NEWS FEED

Triumph Extends Moto2 Partnership Until 2029

Triumph Motorcycles has signed a new contract to remain an Exclusive Engine Supplier for the FIM Moto2™ World Championship for another five seasons. Triumph is developing a full new race gearbox, which will debut in the 2025 season, alongside improvements for the 2024...

Minibikes Draw Maxi-Attention at Barrett-Jackson Auction

This Honda CB175 was one of many small-displacement bikes sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, January 22-30, 2022. Photos by the author. The Barrett-Jackson automobile auction is an annual extravaganza with a major stop staged at Westworld in...

2022 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

Futuristic bodywork makes the small Vitpilen easy on the eyes. (Husqvarna/)UpsEasy Shift for clutchless up/downshiftingLightweight and compact for easy handlingGreat brakesDownsErgonomics not as comfortable as Svartpilen’sSeat is also uncomfortableIllegible...

The Speedshop roars into action for a series of adventures on BBC Two

Photo: Mark Riccioni Following a successful pilot, The Speedshop returns for 6×60 episodes with former Special Forces operator Titch Cormack designing and building bespoke motorbikes and cars from his “souped-up man-cave” on Poole’s picturesque waterfront. This series...

Dutch TT – 90 years of motorsport history

Dutch TT - 90 years of motorsport history The Cathedral of Speed celebrates nine decades of hosting elite-level racing The 90th Dutch TT will be a memorable one. Delayed by a year due to Covid-19, this anniversary will not be the big party that was planned, but the...

2021 Kawasaki Z900RS/Café

2021 Kawasaki Z900RS. (Kawasaki/)UpsClassic replica styling of the original Z1Modern chassis, suspension, brakes, wheelsDownsUnder 100 hp fromSuspension a bit softVerdictRetro classic fever caught on big with the motorcycle industry in the latter half of the past...

2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 World GP 60th Anniversary Preview

The newest member of Yamaha’s sportbike line, the YZF-R7 will come in special World GP 60th Anniversary dress in 2022. (Yamaha/)In celebration of 60 years of World Grand Prix competition, Yamaha is releasing a number of anniversary edition sportbikes for the 2022...

Elf Total Classic Car Engine Oil HTX Collection Multigrade 20W50 5 Litre Tin

HTX collection 20W-50 is a customized solution for old and young vintage vehicles with engines made in original state with or without turbocharger, especially those made since 1950. The excellent viscosity balance permits low-wear starts even after longer...

2021 Suzuki SV650/X/ABS

2021 Suzuki SV650. (Suzuki/)UpsLow sticker priceFriendly yet peppy engineGood solid chassisDownsDesign is showing its ageA little heavyFront brake’s wooden response, numb feelVerdictAlthough it’s been usurped by newer competition, the SV650 is still a solid choice for...

BMW Motorrad Days to return to the Alps

BMW Motorrad Days will return to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for 2024 after two years away. Garmisch-Partenkirchen has hosted the annual festival eighteen times before, however for the last two years the event has moved to Berlin. Back in the Alps again this year between 5...