Cheste hosts the first MotoGP test bench for 2023

Eight team changes, the promotion of Augusto Fernández and the entry of GasGas, among the novelties for next season


The Circuit Ricardo Tormo will host the first MotoGP test for the 2023 season this Tuesday, with up to eight team changes; the promotion to the queen category of Augusto Fernández, current Moto2 champion; the Aprilia satellite team and the entry of GasGas on the grid, as the main novelties of the next campaign.

Just two days after the end of the course on the Valencian track -where the MotoGP and Moto2 titles were decided- and with no time to assimilate the different feelings, it is time to start preparing for a new season with new incentives and a ‘ revolution’ on the grill.

In these official tests in Valencia, the teams will be able to present the first improvements to their bikes for 2023, with the aim of improving their performance this year. These first tests will be important for Honda, which remains committed to providing its riders with a competitive bike that will allow the Japanese factory to fight for the title again.

This has been requested on countless occasions by Marc Márquez who, if his health allows it, will be able to start the year one hundred percent from the beginning to be at the top again and fight for his ninth world title. The one from Cervera, who already had the Japanese Takaaki Nakagami as a partner in the World Cup that was decided this Sunday, will be accompanied in the box by the Spaniards and former partner of Suzuki, Alex Rins and Joan Mir, champion of the category in 2020.

Both national riders, who will test the RC213V for the first time, emigrate to the Japanese factory after Suzuki left the World Championship, leading two of the most notorious changes for the next course. His place on the grid will be taken by the GasGas Factory Racing team, with the arrival of Moto2 champion Augusto Fernández as a partner of Pol Espargaró, who returns to the Austrian factory.

Important changes are also coming at Aprilia, whose candidacy for the title was somewhat watered down, but which continues to dream of ‘sneaking’ into the list of candidates in 2023. In addition, next year they will welcome their first MotoGP satellite team, with Miguel Oliveira, who leaves KTM after a positive and fruitful relationship, and Raúl Fernández, who changes the KTM RC16 for the RS-GP, sharing a box.

Nor should we lose sight of Ducati, with the Spaniard Alex Márquez, until now a Honda rider, replacing Enea Bastianini at Gresini Racing, sharing the box with Fabio Di Giannantonio, who will face his second year in MotoGP, in a move that can be decisive in his future in the premier class.

‘La Bestia’ makes the leap to the factory team to form a duo with ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia, brand new champion of the premier class, after a historic comeback of 91 points. Also at the Italian factory, which was champion again after 15 years without taking the riders’ title, the Australian Jack Miller leaves the Borno Panigale team to move to KTM.

The Valencian track will open its ‘pitlane’ again in a day divided into two sessions (09:30 to 13:30 and 14:30 to 17:30). The weather will be very favourable, with maximum temperatures that will not exceed 26ºC. Fans will be able to enjoy these tests in Cheste from the pit grandstand that Circuit Ricardo Tormo will open on the main straight, with free admission.

Thus, this first contact with the concepts for 2023 in Valencia will be the starting signal for a preparation calendar that will also pass through Sepang, from February 5 to 7 and from 10 to 12 of that month, as well as Portimao, on March 11 and 12, before the new season begins. This new course will have a new weekend structure, with the sprint races on Saturdays as the main novelty. These will distribute half of the points and will not affect the grid on Sunday.