Reigning MotoGP Champion Francesco Bagnaia dominated the two-day pre-season testing which ended Sunday at Portimao in Portugal.
The Italian set the fastest time on his Ducati ahead of French riders Johann Zarco, on a Ducati-Pramac, and Fabio Quartararo on a Yamaha.
Bagnaia was the only rider in the test to better the 1:38 mark on Sunday, breaking the lap record he set in 2021.
“I am very happy. I’ve been well in these five days of test,” said Bagnaia.
He was 0.296sec faster than Zarco’s best time and 0.334sec better than Quartararo.
Quartararo, the 2021 world champion and last year’s runner-up, had struggled to keep up during the three-day test at Sepang in Malaysia in mid-February and had a disappointing Saturday in Portimao when he was only eighth fastest.
“A big improvement,” he said. “I am pretty happy.
“Still missing a few things but we’ve made a massive step from yesterday and from Sepang.”
Italian Luca Marini (Ducati-VR46), who was the fastest rider at Sepang, was fourth best over the two days, after being fastest on Saturday.
The Portimao circuit in southern Portugal will host the first Grand Prix of the 2023 season on March 26.
“We’re ready for the first race,” said Bagnaia. “We have to keep going like this.
Six-time world champion Marc Marquez (Honda), whose last three seasons have been repeatedly interrupted by injuries and operations, could only manage 14th fastest, 0.810sec off Bagnaia.
“I want to be optimistic but you cannot be super optimistic, said the Spaniard. “We’re still far (behind).”
World Cup News
Football/ 2 weeks ago
Morocco says joining Spain-Portugal 2030 World Cup bid
King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced on Tuesday that his country had joined the...
Football/ 3 weeks ago
Update: World Cup 2026 to feature 12 groups of four teams
The expanded 2026 men’s World Cup in North America will start with 12 groups...
Football/ 3 weeks ago
Argentina goalie auctions World Cup gloves for $45K for cancer hospital
The gloves worn by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano “Dibu” Martinez in the nail-biting penalty shootout...
Football/ 2 months ago
Messi says World Cup trophy ‘called out’ to him
Lionel Messi won the World Cup because the sparkling solid gold trophy picked him...