2023 Ducati handling “nervous” and “more aggressive” than 2022 MotoGP bike

Despite a tricky pre-season and tough start to the 2022 season, the Ducati ended the campaign as by far the best bike on the grid.

After the first three days of testing of 2023 in Malaysia last weekend, the Italian marque appears to have taken a step forward with the GP23, with Bagnaia second overall on the combined timesheets behind VR46’s Luca Marini on a 2022-spec Ducati.

Bagnaia says he was “proud” of the work Ducati had done over the test, in particular its ability to improve the acceleration of the bike.

However, he admits the handling now has to be improved as it is “more aggressive” than the 2022 bike.

“I’m happy and proud of the work done, sincerely, because yesterday I was considering the job was done yesterday at a good level,” he said.

“But today [Sunday] we were turning around the problems, and it was still there in every area we worked.

“Sincerely, in the last hour of the test we did a big change on the electronics side, we did an enormous step in front.

“It’s quite clear from the session on the lap time, because with used tyres with these changes I did 1m59.1s, 1m59.0s, 1m59.0s, and everything was solved. So, I’m happy about that.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: MotoGP

He added: “After lunch, I was struggling with the acceleration because it was very nervous, it was very difficult to open full throttle because the bike was moving a lot and sliding a lot.

“The same moment we solved it, we changed that part of the acceleration, everything was like using the 2022 bike but with more speed.

“So, it’s already on a good level. Now, my focus will be to have another step in front.

“The only thing that is missing is the handling, because the handling of the 2022 bike was a bit easier.

“This one is more aggressive, more nervous. But it’s something we can focus on in Portimao because it’s a track where the handling is very important.”

Ducati topped all three days of the Sepang test, with Marco Bezzecchi and Marini on 2022-spec bikes and Jorge Martin on the Pramac-run GP23 sharing the spoils.

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