Surprises were aplenty during testing, as was confirmation that some of last season’s big hitters will again be in contention throughout the 2023 MotoGP campaign.

But when looking at which manufacturers have set their riders up for success, two stand out in particular…

5 - Honda

After ending the 2022 season needing significant upgrades to be a consistent challenger, the Japanese manufacturer has struggled to close the gap despite making such changes.

Marc Marquez and Joan Mir both struggled in Portimao, while the three-day Sepang test was slightly better albeit the gaps remained large compared to Ducati and Aprilia.

Alex Rins has adapted well to the RC213V, although replicating his end-of-season form with Suzuki also appears to be a stretch at this stage.

Marquez has never been one for topping the timingsheets in testing, however, the eight-time world champion has also been able to claw his way up the grid on a race weekend.

But with MotoGP now closer than ever, fighting for anything higher than a top six finish at the moment looks to be unrealistic. 

4 -  KTM 

Like Honda, KTM have struggled to show consistent pace during pre-season testing, as Brad Binder and Jack Miller get set for their first season as teammates.

Binder found a breakthrough on the final day of testing as he closed to within half a second of the fastest time.

However, race pace in the Sprint format especially remained a concern for the South African, while Miller’s adaptation to the RC16 continues to be a slow burner.

One of the highlights for KTM, particularly in Sepang, was the pace of Pol Espargaro who seemed to gel with the RC16 on his return to the Austrian manufacturer.

Espargaro endured a tougher outing in Portimao, although enough performance over winter testing has been there to suggest he can cause problems throughout this season.

3 - Yamaha

After a dismal test at Sepang, which was followed up by another uninspiring day-one in Portugal, Fabio Quartararo and Yamaha made a big step.

Just in the nick of time, Quartararo and Yamaha ended the two-day test looking like contenders once again, however, proving it was not a one-off will be key.

Quartararo has won the last two races at Portimao which makes him an immediate contender, despite two other manufacturers showcasing more speed throughout testing. 

Given his record and Yamaha seemingly making a breakthrough in terms of performance over one lap, we’ve decided to put them ahead of KTM.

2 - Aprilia

A clear second is Aprilia after the Noale-based manufacturer made further steps forward  throughout testing.

The new 2023 bike for Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro has been a positive improvement compared to the already competitive RS-GP22, while Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira have adapted very well to last season’s package.

Vinales has been the most consistent Aprilia rider and looks ready to challenge for podiums, while Espargaro’s pace has been in the ballpark of where he wants and needs to be.

Fernandez and Oliveira were strong contenders for the top six in testing, and although race weekends tend to throw up different results, the two RNF riders appear set for a very good start to the year. 

1 - Ducati

Undisputed in terms of being the fastest manufacturer, Ducati have had as good a pre-season as you could wish to have.

All eight of their riders have shown potential, while all six test days have seen a Ducati rider finish fastest.

Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin and Luca Marini have been the pick of the bunch, however, Enea Bastianini can’t be taken lightly after showing speed in Sepang.

Another revelation for Ducati has been Alex Marquez, with the Gresini rider in the best shape to start a season since joining the premier class in 2020 with Honda.