Bastianini: Sepang test will be ‘crucial’, Bagnaia keen ‘to avoid mistakes’

Enea Bastianini believes the opening MotoGP pre-season test in Sepang will be ‘crucial’ as Ducati attempts to keep hold of its advantage.

Ducati ended the 2022 MotoGP season in fine form by winning seven of the final ten Grand Prix’, while also clinching their first premier class title since Casey Stoner in 2007.

Ducati also dominated the way with regards to most pole positions and most podiums, cementing their status as the manufacturer to beat heading into the 2023 campaign.

If that was not enough, Ducati’s test rider Michele Pirro topped the recent Sepang Shakedown test after setting the only sub 2m lap of the three-day event.

However, Ducati’s competition for both the riders and teams’ championship is expected to be fierce, which is one of the reasons why Bastianini has stated that the three-day test is crucial. 

"Finally, we're back on track for the first test of 2023, and I'm excited about it," said Bastianini. "It will be three crucial days, which will also allow me to get to know my new team better, with whom I already broke the ice in the first test at Valencia last year. 

"Pecco and I will be working together to try and get as far as possible with our test programme and immediately identify the way forward to be as ready as possible for the next test in Portugal, which will be before the opening Grand Prix of the year at Portimao."

MotoGP champion Bagnaia ‘happy’ to be back aboard Ducati

Although he produced a brilliant comeback to win the MotoGP title, Francesco Bagnaia will be looking to avoid a similar slow start to last year, which began in testing.

Speaking ahead of the test, Bagnaia added: "I am happy to be back on track on my Desmosedici GP finally. I have prepared a lot this winter, constantly training for this season. Now we have three very demanding and important days of testing ahead of us. 

"We'll have a lot of work to do, and it will be important to tick some points off immediately to avoid making mistakes. 

"Hopefully, the weather will be on our side, allowing us to make the most of the time available."

Read More