The key change to the 2023 season is the introduction of a Sprint race at every round on Saturdays, 24 hours before the full race.

It will be a test of every riders’ mind-set, physicality and strategy - not to mention an examination of the teams and bikes’ capabilities, too.

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"He will have to change his approach,” Marco Rigamonti told Slick Magazine about Bastianini’s hopes. 

“Many of his victories came in comebacks, but we will no longer be able to focus on a tuning of the bike that pays off in the last laps of the race. 

“Indeed, perhaps we will have to dare more by sacrificing a little in the final part. As a novelty in itself, I don't mind. I'm worried that this format could penalise my rider."

Bastianini is stepping into the factory Ducati garage alongside reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia - their relationship and potential competitiveness will be a key theme all season.

"We could talk about it for hours, but in my opinion, if a rider has a teammate who can play them, he is encouraged to do better,” Rigamonti said about the prospect of two title rivals co-existing in the same team. 

“If, for example, you arrive on a track and the weekend starts badly, for the team there are two options: either it's the bike, or it's the rider. If you have two champions, you can immediately understand who is to blame. 

“For me it is more profitable to have two roosters in the hen house. In other cases, due to lack of resources, we focus only on a rider: more attention is paid to his needs, but there are also fewer terms of comparison.”

Rigamonti, an experienced member of the Ducati garage, is a new addition as crew chief to Bastianini’s inner-circle.

"We had the opportunity to spend time together in the days between the Motegi race and the Phillip Island race, before the Valencia test in November,” Rigamonti explained about their forming relationship. 

“The work to be done during those sessions had already been planned, because Enea came from a great weekend a few days before and the two bikes – the one he competed with and the one he tried in the test – changed very little. 

“So already have these certainties and be able to immediately turn on good times, from more serenity. A completely different situation from what happens on race weekends, but the first sensations were certainly positive. 

“He always likes to eat all together, he wants to create the group, which is very positive. We will see how the championship starts and if the results arrive: unfortunately these are fundamental in creating the relationship between the crew chief and the rider. 

“Although the way of working is the same, whether you win, whether you finish last, what counts, in the end, is always only the result you bring home. Then there may be cases of drivers with whom you can create a good relationship regardless of the results, but the important thing is always that. 

“In the case of Enea it will be essential to see how he will handle the pressure: if last year, without any pressure or expectation, he managed to win four races and finish second in two others, in Team Gresini, now that he is in the official team we have to see how he will behave.”

The season begins this weekend at the Portuguese MotoGP.