The 2023 season-opener this weekend, which will feature the first Sprint race, is at Portimao where riders have complained for years about the size of the pieces of gravel surrounding the circuit, likening them to “rocks”.

Fabio di Giannantonio was left concussed after crashing during preseason testing at Portimao, leaving Aleix Espargaro to rage that the riders’ concerns had not been acted upon.

MotoGP 2023 Season Preview | Crash MotoGP Podcast EP81

But “dozens of trucks” distributing regulation-sized gravel have arrived at the circuit ahead of the Portuguese MotoGP, according to Speedweek.

Turn 1 and Turn 7, particularly problematic areas, were being worked on.

But the same report questions: “Are these just cosmetic changes?”

The changes to the gravel will be inspected by FIM safety officers in the middle of this week, before the season-opening grand prix.

Pictures of the new gravel at Portimao

Espargaro had been left fuming after seeing Di Giannantonio ruled out of the final day of preseason due to concussion caused by the gravel: "I don't want to talk about it anymore, we've been talking about it for four years and nobody listens to us. We have said it many times. 

"What do the MotoGP riders do when they are not listened to by those responsible? What am I supposed to do? I can't do anything. 

"We can express our feelings, nothing more.”

Keith Huewen said on the MotoGP podcast: "The rocks are the size of half a brick, when they should be 8-20mm. There is a graded side of gravel which should be in the runoff areas. Portimao has builder’s yard bricks in the gravel!”