Bagnaia won’t switch to Pramac fairing, tries 'longer' forks

After surging back into the MotoGP title lead in Jerez, reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia spent the Monday test working on settings and the latest Ohlins front fork.
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP sprint race, 29 April
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP sprint race, 29 April

But perhaps surprisingly, while the likes of KTM, Honda and Yamaha were trying new fairing parts, there were no new aerodynamic pieces for Bagnaia.

The Italian also didn’t re-test the alternative 2023 ‘ground effect’ style Desmosedici fairing being used by the Pramac team, explaining that he will instead wait for a further evolution of his current design for his one in-season update.

“I tried [the 'Pramac' fairing] in the winter test and I prefer the one I chose because [of the] handling,” Bagnaia said.

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“I prefer like this because I'm quite sure that if I can handle the bike better I can exit [the corners] better, but it's my riding style and we can see clearly that Jorge Martin is using [his fairing] very well.

“We don't use it because if I start to use it, we don't have any other opportunity to change the fairing again. So I'm waiting to have a step with the one I have.”

Jorge Martin was a frontrunner in both Jerez races, eventually finishing fourth in the Sprint and Sunday events.

Earlier in the weekend, team-mate Johann Zarco had said that perhaps the Pramac fairing might not be as good as the 'factory' fairing in fast changes of direction at tracks such as COTA, but it has strengths in other areas.

Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP, 28 April
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP, 28 April

Bagnaia, who now holds a 22-point title lead over VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi, set the sixth-fastest lap time at the test.

The Sunday winner confirmed that the only new item he used was a ‘retest’ of the latest specification Ohlins front fork.

“I tried the longer one [fork],” he said. “It was the second time because I tried also in Sepang this winter. Sincerely, I think that it has a great potential, but there is still work to do because in in my case I like when I can feel the tyres moving.

“And the tyre movements with this [new fork] are a bit more ‘filtered’, so we have to work. We have to find the balance with the suspension because it has more margin, but maybe we have to change a bit our suspension setup.

“But my feeling was quite good. I did 37.5 with [the new fork] after the lunch break, just two tenths slower than with the standard one. So it's something that maybe in the future - not this year I think, because need more time. But for next year it can be a solution.”

Bagnaia's work for the immediate future was on bike settings, having had a slow start to the Spanish weekend, forcing him to fight through Qualifying 1.

“We were focusing on trying to find to some settings that can help me in some situations because sincerely, we were struggling at the start of the weekend,” he confirmed.

“We just tried to find something that can help for more tracks. We worked well, we tried different things and the balance is positive, so I’m happy for that reason.”

Bagnaia’s injured team-mate Enea Bastianini withdrew from the Jerez weekend due to pain from his healing shoulder.

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