Fabio Di Giannantonio: “If the race was tomorrow, I could be not so bad…”

Fabio di Giannantonio’s delivers the fastest Sprint race simulation on the final day of the Sepang MotoGP test.

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February
Fabio Di Giannantonio, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February

In terms of fastest lap, Fabio di Giannantonio finished the Sepang MotoGP test in a respectable eighth place (+0.661s).

But the new VR46 Ducati rider’s Sprint race simulation was the quickest of all.

The Italian joined only Jorge Martin in dipping into the 1m 57s, on lap 2 of his long run.

But while the Pramac GP24 rider finished his ten laps having slipped to a ‘58.9, having experienced some tyre grip issues after pushing so hard early on, di Giannantonio (on the GP23) signed off his run with a ‘58.4s.

Overall, Diggia set an average pace of 1m 58.237s compared with Martin’s 1m 58.390s, although the Spaniard did his run in a hotter part of the day:

Fabio di Giannantonio's Sprint race simulation:


Average: 1m 58.237s

Average lap time during long runs – Day 3

  1. di Giannantonio (Ducati) 1m 58.237s (over 10 laps)*
  2. Martin  (Ducati) 1m 58.390s (over 10 laps)
  3. Bastianini (Ducati) 1m 58.437s (over 10 laps)
  4. Bagnaia (Ducati) 1m 58.457s  (over 10 laps)
  5. A. Espargaro (Aprilia) 1m 58.499s (over 9 laps)
  6. Vinales (Aprilia) 1m 58.545s (over 9 laps)*
  7. M. Marquez (Ducati) 1m 58.556s (over 10 laps)*
  8. Binder (KTM) 1m 58.639s (over 9 laps)*
  9. Acosta (KTM) 1m 58.644s (over 10 laps)
  10. A. Marquez (Ducati) 1m 58.811s (over 10 laps)*
  11. Marini (Honda) 1m 59.083s (over 6 laps)
  12. Mir (Honda) 1m 59.234 (over 10 laps)
  13. Rins (Yamaha) 1m 59.288s (over 9 laps)*
  14. Zarco (Honda) 2m 0.079s (over 10 laps)

* Set late in the afternoon, cooler temps.

It has been a good test for us,” di Giannantonio said. “I think we've been quite fast in more-or-less in everything we've done. 

“I’m super proud, super happy because with the team we've reached a great feeling with the bike. We improved quite a lot compared to the last time that we came here in the race.

"I’m happy about the time attack because I enjoyed to push a little bit and I did it with a bike [set-up] that I didn't like so much. The lap time was not so bad. I think under the official lap record.

“And also in the Sprint simulation, I was quite fast, quite strong. So I think that there are many, many positives from these three days. 

"I can only be happy and go home with a big smile.”

Asked if he felt ready to start the new season, with two days of testing in Qatar still remaining, di Giannantonio hinted at his scorching Sprint simulation by saying:

Well, if the race was tomorrow, I could be not so bad!"

He added: “We are working a little bit to improve side grip on the rear, especially on consistency through the race. 

"But I think this is the main work for everybody and, as I said, we are in a good moment.”

While di Giannantonio has adapted seamlessly to the GP23, team-mate Marco Bezzecchi still doesn’t feel comfortable and was only 17th quickest.

Does the GP23 naturally suit di Giannantonio’s style?

“It’s ‘GP22 [to] GP23’ but now the bikes when they change, they don't change that much. So the character of the bike is really similar,” said the Qatar 2023 winner.

“For sure the engine is a bit different. How the power comes from your hand is a bit different. So it's where we work the most on the electronic side and the power delivery.

“But overall the bike is quite - I will not say the same - but the feeling of the bike is quite similar to the ‘22. So my riding style was OK in the last part of last season, and it’s OK already now…”

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