Marco Bezzecchi's Qatar breakthrough: “I’m really happy”

Marco Bezzecchi finally got comfortable on the Desmosedici GP23 during the last pre-season test in Qatar.

Marco Bezzecchi, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February
Marco Bezzecchi, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February

Marco Bezzecchi made a big step with the Ducati GP23 during the final MotoGP pre-season outing in Qatar.

The triple 2023 grand prix winner had been left just 17th in the previous Sepang test but was able to “stop the bike much, much better” at Lusail.

The Italian was ranked tenth (+0.726s) over a single lap but was in the top five for his longer Sprint simulation pace.

“I wanted to make a bit more in the time attack, but compared to Malaysia I'm really, really happy. We've made a big step forward," Bezzecchi said. 

“I felt a lot more comfortable on the bike, and I enjoyed a lot more to ride.

“My pace was not so bad. I think that apart from the two factory Ducatis that are really quick, also Aleix [Espargaro] and Martin, all the other riders are quite similar and I'm happy to be there as well.

“Because in Malaysia I was a lot more far.”

I finally found a way to stop the bike much, much better,” Bezzecchi added. “Still I'm missing something in the last part of the braking and also in the initial part of the opening. This bike has more grip, so I'm struggling to make the bike turn in that area.

“But compared to Malaysia, finally I can stop, so I don't suffer any more also in traction.”

Bezzecchi is one of four riders using last year’s Desmosedici GP23, while the latest GP24 again topped the timesheets in the hands of reigning double world champion Francesco Bagnaia.

“He's the world champion, so he always starts the season as the favourite. But normally when you bring a new bike, in the beginning you need some time and you struggle a bit," Bezzecchi said.

“But they arrive [with the GP24] and are really quick [straightaway].

“Not only Pecco but also Enea [Bastianini], Jorge [Martin]. Pecco a little bit more, but anyway, they are really fast. I’m not worried, but conscious that he will be the man to beat.”

New VR46 team-mate Fabio di Giannantonio, who has looked comfortable from his first laps on the GP23, was two places ahead of Bezzecchi in eighth but again one of the fastest during his Sprint simulation. 

Read More