Portimao MotoGP Test results - Day 2, Sunday (FINAL)

Final lap times during Sunday’s last day of 2023 MotoGP pre-season testing, in Portimao.
Francesco Bagnaia , Portimao MotoGP test, 11 March
Francesco Bagnaia , Portimao MotoGP test, 11 March

Ducati's reigning MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia brought the curtain down on 2023 pre-season testing in style, becoming the first rider to lap Portimao in the 1m 37s on his penultimate lap.

But the previous Ducati/Aprilia dominance of the leading positions was disrupted by Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo in third.

While Bagnaia ruled the timesheets from midday onwards, Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco jumped ahead of countryman Quartararo late in the afternoon for second place.

Nonetheless, Quartararo made big Sunday gains despite - or maybe because of - switching to last year's Yamaha fairing and front wings. The Frenchman also appeared with an Aprilia-style wing on the back of his bike, which Cal Crutchlow tried at Sepang, but didn't feel it was 'better or worse'.

Fabio Quartararo, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March
Fabio Quartararo, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March

VR46 team-mates Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, plus new factory Ducati signing Enea Bastianini snatched a late fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, pushing Gresini's Alex Marquez - all smiles despite a pair of falls - and early leader Jorge Martin (Pramac) to seventh and eighth.

That in turn nudged Brad Binder to ninth, but still second best of the non-Ducatis after Quartararo. The South African earlier dragged his KTM from the lower end of the timesheets to an impressive sixth, in-between two accidents on from his RC16.

But there was no last-gasp surge from Honda, with new signing Joan Mir finishing best of the RCV's in 13th (+0.794s). After a technical issue and then an accident at turn 1, team-mate Marc Marquez briefly broke into the top ten before being forced to settle for 14th, just ahead of LCR's Alex Rins.

The late flying laps also pushed the Aprilias of Aleix Espargaro (who fears he will need arm surgery), Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Vinales down to tenth, eleventh and twelfth.

RNF team-mates Oliveira and Fernandez fell just a few corners apart, while Marini's quest to complete a perfect sweep of the fastest lap at all three winter tests was complicated by a late technical problem.

Many riders used the final day to conduct Sprint race simulations.

Bagnaia and Bastianini looked among the best, but Quartararo - who had been struggling for fresh tyre pace at Sepang in February as well as Saturday in Portimao - was among several riders (also including Alex Marquez and Martin) joining the factory Ducatis in an average Sprint pace of 1m 39.1-39.2s.

Marc Marquez was also closer to Bagnaia during his long run, appearing to lack around 0.3-0.4s a lap, a similar figure to Bezzecchi, Marini and Raul Fernandez.

But the post-test verdict from the riders was clear: Bagnaia's scorching speed over both a single lap and race pace means he heads into the Macrh 24-26 season-opener as favourite.

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2023 Official Portimao MotoGP Test - Day 2 (FINAL)
1=Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)1m 37.968s60/61342.8
2^1Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.296s51/69340.6
3˅1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.334s61/88339.6
4^9Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.342s62/64340.6
5^5Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.383s85/86346.1
6^6Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.405s61/66343.9
7˅3Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.434s41/72343.9
8˅3Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.466s30/77347.2
9^5Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.512s49/62340.6
10˅4Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.601s27/52340.6
11˅4Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+0.616s35/72343.9
12˅4Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.710s26/82343.9
13^2Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.794s59/61336.4
14˅5Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.810s49/76343.9
15^1Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.814s81/85340.6
16˅5Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+0.886s20/63338.5
17^4Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.941s74/80338.5
18=Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+1.006s73/79338.5
19˅2Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.098s79/89337.5
20˅1Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.341s23/72336.4
21˅1Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+1.699s42/64337.5
22=Michele PirroITADucati Test Rider (GP23)+2.131s35/62336.4

^X Rider is X positions higher than previous hour.
= Rider is same position as previous hour.
˅X Rider is X positions lower than previous hour.

Fastest Day 1 Time:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 38.771s

Official Portimao MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 38.725s (2021)
Fastest race lap:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 39.435s (2022)

Fastest on Saturday, Bagnaia was the first rider out on track today. The Ducati star said his testing work was already 90% finished after day one and plans to spend the final day rehearsing for the new race weekend format of a short free practice then qualifying, followed by the new Sprint race in the afternoon. Bagnaia may also try a full race simulation today.

While Ducati and Aprilia riders once again dominated the top ten on day one, the likes of Marc Marquez (Honda) and Quartararo (Yamaha) still have issues to solve with their 2023 machines. But time is running out to evaluate more new parts or radical ideas and they will need to start working on a set-up for the GP weekend at some point today.

Likewise, the KTM/GASGAS riders, while appearing to have settled on their 2023 chassis and engine configuration (with aero still TBC), need to find a better set-up having all been outside the top 14 on day one. Lead rider Brad Binder explained that turning is better this year, but it's come at the expense of rear grip.

"I have one issue: we need rear grip," he said. "We’re just missing a bit of natural grab from the rear tyre. Already peeling into the corner, it wants to come around. And then you go for the gas but it’s already slipping. You keep sliding the whole time. It’s not making that hook-up and driving. That’s what we’re missing. It’s clear to us. We fix that and it’ll make a massive difference."

An 'angry' Fabio di Giannantonio will not test on day two following his concussion on Saturday. Meanwhile, Aleix Espargaro struggled with chronic arm pump on day one, which he admitted might be due to all of the downforce from the extra fork, swingarm and rear seat wings fitted to the Aprilia.

Testing takes place from 9:30-17:30, followed by practice starts. The season-opening MotoGP round will be held at the same circuit on March 24-26.

Day 1

Reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia finished the opening day of the Portimao test on top of the timesheets by 0.234s over fellow Ducati rider Luca Marini.

Beaten to the top time by Marini (GP22) at Sepang, factory star Bagnaia (GP23) battled with the VR46 rider for supremacy throughout the day before settling the contest by being the only rider in the 1m 38s.

Home hero Miguel Oliveira (RNF Aprilia), Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati) and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) also joined the P1 battle in the final hours, before Raul Fernandez turned heads by edging out team-mate Oliveira for fifth.

The Malaysian test had ended with a Ducati-Aprilia top nine, a feat almost repeated at the start of Portimao, when Fabio Quartararo's Yamaha was the quickest of the Japanese machines in eighth (+0.843s), behind Marco Bezzecchi.

Alex Rins was the top Honda in eleventh with former Suzuki team-mate Joan Mir 14th for Repsol. Marc Marquez was just 19th and Takaaki Nakagami 23rd.

Enea Bastianini and Franco Morbidelli also had a tough opening day in 17th and 21st while late laps by KTM team-mates Brad Binder and Jack Miller pulled the pair up to 15th and 16th place. 

Fallers included Johann Zarco (twice), Fabio di Giannantonio (twice), Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Vinales, Marc Marquez, Nakagami and Mir.

di Giannantonio has gone to a hospital for further checks after his crash at turn 7.

The technical novelties on show included some fork-mounted wings for Aprilia.

2023 Official Portimao MotoGP Test - Day 1 (FINAL)
1^3Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)1m 38.771s77/78334.3
2˅1Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.234s58/65340.6
3˅1Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.254s71/88334.3
4˅1Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.565s56/65337.5
5^9Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+0.689s62/64335.4
6˅1Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+0.695s59/75337.5
7˅1Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.837s62/76337.5
8^4Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.843s88/90333.3
9˅2Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.870s32/50334.3
10˅2Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.872s38/63335.4
11˅2Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.875s66/77332.3
12˅2Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.877s59/60338.5
13˅2Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.945s44/57335.4
14^1Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.005s74/74329.2
15^5Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.152s58/69335.4
16^5Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.216s57/58331.2
17˅4Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+1.238s27/52336.4
18˅2Stefan BradlGERHonda Test Rider (RC213V)+1.391s58/72331.2
19˅2Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.399s35/78336.4
20˅2Michele PirroITADucati Test Rider (GP23)+1.565s45/70333.3
21˅2Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.643s75/95330.2
22=Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+1.736s58/64333.3
23^1Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.871s68/74328.2
24˅1Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+2.000s63/72330.2

^X Rider is X positions higher than previous hour.
= Rider is same position as previous hour.
˅X Rider is X positions lower than previous hour.

The 2023 MotoGP grid has its last chance for pre-season preparations with a two-day official test at Portimao this weekend, the same circuit where the season-opener will take place on March 24-25.

VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini has set the fastest lap time at both previous winter outings, at Valencia in November and then a three-day test at Sepang in February.

While Marini is using a year-old Ducati, Portimao will be the last chance for factory teams to pick the aerodynamic and, most importantly, engine with which they will start the 2023 racing season.

Once chosen, the engine design cannot be changed until the end of the world championship, while aero can be updated just once.

What happened at the Sepang test?

Ducati and Aprilia riders filled the top nine positions on the Sepang timesheets, with Marc Marquez and Honda best of the rest in tenth.

While Ducati and Aprilia appeared to have made light modifications to their proven packages, Marquez whittled down four different Hondas to one preferred machine, but warned it was not good enough to win the title and more was needed for Portimao.

After a scare at Valencia, Yamaha riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli were pleased with their more powerful 2023 engine, selecting the final version for the racing season.

But while pleased with their pace, the bike ‘didn’t work’ in qualifying spec, with low fuel and new tyres, leaving them 17th and 20th on the combined times. Solving the qualifying issue, as well as a final decision on aero and chassis parts, will be among Yamaha’s priorities in Portimao.

The GASGAS/KTMs struggled the most on paper with Pol Espargaro best of the RC16s in 13th place followed by Brad Binder in 14th, Jack Miller in 18th and rookie Augusto Fernandez in 22nd. But with plenty of parts available and more to come, will the Austrian factory put the pieces together at Portimao?

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