BARCELONA, Feb. 4 (Royals Blue) –
The official MotoGP pre-season tests arrive this weekend, February 5 and 6, at their traditional appointment at the Sepang circuit (Malaysia), where the riders will have eight hours a day of work to fine-tune their mounts for the World Championship which begins in March and where much of the spotlight will be on the Spaniard Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda) who officially returns to action after missing the final stretch of last season due to a new episode of diplopia.
There are two days to release the new design of the bikes and get used to how they will look during the championship. But also days to start trying things, new parts as a result of the winter work and the evolution of the 2021 bikes, and also days to start thinking about how MotoGP will go in 2022.
It may not be a new era, as it will happen in Formula 1 this year, but this new championship will bring improvements and changes to the bikes and these training sessions are the place to start enjoying, or suffering, from them.
A few days you want to take advantage of Marc Márquez. The one from Cervera, who is physically better with his arm and his already forgotten humerus injury from 2020, is also recovered from the episode of diplopia (double vision) that he suffered after a fall while training and that deprived him of running the last Grand Prix of 2021 and arrives in Malaysia ready to prove to himself, and to his rivals, that he can be back at the top at the start of the World Cup.
“I already see the light at the end of the tunnel. In terms of vision, either you have it right or not, there are no halves. But it’s solved, being here in Sepang is already a gift and it’s time to enjoy the bike and have a good preseason. Physically I’m fine, and we’ll see what these tests hold for us,” Márquez said in statements to ‘motogp.com’ reported by Europa Press. “The objective is to be ready for the first race, and to be able to fight for victories and for the World Championship,” he added.
What can the new Honda have compared to the previous one? In the Japanese factory they have worked to improve the speed but, above all, the maneuverability of a motorcycle that was too abrupt and demanding. A new chassis, new exhaust or new tail were already seen in Jerez and in this shakedown, and now it will be Márquez and Pol Espargaró who will try to continue to evolve the bike.
In Yamaha, on the other hand, they hope that little will change compared to 2021 in which Fabio Quartararo was proclaimed world champion, giving the first title to the fingerboard factory since 2015. Already without the shadow of the retired Valentino Rossi anywhere, at ‘Diablo’ will be accompanied by Franco Morbidelli. For now, tester Cal Crutchlow is the only one who knows how the new champion mount behaves.
Much is also expected of Ducati. The Italian factory was Yamaha’s great rival last year and now, with Francesco Bagnaia as the clear leader –no longer under cover– and Jack Miller by his side, they will try to take the title with a new (longer) exhaust. and a new air intake on his red essence mount.
Suzuki, on the other hand, remains faithful to its blue color but with a new black front that is ‘scary’. They want to dominate again, as they did in 2020 with the title of the Spanish Joan Mir, but they come from a bad 2021, with just seven podiums between Mir and Alex Rins, and no victory. A new carbon-reinforced chassis and swingarm have been seen so far, though Sepang could be where more is discovered.
OFFICIAL TEST AFTER THE ‘SHAKEDOWN’
The entire grid will be in these training sessions. So KTM, taking advantage of the evolution of its tester ‘legend’ Dani Pedrosa, will hope to improve and be closer to the front, and Aprilia, after the signing of Maverick Viñales and the explosion of Aleix Espargaró, hopes to fight for podiums with a totally new designed so as not to miss the one that performed so well last year.
These two days of official training are preceded by the three days of ‘shakedown’, designed for the rookie riders in the category, testers and also for the Aprilia officials, a factory with concessions and which saw its riders lead, precisely, in the last of the sessions.