For Marco Bezzecchi, the switch from the GP22 to the GP23 is very difficult – Fabio Di Giannantonio has no problems and is fast straight away
Marco Bezzecchi experienced a difficult winter test in Malaysia. Last year’s world championship bronze medallist left the Sepang circuit after three days with many question marks. The numbers spoke a clear language. On Tuesday “Bez” clocked 1:58.605 minutes, on Wednesday 1:57.867 and on Thursday 1:57.995 minutes.
This meant that he was well behind Francesco Bagnaia’s best time, as the world champion clocked 1:56.682 minutes. But Bezzecchi’s team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio was also significantly faster with a time of 1:57.343 minutes.
The VR46 team of Bezzecchi and Di Giannantonio ride the same Ducati GP23 as the Gresini team with the Marquez brothers. Bezzecchi is still struggling to adapt to this model from the GP22.
“I’m not satisfied with these tests,” said the Italian. “We tried a lot here in Sepang, but I don’t feel as comfortable on the bike as I would like. I’m struggling more than expected.”
According to Bezzecchi, what are the biggest differences between the GP22 and the GP23? “That mainly concerns the torque. I’m still struggling to adapt my riding style to it. The braking phase is also different. I don’t feel the front wheel as well.”
“I also can’t get the power to the ground because the engine is different, as I mentioned. Unfortunately, I have difficulties at corner entry and exit. But I hope I find my way, because it was only the first test. “
Including Valencia, it was his second with the GP23. But the bad feeling from Spain has now been confirmed for Bezzecchi: “It was a complicated three days. As soon as I attack, I can’t ride as effectively. I crashed twice in the qualifying attempt.”
“The Ducati has many strengths and is competitive. That’s why I have to adapt my style to the GP23 and try to find a solid base. The bike is strong, as you can see from other riders. That’s why I have to adapt to it.”
Of the four riders on the GP23, Alex Marquez was the strongest. Only he was able to set a 1:56 time alongside the Ducati trio with the GP24. So the old bike is still competitive, even if the GP24 is a step forward.
Fabio Di Giannantonio immediately fast with the GP23
In contrast to Bezzecchi, Di Giannantonio didn’t find the switch from the GP22 to the GP23 difficult: “The bikes don’t change that much. The character is very similar. The engine is slightly different in terms of how the power is released.”
“That’s why we mainly worked on the electronics and power delivery.” But the Italian says: “Overall, the bike is not the same, but the feeling is similar to the GP22. The bikes are very similar.”
“You can ride more consistently and faster [with the GP23]. The engine also has a bit more power. There is also more potential to save the tires. It’s a better package overall. We have worked very well and have significantly improved the feeling for the bike. “
Di Giannantonio finished the last day of testing in eighth place. His times in the sprint simulation were remarkable. In comparison, he was even the fastest. But Pramac rider Jorge Martin ran his simulation in hotter track conditions.
As a result, Martin was a little slower at the end. Therefore, the sprint times are not completely comparable, as they were driven at different times of the day. “If the race was tomorrow, I wouldn’t be so bad,” says Di Giannantonio nevertheless.
After two years with Gresini, he is new to the VR46 team. How has he settled in? “Very well. The crew is fantastic. Everyone is very focused. They give me very good energy. I missed that a bit. Here you get the feeling that they are really there for you. “