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MotoGP Mugello Official Testing

MotoGP race win on last year’s Ducati GP23 will “come soon”, say factory riders

Factory Ducati riders Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini believe it’s only a matter of time before someone wins a MotoGP race on last year’s GP23 bike.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing
The Italian marque has made a massive jump with its already dominant Desmosedici in 2024, with Bagnaia and Pramac’s Jorge Martin winning six of the first seven grands prix between them on the new GP24.
Although the GP23 remains a competitive bike to race on, with Gresini’s Marc Marquez finishing half a second behind race winner Bagnaia in both Barcelona and Le Mans, last weekend’s Italian GP showed the gulf in performance between the two bikes as Bagnaia, Bastianini and Martin locked out the podium spots on their respective 2024-spec Ducatis.
While that gave the impression that the GP24 is near-unbeatable in 2024, both Bagnaia and Bastianini are convinced that it is still possible to win on last year’s bike.
Bagnaia explained that the learning curve on the GP23 is quite steep in the early part of the season, and the GP24 contenders are performing at their very best, but it would still be possible for Gresini and VR46 riders to chalk up a win this season in the right circumstances.
“The fact is that we are adapting well,” said the reigning champion. “Last year’s bike needed more time to adapt but was a very good bike. On some tracks it was very competitive, in other tracks it was less competitive. 
“Here [in Mugello] the ‘23 [bike] was fantastic, also in Barcelona. So it's difficult to know why [it wasn’t so fast this time]. 
“In the test in Jerez they had a new exhaust with the '23 that helped a lot with the problems they were facing last year, and more or less right now are very similar [to GP24]. 
Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: MotoGP

“I think the win from a '23 bike will come soon. But right now the level is very high, with the new tyres it's very high again and we are doing a very special job [on GP24s]. 
“We are not just here, we are not three slow riders, just we are doing a very excellent job.”
Bastianini, who particularly struggled on the GP23 last year during an injury-ridden campaign with Ducati, says the difference between the specification of the two bikes is not as big as some believe - and backed Marquez for winning a race this season.
“I agree with Pecco. I remember last year it was important to bring some time, to do some modification on the bike was different compared to '21 [bike I rode with Gresini in 2022],” he said. 
“But the '23 bike for me compared to '24 is so similar and well, for me this did not change a lot. 
“Like you say, Pecco, probably the '23 bike can win in the future. But the problem is the level [of GP24 riders]. We are really close and Marc for the moment is much faster with the '23 bike. 
“But for the difference, for me, it’s not really a big one.” 
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin, the current championship leader, feels there are some areas where last year’s Ducati was actually superior to the GP24.
“For me, the big change on the '24 is the braking, it's what I felt. That's why we finally chose the '24,” he said.
“But I thought here the '23 will have been more competitive [in Mugello] because last year, in the changes of direction, I was stronger than this season. 
“So this year I struggled quite a lot more with the '24 than last year with the '23. 
“Now it's difficult to say but they are so similar.”

2023 winners on GP22

A number of Ducati riders won races on the then-year-old GP22 in 2023, suggesting the gap between the performance of the two Desmosedicis wasn’t as big last season. 
Both VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi and Gresini’s Fabio di Giannantonio won grands prix, with the former even challenging for the title before settling for third in the standings. Alex Marquez on the second Gresini bike also took two sprint wins riding the GP22 after switching from Honda to Ducati machinery.
Rider
Team
Race wins
Marco Bezzecchi
VR46
3 (Argentina, France, India)
Fabio di Giannantonio
Gresini
1 (Qatar)
Alex Marquez
Gresini
2 sprints (Britain, Malaysia)

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