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Motogp Race Win On Last Years Ducati Gp23 Will Come Soon

Motogp Race Win On Last Years Ducati Gp23 Will Come Soon

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

The Italian marque has made a significant leap 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 persuaded that it is still possible to win on last year’s bike.

Bagnaia explained that the learning curve on the GP23 is quite precipitous 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 tally up a triumph this season in the proper 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 courses 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 quick 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. 

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

“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 notably labored on the GP23 last year during an injury-ridden campaign with Ducati, says the difference between the specification of the two motorcycles is not as large as some believe - and backed Marquez for winning a race this season.

“I agree with Pecco. I remember last year it was essential 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 quality of GP24 competitors. We are really close and Marc for the moment is much quicker with the '23 cycle. 

“But for the difference, for me, it’s not really a big one.” 

Martin, the current championship leader, believes there are some areas where last year’s Ducati was genuinely superior to the GP24.

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“For me, the big change on the '24 is the braking, it's what I felt. That's why we ultimately 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 Victors on GP22

A number of Ducati riders won races on the then-year-old GP22 in 2023, suggesting the disparity between the performance of the two Desmosedicis wasn’t as large 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 claimed two sprint victories racing the GP22 after transferring from Honda to Ducati machinery.