2023 Indonesian MotoGP News and Results

2023 Indonesian MotoGP—Friday News

It’s official: Marquez to Gresini Ducati

Thursday was Marc Marquez’s first opportunity to discuss his decision to leave Repsol Honda after eleven years to join Gresini Ducati. “It’s been the toughest decision of my career. Last week was hard from the emotional side, because all my staff, all my friends, all my family is there inside that box, all the sponsors. But sometimes you need to go out of your comfort zone, and my comfort zone was Honda.”

Marc Marquez reacting to the goat image posted on social media by Gresini racing.

The 32-year old revealed he had only made a final decision on the Tuesday that followed Motegi, where repeated meetings with Honda’s top brass failed to convince him to stay. The Gresini confirmation arrived so late, as he had only signed the contract on Thursday morning.

“The last four years I’ve been suffering a lot, I’m not enjoying, and I did a change to enjoy again on the race track. Because if not, there’s no meaning for me to continue racing and continue my career.” Marquez will move with just one crew member—Javi Ortiz—his tire and fuel technician –and Marquez will team up with crew chief Frankie Carchedi, who is currently working with Fabio Di Giannantonio and who took Joan Mir to the 2020 world title.

But Honda has many takers

With Marquez out and LCR Honda Team Owner Lucio Cecchinello adamant his 2024 signing Johann Zarco is staying put, Repsol Honda Team Manager Alberto Puig will have to look further afield for a replacement. Luckily, he has no shortage of interested parties.

Alberto Puig knows he’s far from out of good riders to fill the seat vacated by Marquez.

On Thursday Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Viñales said they’d be interested in taking on the challenge, even if both possess a contract with Aprilia for 2024. “It’s a pleasure to be considered to another manufacturer, such as big as Honda, especially when there’s a factory seat to offer,” said the Portuguese rider. When it was put to him, Team Principle Razlan Razali had said, “There’s no such thing as a clause that says that if he has a factory offer, he can leave Aprilia or RNF,” Oliveira replied, “that’s not true.” Zarco and Fabio Di Giannantonio also threw their names into the mix.

Most surprising of all was Aleix Espargaro, who didn’t rule himself out of the running. “Everything can happen,” he said.

Pol Espargaro kicked to the kerb

Pol Espargaro reflected on KTM’s brutal decision to relegate him to its test team in 2024 to make way for Moto2 superstar Pedro Acosta, despite having a contract for next year. The Catalan admitted he felt “anger,” but said he was now focused on “supporting the team and the factory in another way than I’ve been doing this year.”

Pol Espargaro was philosophical about being ditched for next year in favor of Pedro Acosta.

While his exact role has yet to be defined, it’s believed Espargaro will make several wild card appearances next year – rumors persist test riders will be allowed to race six times – as well as taking on testing duties and a role as a substitute rider.

While acknowledging KTM’s situation of having five contracted riders for just four seats was their making – “They didn’t make it well. This they know, it’s a responsibility for the manufacturer in the future” – he was also philosophical of the decision. “I need to take it in a mature way, in the most positive way and proactive way I can.”

2023 Indonesian MotoGP—Friday

The opening day of the 2023 Indonesian MotoGP has perfectly set the stage for what is set to be a barnstorming weekend of action in Mandalika. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) took top honors in Friday afternoon’s Practice as he turned his session around with a 1:30.474 after hitting the deck earlier on, and it’s his teammate Maverick Viñales in second as he also spent a lot of Friday towards the top end of the timing screens.

The headlines kept coming from there on out as a battered and bruised Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) took third despite an FP1 crash AND coming back from recent collarbone surgery, with reigning Champion and Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) more on the back foot after a late mistake sees him heading for Q1.

Aleix Espargaro was back to his best on Friday, topping the combined times.

With Friday afternoon’s Practice session deciding who goes through to Q2, the riders spent the majority of the session working on their race packages before putting in those late time attacks. With six minutes remaining, all riders were in the pits ready to fight for the all-important top 10, and the battle was about to commence with only a few bankers already set.

Bezzecchi already had his flyer in and was top of the pile after a heroic effort saw him move the goalposts at the 10-minute mark. But Aleix Espargaro had fire in his belly after crashing out of what was set to be a very hot lap earlier on, in the final five minutes he changed the benchmark time once more to smash the lap record and stamp some authority on Friday’s running.

With the Aprilia on rails around Mandalika, Espargaro was then joined by teammate Viñales as the factory Aprilia duo took the top two spots to demote Bezzecchi to P3.

Vinales made it an Aprilia 1-2 on Friday.

Bagnaia was very much in the danger zone after leaving it to his very last lap of the session to put in a hot lap. With the chequered flag already out Bagnaia was sat outside of the top 10 but was motoring on, on course for a personal best. It looked as if the Champ’s lap was looking pretty safe until a big moment in the latter part of the lap saw his flyer scrapped, heading off at Turn 15 after a moment – and Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) then also crashing out almost in tandem.

Now with just a 3-point advantage over his title rival Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), Bagnaia will be forced to go through Q1 with Martin comfortably sat in the top five just behind Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who took fourth.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was next up in 6th. The Spaniard has been all over recent headlines after his switch to Gresini Racing MotoGP for 2024 was announced, but is proving there are still very much six Grands Prix remaining this year for him to keep pushing.

Marco Bezzecchi was heroic after breaking his collarbone last week to go third.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP), the rider Marc Marquez will be replacing, finished just behind the eight-time champ in P8, with Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) taking the final two Q2 spots in 9th and 10th.

There’s plenty of competition Bagnaia will have to contend with, as Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), and Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) will all be eyeing up the top two spots.

Equally with the Aprilia looking like a fine package in Indonesia, the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team riders Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira cannot be discounted either.

2023 Indonesian MotoGP—Friday Results

Aleix Espargaro
(Aprilia Racing)

Maverick Viñales
(Aprilia Racing)

Marco Bezzecchi
(MooneyVR46 Racing)

Brad Binder
(Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)

Jorge Martin
(Prima Pramac Racing)

Marc Marquez
(Repsol Honda Team)

Miguel Oliveira
(CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team)

Fabio Di Giannantionio
(Gresini Racing MotoGP)

Jack Miller
(Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)

Fabio Quartararo
(Monster Enewrgy Yamaha MotoGP)

2023 Indonesian Moto2—Friday

Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) proved what he’s made of on Day 1 at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia. The Championship leader topped the timesheets with a new lap record 1:34.456 saw him snatch the top spot as the day came to a close. Before Acosta pulled the pin it was Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) who was leading the way. The Spaniard heads the chasing pack after falling 0.180s short of his compatriot’s time, with Sam Lowes (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) also enjoying life in Mandalika to end Day 1 in P3.

Pedro Acosta is crushing them in Moto2 right now and went fastest on Friday.

Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Team) was another who took well to the Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit. The Spaniard just missed out on the top three by 0.091s as he took fourth place ahead of Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) who rounded out the top five.

Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) had a positive start to his weekend as he bagged P6, ahead of Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp). Aldeguer also made an incredible front-end save and was just 0.024s back from the Brit in P7. Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo) takes eighth ahead of second in the Champioship, Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team). The Italian has some work to do as he finished the day 0.597s away from Acosta in P9. Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegow Los40) rounded out the top ten.

2023 Indonesian Moto2—Friday Results

Pedro Acosta
(Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Aron Canet
(Pons Wegow Los40)

Sam Lowes
(ELF Marc VDS Racing Team)

Manuel Gonzalez
(Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team)

Ai Ogura
(IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)

Jake Dixon
(GASGAS Aspar Team)

Fermin Aldeguer
(Speed Up Racing)

Albert Arenas
(Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Tony Arbolino
(ELF Marc VDS Racing Team)

Sergio Garcia
(Pons Wegow Los40)

2023 Indonesian Moto3—Friday

Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) found an extra gear on the opening day of the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia as he went top with a 1:39.855 new lap record. Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) was looking very strong as well as he took P2 and was the only other rider in the 1:39 club, just +0.232s shy of the top time. Leopard Racing’s Jaume Masia rounded out the top three, but after an slightly more adventurous morning than the Championship leader would have liked with two crashes in P1.

P1 on Friday for Deniz Oncu in Moto3.

Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) had another strong showing as he found himself in P4 on day 1, ahead of Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna IntactGP) who rounded out the top five, the Japanese rider now second in the Championship.

Former leader and still very much key contender Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) was +0.415s off the pace, but ends Day 1 in P6 with his compatriot David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) bagging P7. Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was just 0.020s further back in P8, and Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) lost out to the SIC58 machine by only 0.005. Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) rounded out the top ten.

2023 Indonesian Moto2—Friday Results

Deniz Öncü
(Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Diogo Moreira
(MT Helmets – MSI)

Jaume Masia
(Leopard Racing)

Matteo Bertelle
(Rivacold Snipers Team)

Ayumu Sasaki
(Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP)

Daniel Holgado
(Red Bull KTM Tech3)

David Muñoz
(BOE Motorsports)

Ricardo Rossi
(SIC58 Squadra Corse)

Stefano Nepa
(Angeluss MTA Team)

Kaito Toba
(SIC58 Squadra Corse)

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