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After a fantastic weekend of racing at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, the MotoGP™ riders are now getting prepped for what is widely described as a “very important” two-day Misano Test on Tuesday and Wednesday.
With just four races of the 2021 season to go, every factory is now placing some of its focus on the 2022 season. Honda, MotoGP™’s most successful manufacturer, are certainly one of those. Eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) explained HRC are at a “critical point” and will be testing new parts for next season at Misano.
“Very important these two days. We will introduce some new parts thinking about 2022. We are at a critical point, we are struggling a lot,” commented Marquez, speaking after Sunday’s San Marino GP. “It looks like every time we are better and better. We need to work on the chassis and engine also, and yeah, it’s already a few months ago that Honda is working very hard to improve for next year.”
World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) is expected to be doing a lot of the 2022 donkey work at the Misano Test, with teammate Franco Morbidelli continuing his adaptation to the 2021 YZR-M1 – as well as working his way back to full fitness.
“It’s very important to keep improving the setting of the bike, keep improving my feeling on the bike and try some new items as well. It’s going to be a really important test so, great, I’m happy to do it,” stated the Italian, with compatriot Andrea Dovizioso (Petronas Yamaha SRT) confirming the factory riders will be doing most of the work in regard to 2022 parts.
“I think the two factory riders will work for the future. I’m not sure what they have but I will stay with my material, but in this moment I have to understand the bike more. It’s not too important to try new things.”
Chatting to motogp.com after the San Marino GP, Jack Miller explained how he and Ducati Lenovo Team teammate Francesco Bagnaia will be testing some new items at Misano.
“I think we have a plan on what we need to do, the items getting separated between Pecco and myself so, it will be good, we can understand and work from here,” said Miller. “Some test items, we haven’t been told exactly what items we’re doing first but I think we have some stuff for this year, some stuff for next year. It’s Ducati they’re going to keep us busy.”
Meanwhile, if the weather plays ball, Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) will be testing on Tuesday. However, if it’s raining or conditions aren’t very good, then the Frenchman will head home early and undergo arm pump surgery on Wednesday morning.
“I will test on Tuesday if we have good weather, I will do laps and test things on the bike to keep working and progress with the team. If it’s raining I will go home early and on Wednesday morning I will have the operation.”
Over at reigning World Champion’s Team Suzuki Ecstar, plenty of attention will be on 2022. Alex Rins confirmed he and teammate Joan Mir will have a 2022-spec engine to try, as well as chassis, electronics and an updated rear ride height device. However, Mir is hoping he and Suzuki can find something to give them the potential to end 2021 on a good note, with the Spaniard yet to claim victory in his title defending season.
“I think that we have some aspects and hopefully apart from working to 2022, it’s important to finish this year with potential. I think we have it but we’re always very on the limit to go with that potential. So we need something more,” explained the reigning Champion.
Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini have had a fantastic 2021 campaign, but the work isn’t slowing down over at the Noale factory – far from it. The Spaniard confirms the list of things to try for 2022 is “huge” at the Misano Test, while Espargaro also hopes that he’ll get some time to focus on an area that he struggled with at the San Marino GP.
“The list of items to try is huge for 2022. We have chassis, aerodynamics, a lot of things. But at the same time, I hope I have some space to try something to improve the bike to make it a bit better performing in stopping power, more stability, where we struggled a lot this weekend. It’s going to be a very busy two-day test schedule, but hopefully we can do everything if the weather respects us,” said the British GP podium finisher.
For Espargaro’s Aprilia teammate Maverick Viñales, more time on his new machine is what’s needed. Viñales says that he has a few items to try that will help him in the upcoming races, but it’s all about riding and continuing to understand the RS-GP.
“It’s very important so I hope the weather stays stable. We have a few items that can help me especially in the next few races, so I hope the weather can stay well and I can ride the bike because I need to understand and I need to keep working on the bike,” commented Viñales.
It’s been a tougher than expected 2021 season for KTM despite three wins in the bag. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) admitted that his main focus during the Misano Test will be trying to figure out how to get out the corners better, something that if improved, could be the missing link for both this season and next.
“The main focus for me will be to try and learn how to get out the corners better, figure out what we need to do to improve that point, and if we improve that, I think we will be a lot stronger,” said Binder post-race on Sunday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s 2022 riders will be getting their first taste of MotoGP™ action. Both Moto2™ title contenders Remy Gardner and Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Raul Fernandez will spin some laps on the RC16 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, so keep your eyes peeled on their lap times.
Live Timing will be available across both days on the Riviera di Rimini, with reports, highlights, interviews and more giving you lots of ways to keep up with the action. The riders will be on track between 09:30 and 18:00 local time (GMT+2), as an incredibly busy and crucial couple of days await.
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