As is always the case, there are plenty of innovations and new pieces of kit to try when teams test, and it was no different last Monday, when riders once again took to the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for an official one day Test. We’ve taken a deeper dive into the toys on show in the south of Spain, and what it potentially means for teams going forward.
Honda made no efforts in concealing the importance of the post-Spanish GP Test, with the struggles of the RC213V continuing as the Championship returned to Europe. Interestingly, we spotted Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) running the old aero from last season. It’s interesting because of all the Honda riders, the number 93 by far did the most laps with this aero at the end of season 2021 Jerez Test, appearing to be the rider that was the most unsure about whether to use this aero or the aero that we see him with now.
As far as we understand, this aero provides slightly less downforce, so the eight-time Champion might just be looking to pitch his Honda a little more on the front to try and find the front end feeling he’s been craving.
And his searching didn’t stop there as we also saw an entirely new aero package that was very similar to the skinny swings we saw on the initial version of the 2022 Honda in Misano last year, albeit this version does seem to be beefed up a bit with a lot more surface area.
Above is the standard aero package that Honda have been using in 2022. And the next one is the entirely new aero that Marc used Monday in Jerez.
One thing we thought we might see the Honda riders try was the different exhausts that Test Rider Stefan Bradl used throughout his wildcard in Jerez. But in fact, only Pol Espargaro tried it at the day's end, with the other Hondas sticking to the standard 2022 exhausts, seen below, throughout the Jerez Test.
Suzuki’s Joan Mir continued using the different swingarm with the 2022 Champ appearing to have now permanently switched to it.
But teammate Alex Rins didn’t try it during the test.
The difference is the horizontal weld that sits above the hole by the linkage. On the new one, this weld is there, on the old one it is not.
KTM unveiled a set of radically different exhausts. With the bottom exhaust a lot longer than before, it’s interesting to note that Ducati also recently tried a very long bottom exhaust. From what we heard about Ducati, the long exhaust gave a little more power and grunt and it was this that the Ducati riders decided to go against in the end as it just made the GP22 a little too hard to handle.
But for KTM it might not be power they’re chasing but more usable power instead. Their rear grip problems have been extensively covered by many, so it could be the case that KTM are looking to try and find something in this area. Binder commented that he didn’t feel a massive deal of difference but he did liked the way it sounded, so that’s always a plus!
We’ll await the Catalan Test to see if KTM build on this idea and bring another version or if they try these exhausts again.
Aside from the new exhausts KTM also had another thing that was, according to them, much harder to spot. Well, turns out it was hard to spot, but it might have been hidden on this bike somewhere as Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was seen circulating at times on a bike with all-black fairings.
We’ll have our eyes peeled at the next races and tests to see if we can spot this mystery update.
Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini has been given a 2022 update by Ducati. The Bologna factory have awarded him with the 2022 front fairing, air intake and aero package. He seems content with it, saying that if he had to choose one to race right now, he’d choose the 2022 fairing over the 2021 fairing he’s used to.
Ducati Team Manager Davide Tardozzi was asked why they gave it to Bastianini. He simply said it’s because he deserves it and that Ducati already have plans to roll out an updated aero fairing for their factory riders sometime in the midseason.
The final thing we spotted was that Tech3 Racing’s Remy Gardner was finally given the 2022 swingarm to try. The factory duo of Brad Binder and Oliveira have had this swingarm since the start of the season.
Pictured is the new swingarm that Yamaha had Monday. The area that’s changed is the curvature of the cut-out section where the chain goes through the swingarm itself. Look closely and then see the next image below of the standard swingarm and you’ll see that shape change.
It’s a slightly different shape, with the standard one having a larger cut-out area and recessing further back compared to the new one.
The Jerez Test certainly made for an interesting watch to see what teams and riders are targeting int terms of on track performance, and you can keep up to date with all the latest innovations by heading over to the MotoGP™ Tech group on Facebook.