The time has come… or almost! Ahead of the official Sepang Test from the 10th to the 12th of February, the MotoGP™ factories – and our 2023 rookie – will be out on track for the Shakedown from the 5th to the 7th. The Shakedown also takes place at the majestic and usefully varied Sepang International Circuit, and it will be our first taste of the blockbuster, record-breaking season we have in store for 2023.
So, the rookie. Premier class debutants are allowed to take part in the Shakedown and this season, that means GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 newcomer Augusto Fernandez. The reigning Moto2™ Champion is the sole rookie and will enjoy the three days of track time to get acquainted following his debut in the Valencia test in November, and he’ll be joined by the factory test riders.
That means it’s Michele Pirro out for Ducati as the Ducati Lenovo Team look to begin their defence of not one, not two but three titles, aka that coveted triple crown. Yamaha, meanwhile, expect to field three test riders – Cal Crutchlow, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Kohta Nozane – as they look to take back to the top.
For Aprilia, it’s Lorenzo Savadori on duty as the Noale factory head into new territory in their post-concession world, and at Honda Stefan Bradl will take the reins. The Japanese factory will be looking for a step forward and to lay some big groundwork for progress ahead of handing the RC213V back to Marc Marquez, new stablemate Joan Mir and LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Rins.
KTM have two riders set to take to the track: MotoGP™ Legend Dani Pedrosa, who also recently confirmed the Spanish GP wildcard revealed by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager Francesco Guidotti, and long-time test rider Mika Kallio. The Austrian factory also have Jonas Folger on the books for 2023, so will the German rider take to the track at the Shakedown?
The action runs from 10:00 to 18:00 for the Shakedown, and there’s no live timing but motogp.com will have an end-of-day round up report after each day. There’ll also be a selection of photos and social updates across the event as we get in gear for the Sepang Test proper, so stay tuned!
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