MotoGP™ Sepang Shakedown opening day ends with Pedrosa fastest

MotoGP™ is back on track in 2024 as Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Acosta finishes just 0.152s off the three-time World Champion

MotoGP™ is officially back underway in 2024 as the Sepang Shakedown Test begins with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Test Rider Dani Pedrosa topping the timesheets with a 1:59.233, as rookie Pedro Acosta impressed again on his Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 machine to finish just 0.152s adrift of the three-time World Champion.

In total, seven riders were on track on the opening day as we saw Pol Espargaro back in orange as the Spaniard begins his new role as a Test Rider for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. Stefan Bradl (HRC Test Team), Michele Pirro (Ducati Lenovo Team), Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Aprilia Racing’s Lorenzo Savadori were the other riders putting in the work for their respective factories.

The second and final days of the Shakedown Test is when we’ll see Yamaha and Honda’s full-time MotoGP™ stars on track, thanks to the new Concessions rules. That means Fabio Quartararo, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ teammate Alex Rins, Joan Mir, fellow Repsol Honda Team rider Luca Marini, and CASTROL/IDEMITSU Honda LCR pairing Johann Zarco and Takaaki Nakagami will be attacking the PETRONAS Sepang International Circuit on Friday and Saturday.

So, what new tech have we already seen? Aprilia, Ducati, KTM and Honda all had new aero to test, with the rear tail unit aero a particular talking point with three of the four aforementioned manufacturers. KTM, with both Pol Espargaro and Pedrosa, tested the Austrian factory's newest aero package, which consists of a new belly pan and modified wings. 

Acosta, despite it being only his second day on a MotoGP™ thoroughbred, was testing new stuff for KTM/GASGAS as the reigning Moto2™ World Champion did some work with an innovative front mudguard. In addition, Acosta tried both the steel and carbon chassis on Thursday.

Plenty more is to come over the next two days of Shakedown action before the Official Test kicks off on Tuesday the 6th of February.

Top 7:

1 Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) 1:59.233
2 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) + 0.152
3 Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.182
4 Stefan Bradl (HRC Test Team) + 0.627
5 Michele Pirro (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 1.633
6 Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Factory Racing) + 1.780
7 Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing) + 2.576