Acosta ends 2024 Sepang Shakedown Test fastest

The rookie sensation sets an eye-catching 1:58.189 on Day 3 as aero upgrades are put through their paces again in Malaysia

The curtain has been drawn on the 2024 MotoGP™ Sepang Shakedown Test and ending the three days in Malaysia fastest was our class rookie – Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3). The Spaniard set a superb 1:58.189 on the final day to lead Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) by 0.066s, with CASTROL Honda LCR’s new recruit Johann Zarco completing the top three.

Acosta dazzles

Despite a couple of small crashes on the final day – one in the dry at Turn 11 and one in the wet at Turn 15 – Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 and KTM will head into the Official Sepang Test buzzing with how the Shakedown has gone. The #31’s time would have placed him P5 in last year’s Sepang Test standings, and there are still three more days to go. Impressive.

On the final day, Acosta was lapping with KTM’s carbon chassis on both of his GASGAS bikes, indicating this is the direction they’ll be heading in for the season. It will be interesting to see what new parts Acosta will test on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Malaysia, as he’s joined by teammate Augusto Fernandez and the two Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Brad Binder and Jack Miller.

And speaking of the orange squad, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro said in a video the team posted on social media – see below – that he feels “very good” on the bike after a winter of training sees the Test Rider come into 2024 in a much better physical condition. Espargaro also comments on how well Acosta is adapting to the bike, as the Austrian factory appear to be in a good position ahead of the Sepang Test.

Aero game stepped up ahead of Sepang Test

As mentioned in the previous two days of Shakedown action, the factories have ramped up the aerodynamics game in 2024. You can see KTM’s front fender wing, Aprilia’s ‘Batmobile’ rear wing, Honda’s upgraded ‘stegosaurus’ rear wing and Ducati’s additional ground effect side panel fairing updates HERE, with the respective test riders running all of these additions on the final day.

Aprilia Racing's Lorenzo Savadori was busy prepping some 2023-spec RS-GPs as Trackhouse Racing get for their official MotoGP™ debut, with Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira ready to don their new colours on track for the first time. 

How did Honda and Yamaha get on? 

On Day 3, Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda LCR) was spotted testing a different swingarm, while Yamaha Test Rider Cal Crutchlow ventured out with a new, longer exhaust and an updated aero body. Additionally, Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) has confirmed that Honda's 2023 bike isn't in Sepang. Honda are focusing on the package they had at the Valencia Test and on a new prototype they've got. 

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) finished the Shakedown in P4, with Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) the second fastest HRC rider in P6 - just behind Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Test Rider Dani Pedrosa. The progress of the two Japanese factories will be closely monitored at the Sepang Test, and you'll be able to hear the first thoughts of the riders from both factories on ahead of those three days. 

Attentions turn to the Official Test

With the Shakedown Test now done, it’s all eyes on the Official Test as the entire class of 2024 heads to Malaysia for three days of crucial track time. We’ve already seen a handful of new, intriguing parts tested between the factories, will we see more over the upcoming three days? Time will tell. 


Top 10: 

1 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) 1:58.189
2 Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.066
3 Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR)  + 0.211
4 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.249
5 Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.289
6 Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.328
7 Alex Rins (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.354
8 Luca Marini (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.746
9 Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Factory Racing) + 0.794
10 Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda LCR)  + 0.883