At the controls of his Ducati, the MotoGP world champion, Francesco Bagnaia, confirmed over the weekend at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão that he is the rider to 'beat', at the start of the 2023 world championship.
At the test weekend this weekend, two weeks before the start of the new season, the Italian rider confirmed the best time on Saturday and again on Sunday, but this time managing to become the first driver in history to manage a lap of the 4592 metres of the track near Portimão in less than 1 minute and 38 seconds.
By achieving his best lap of 1m37.968s 'Pecco' broke yet another barrier on the Algarve track and closed the pre-season as the fastest driver in the peloton.
The Bologna team rider was not, however, the only one to break the official track record (1m 38.725s) as together with him 11 other riders managed laps below that record, in a clear demonstration of the evolution of the bikes compared to the previous season.
Behind him were two Frenchmen who finished right behind, Johann Zarco also riding a Ducati and Fabio Quartararo with the official Yamaha. Italians Luca Marini and Marco Bezzechi riding Ducatis in Valentino Rossi's team colours finished close behind.
Miguel Oliveira also set a time only marginally slower than Bagnaia's record-setting lap on his new Aprilia RS-GP, ending the pre-season in 11th position with his best lap time of 1m38.584s.
Drivers and teams now have a short rest period before the start of the 2023 season later this month, on the 24th, 25th and 26th of March, again at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
In the meantime, a test session for Moto 2 and Moto 3 world championship riders is taking place at Portimão this weekend on the 17th, 18th and 19th of March.