Red Bull KTM Factory Racing barely had time to let the Prosecco spray dry from the final Grand Prix of the 2022 MotoGP season at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia. The first test with an eye on the 2023 campaign took place less than 48 hours after the crew had celebrated 2nd and 5th finishes in Spain and 2nd place in the Teams’ championship and saw new recruit Jack Miller make his first laps on the 2023 KTM RC16 as Brad Binder got to work on the latest spec.
Sunshine blessed the Valencian site for the fifth day in a row and provided stable and decent conditions for more than seven hours and almost a hundred accumulated laps of the 4km layout.
Brad Binder worked with three configurations of the KTM RC16 and through ideas and components that could form part of the 2023 package by the time of the next MotoGP test in Malaysia in February. The South African posted a 1 min 30.4 on a flying lap attempt that was only a few tenths away from his time during the Q2 session the previous Saturday. He also gave a large ‘thumbs-up’ to the latest generation of the RC16 chassis.
Binder was joined in the pitbox by new teammate Jack Miller. The owner of seven podium finishes and one win in 2022 was returning to Red Bull KTM colors for the first time since he fought for the 2014 Moto3™ world championship with Aki Ajo’s team. The Australian is now an eight-season veteran of the premier class and was getting to grips with the KTM RC16, finishing as one of the last on track and just seven tenths of a second from the quickest lap of the day.
Brad Binder: “Today was cool. Of course we had a lot to try with a new bike and some new aero. We got some really good information going into the off-season. I had another new chassis and it was 100 times better in some ways than the one I used at the weekend but there were also some points to work on! That’s testing though! I can say that we are in a much better place. I’m really grateful to my team because they have worked so hard throughout the year and again we had a lot to think about and to experiment with today. Now the guys at the factory can put it all together and see if we can make more steps in Sepang.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “A busy time and a lot to do in one day between the riders. There were three different aspects to understand. Brad is the only one who knows the bike so started with the Valencia race bike before moving to the 2022/2023 hybrid version and Jack began with the new spec. There are quite a lot of new parts everywhere; chassis, engine and for the electronics and we tested also a new aero-pack. It’s still a young project so we are working hard where we can. We now have a few days in the wind-tunnel plus some tests in December where we will make the final decisions ahead of Sepang and the new season.”
Sebastian Risse, Red Bull KTM Technical Manager MotoGP: “We finished a busy and intense day; one of the rare outings on the calendar where we can go through new items with our GP riders. We took full profit and mainly focused on the new bike package with some references from the old model. We are quite happy that we touched some areas where we had been looking for some solutions for quite a long time. Brad obviously knows the bike very well so we could explore some set-up options as well as work on an aero idea that is not final but it was good to collect some data. The outcome was very positive. We also had a new rider! We did the first laps with Jack and he was quite happy with the bike and with the first adaptions and changes we did. Overall, we are going into the winter break with a good feeling and some confidence for the new season.”
Valencia Official Test
1. Luca Marini (ITA) Ducati 1:30.032
2. Maverick Viñales (ESP) Aprilia +0.225
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati +0.230
4. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Aprilia +0.335
5. Aleix Espargaro (ESP) Aprilia +0.366
7. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.464
17. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.755