The day of testing in Valencia comes to an end, closing the curtain on the 2023 season and effectively laying the foundations for teams and riders in view of 2024. Thus, it was the time for Marco Bezzecchi to get on the GP23, the bike that allowed his friend and rival Pecco Bagnaia to become world champion for the second consecutive year. The final classification spoke clearly, Bez was the best of the Ducatis, he was third on a cold Spanish Tuesday, but the rider from Rimini didn’t give the verdict too much importance. At the end of Sunday's race Marco also had a verbal confrontation with Marquez, and the VR46 rider was therefore keen to point out that not everything that was written in this regard is true.
What were your first sensations on the GP23?
"There are differences, but it took me a while to adapt to the bike - said Bez - my riding style didn't adapt perfectly. We made some changes and in the end I managed to end the day of testing on a positive note".
Marco then went into more detail, in particular the power delivery amazed the VR46 rider.
"The engine is different, it's very fast but when you touch the gas at the beginning the sensation is different, I couldn't say if it's better because I haven't ridden it enough yet, definitely a different sensation. The biggest problem for me was adapting to the new characteristics of the bike, I lacked confidence when entering corners compared to the GP22 but step by step I improved. I consider it a positive half day, today the temperatures were very low".
So, it's a question of differences in riding styles between you and Pecco?
"It's difficult to say, I remember that at the beginning of the season Pecco also had difficulties with power delivery and the way he used the brakes. I don't think it's a question of riding style but as always, any small change, even if positive, upsets everything and we must readjust. At the end of the year Pecco and Jorge rode in an incredible way, I hope I'll adapt too."
Despite this, Bez set the best fastest lap of any Ducati on track today.
"I didn't know it and I'm pleased. But overall, it's a result that isn't worth much."
Do you already have a clear idea of what to ask for in view of Sepang?
"No, also because the temperatures at Sepang will be very different, it wouldn't make sense to ask for something specific. The important thing at the beginning will be to find a good base for the various tracks, and then build on that."
The rival manufacturers were very busy today, did you notice anything particular on their bikes?
"I rode alone most of the time, but in the videos, I saw a lot of new aerodynamics, but inside the bikes I don't know."
Among the opponents of the rival manufacturers from today there will also be Luca Marini, now on the official Honda. What effect does it have to no longer have him in the garage?
"A truly strange effect - Bez continued with a smile - by now I had gotten used to having him always close by. It was also nice to see the others, like Morbidelli on the Ducati. The tests are cool for this too, but today I had to concentrate above all on myself".
In his place now is Fabio Di Giannantonio, your rival since the days of CIV.
"I have many memories with Diggia, in the past we were less mature, and we got along less well, but now we have matured and there is respect between us. We are not as familiar with each other as the other guys in the academy who I see virtually every day, what a drag! - he joked again - but I'm sure that this year we will build a good relationship. He had an excellent end to the season, and I think he deserved to continue in MotoGP, I'm happy for him".
In this regard, Fabio appreciated the fact that you two have similar and direct characters.
"I'm sorry if sometimes what I think isn't good for everyone, but at least I'm always clear with my conscience, I always say what I think."
Today Marc Marquez immediately found the right harmony on his new bike. Did you expect him to be so fast straight away on the Ducati?
"I'm not surprised at all, I think everyone expected it, the bike is competitive, and no one can say that Marc isn't a fast rider, he's a champion after all. I followed him a couple of times, not on purpose, but because by chance he had slowed down, and I noticed that he was already riding very well."
At the end of Sunday's race, you had the opportunity to talk to him directly, Marc used harsh words to comment on the matter.
"I don't want to go into details, it was a private conversation, but I read some articles that reported really bad things that I never said. It's clear that I told him what I thought, you know my character well, and he did the same to me. But then I read things that I apparently said and which instead are absolutely false, things that I wouldn't say even to my worst enemy. I think I had the balls to go directly to him and tell him what I thought, I don't care what people think, but reading certain mean things that I never said wasn't pleasant."
Do you think relationships between riders should work out like this more often?
"That's the way I am, none of this fake do-goodism for me. It's right to tell each other how they are, we're rivals, and you'll never be able to get along with everyone, so I think it would be better to tell each other directly what you think."
How will you spend the winter break now?
"Right now, if I could, I would like two hundred days of rest - he jokes - I think I'll go to the mountains to snowboard, but don't worry, I'll be in good shape for Qatar".