The Superbike advantage some MotoGP teams take to the Indonesia test

The final pre-season test of 2022 for MotoGP takes place this weekend at the new Mandalika track, which will host the first Indonesian Grand Prix since 1997 in March.

MotoGP had hoped to stage a test at the circuit late last year, but had to abandon those plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Superbikes gave the track its international race debut last November with the final of its 2021 season, Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea winning both races.

As well as teams needing to continue their crucial development work for the coming MotoGP season, they will also need to learn the new Mandalika track this weekend.

Yamaha, Honda and Ducati already have an advantage in this area due to these manufacturers having teams in WSBK – while Suzuki, KTM and Aprilia don’t.

Although MotoGP and World Superbikes differ greatly, some bits of data can be transferred – including initial gearing.

One Ducati source told Autosport: “In addition to that, the teams also take as a reference the difference in the lap time of the Superbike and the MotoGP bike at other circuits.

“So, we can make an approximation of the time we think it will be here.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu, PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Team, World SBK champion 2021

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marc Marquez’s crew chief Santi Hernandez added: “Honda is fortunate to have a team in World Superbikes, so we can pick up some ideas.

“It’s not that it’s a brutal advantage, but it can serve as a guide.”

The current lap record from the WSBK weekend was set by 2021 world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu, whose Superpole lap was a 1m32.877s.

It is believed MotoGP will go roughly two seconds faster than this during the three-day Indonesia test, which runs from Friday 11 January to Sunday 13 January.

Though the likes of Yamaha, Ducati and Honda won’t have a major advantage over the rest, Joan Mir’s Suzuki crew chief admitted his team’s work will be slightly more this weekend.

“For us, we’ll have to start from scratch,” Frankie Carchedi said. “That will mean we’ll have a bit more work to do, but we’ll soon get back on track.”


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