“This is definitely the best start to the season I have ever had in my career, so I can only be happy. My team and I did a great job during testing, so the bike setup was already pretty much defined at the beginning of the weekend. In Argentina, the situation will definitely be different. Still, my feeling with the new bike is incredible, so I think we will be ready to face any condition.”
Maverick Vinales – P2
“This is a great result and I’m extremely proud of the work Aprilia is doing. Our bike is truly complete and competitive. But our goal is to stay out front, so we need to keep working this way, with a lot of grit, to improve even further. In the race, I tried to stay consistently close to Pecco, even when I dropped back to let my tyres cool and then close the gap again. I tried to keep the pressure on him all the way to the end and we finished really close, but he was good at not making any mistakes and not giving me any real openings to overtake. Now we’ll head to Argentina with lots of confidence.”
Marco Bezzecchi – P3
“Starting the season like this is special, what a race! I got off to a strong start, compared to yesterday I started strong. I then waited a few laps, but I have to confess that I pushed hard for at least 3/4 of the distance. When I was behind Jack (Miller) I was struggling with the front tire, I tried to overtake him as soon as possible and then get in front alone to be able to enter corners better. I pushed to open a gap on Alex (Marquez) and those behind, and as soon as the tank lightened I was able to go even faster. The setting was excellent, the guys did a great job and I was able to manage the tire better. All thanks to the Team, to Ducati, they did so much during the pre-season, to Vale, without who I wouldn’t be here and to my whole family. I’m really happy today!”
Johann Zarco – P4
“I am very happy with today’s result. I had a good start, but lost a few positions in the early laps. I continued to push and fight and in the end, I managed to reach fourth place. It’s a great result for me and the Pramac Racing team. The circuit was very challenging, but I focused on my riding and tried to stay consistent. I am happy to have brought home this result for the team and all of our sponsors.I thank my team for the great work done during the weekend and all the fans who supported us. Now we look ahead to the next race and will continue to work hard to improve even more.”
Alex Marquez – P5
“I tried in every way to maintain fourth place but I didn’t close the door enough at Turn 14 and Zarco took advantage. Being the first race I can’t complain, and surely we’ll head to Argentina with great confidence. I gave 100% and even had a look at the podium… something that hadn’t happened in a while.”
Brad Binder – P6
“Today was pretty good. It has been a hard weekend because it was very tough for me to get comfortable on the bike. I was suffering a lot but today my team made a big step forward with my RC16 and I was much more confident in the end. The last five laps were really demanding physically but the step forwards we made was very satisfying and I’m hoping for more in Argentina. I just need to figure out how to be 100 per cent fit there.”
Jack Miller – P7
“I was pushing a lot towards the end and into unknown territory with the tyres. The bike was really stable but I made a small mistake with my gearing and it was hectic there. I was trying everything I could to make the pass and get it done but it was impossible. We learnt a lot about our strengths and weaknesses today. The tire conservation was really good as was the feedback I was getting from the bike through the duration. I’m happy with where we are and I know we can work to be stronger. We are having fun building this project.”
Fabio Quartararo – P8
“Of course, it was a difficult race, mostly because of where I qualified. Yesterday, I had an issue with launch control, but this time I chose a line that wasn’t correct, so we were super far behind. The pace was not too bad. If you look at my last lap of this race, it was very close to my fastest lap in last year’s race. I think the pace we all had during this weekend was extremely fast. I’m hoping to be fighting more towards the front in Argentina.”
Aleix Espargaro – P9
“Overall, I’m pleased both with our weekend and with the speed we demonstrated. Unfortunately, once again today, our starting position overshadowed my pace a bit, which was decidedly good. On the early turns, I had contact with Binder, costing me a lot of positions, and then, when I had free track ahead of me, I managed to be fast, but I struggled a bit in overtaking. This was partly because I didn’t want to risk any pointless contact – I had already seen quite enough of that this weekend and I think that we riders should be the first to think reasonably and arrive in Argentina with less stress. In any case, the RS-GP proved to be fast and I couldn’t have asked for more. One thing is certain – we’ll need to be more incisive in qualifying.”
Alex Rins – P10
“This has been my first race weekend with Honda, and we’ve confirmed which areas can improve. As a rider and team, you always want to be in front, but the key element after today is that we’ve had some positives during the race. I want to try new parts in Argentina because there is potential, and we are working hard to reach our goals. Many thanks to the team for its job”.
“The crash from yesterday impacted today a lot, not just because of the long lap penalty. If I was able to finish the Sprint race I would have had a lot more understanding of the bike because today’s race was the first time I was able to do more than ten laps in a row on the Honda. This meant I spent a lot of today learning, so from this side today was a positive because I understood more. I still need more time to improve how I am riding and how the bike is behaving, especially to get the most out of the tyre over the race. With a bit more knowledge we could have made a very good race, but I am happy to have the experience now.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P12
“I’m quite positive after this race. It’s been quite difficult because rivals didn’t make it easy, and we needed to manage the situation, but overall, we’ve got important points and know which path to follow to reach the competitors. Let’s see what we can do in Argentina; I can’t wait to be there”.
Augusto Fernandez – P13
“I’m happy. Good to finally get a MotoGP race experience! I was really looking forward to today. I struggled a bit in the beginning but my pace was very good towards the end. I still have a lot to learn and managing the whole race distance is one of those areas but I’m pleased with this start.”
Franco Morbidelli – P14
“It was a very tough race. In the test, I was off the pace by 0.6s, and today I was off the pace by 0.5s, so I improved 0.1s. I need to focus on the positives. We did improve slightly, and I was very consistent in the race. I managed to bring the bike to the end of the race, and I got two points. I definitely hope there will be more positives in Argentina. I’m looking forward to it.”
Marc Marquez – DNF
“First of all I want to say that I am very sorry to Oliveira, his team and the Portuguese fans because it was his race. I did a really big mistake today, of course it was not my intention to have this happen, my intention was not even to overtake Martin at that point, but I had a massive lock with the front. Maybe the hard front was not fully up to temperature, I released the brakes and the bike went inside. I avoided Martin but made contact with Oliveira. I straight away went over to Miguel and then in the medical centre I went to check on him – fortunately it looks like he is OK and this is the most important thing. On my side I have some pain in my right hand and with my knee but this is not so important at the minute. I fully accept and respect the penalty of the double long-lap during the Argentina GP because I did a mistake.”
Miguel Oliveira – DNF
“Today was a shame, obviously to end my home Grand Prix in just two laps was not something I expected. However, we can still be proud on the progress we made throughout this week. We had a difficult day on Friday and then to do Qualifying like how we did it yesterday and to almost have the podium in hand on the last lap in the Sprint Race was amazing. We had a good start today, to lead and then coming second, I think there was a clear opportunity for us to score a podium. I’m still very bruised on the right side of my hip from the crash, hopefully I can do everything I can do be fully fit for Argentina next weekend.”
Raul Fernandez – DNF
“I’m ok after the crash. First of all, I want to say sorry to my team as we had a quite difficult race weekend. In general, I was feeling quite comfortable in both races and I have been fighting a lot in the Sprint Race and in the main Race with Fabio (Quartararo), which was a quite good reference. Today I felt really well. I had a good start and a good recovery towards the front. I arrived behind Fabio again and was closing the gap to the group with Maverick (Viñales). I think I could have finished the race close to them. But from lap 16 onwards I started to have some problems with my right arm, couldn’t find a good feeling and I ended up crashing. This is a very strange thing and I already experienced this back in Moto2, so I want to get it checked by a doctor again.”
Jorge Martín – DNF
“It was a difficult race for me today. I had a good start and felt good, but unfortunately after the collision with Marc, I lost too many positions and the chances of reaching the podium were gone. Due to the damages to the bike and the physical impact, I also crashed. I am disappointed in myself and for the Pramac Racing team.I can’t wait to get back on the bike and show my potential. I want to thank the team for their support and for the great work done throughout the weekend. We will continue to work hard to improve and achieve positive results in the next race. I also thank the fans for their support and the encouragement they have given me. I will come back stronger than ever.”
Luca Marini – DNF
“A difficult weekend: compared to the tests and Friday, after the first crash yesterday, my feeling on the bike has completely changed. We don’t know exactly what happened, which is why we have to check the chassis before Argentina to make sure there hasn’t been any damage after the crash in the free practices. I was not competitive, I was slow and had no feeling on the front. In fact, the crash surprised me because I wasn’t pushing hard, I was just doing my race. We need to figure out what’s going on, but not lose our mind. Our preseason has been great, we need to stay calm and do our races.”
Fabio DiGiannantonio – DNF
“It surely wasn’t the weekend I was looking for. We didn’t have a bad start to the race, but then I lost a front winglet in a coming together with another rider and then after a few laps the right forearm wasn’t responding the way it should have. I couldn’t hit the brakes anymore and therefore had to retire. Now we need to recover the fitness condition for Termas, and quick.”
Luigi Dall’Igna – Ducati Corse General Manager
“Being the World Champion and having the number 1 on your fairing gives you the awareness that you have the means to be able to win, and since Pecco got his first win two years ago, he has continued to do extraordinary things, and today was yet another demonstration of that. However, the Championship is only at the beginning and is really long, so we must keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard. Congratulations also to Marco Bezzecchi, who also did a beautiful race!”
Francesco Guidotti – Red Bull KTM Team Manager
“We had a very busy winter test and made a lot more work than we expected. We had some issues and some curiosity to go deeper and deeper with the technical package and we waited until the last moment to put everything together. The riders were only able to push at the first race and, honestly, it was a little bit late but it was not a big problem. Jack has a lot of experience and as soon as he feels good then he is ready to push and since Friday he was on the charge! Today he did great, to match what he did on Friday and Saturday. He still needs to understand the full possibilities of the bike’s behaviour but he is ready to go. Brad was struggling with his neck but the bike setup was much more in the direction he wanted. He had a super-good race. Yesterday his distance to the winner was eight seconds and today it was the same but at double the laps, so this was significant. A massive improvement. Let’s go to Argentina. A blank page again, and we’ll see.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director
“We didn‘t have the first round we had hoped for. Fabio again had a difficult start. This is something we need to fix. Him dropping back that far impeded his race today, because his pace was actually pretty good, as it was yesterday in the Sprint. That said, riding from fifteenth at the end of the opening lap to eighth place shows there is potential. Morbidelli didn‘t find the improvement he was looking for. We need to go over the data and make sure he feels able to get more out of the package at the next round. We are flying straight to Argentina from here. We will regroup for the next race. We are determined to find the missing performance.”
Pablo Nieto – Mooney VR46 Racing Team Manager
“I’m really happy, yesterday was very busy, a difficult day for the whole Team. Today instead the podium and third place in the general standings. Marco had a great race, he gave his all and achieved an important result. A real shame for Luca, he did a lot of work this winter, he remains one of the fastest and strongest riders on the grid. He has to stay focused and not give up. What can I say, a nice way to start the 2023 and thank all those, partners, fans and people who support us.”
Nicolas Goyon – GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager
“What an emotional opening round to the 2023 MotoGP World Championship we just had, in addition to adapting to the intense new format. Mixed emotions of course for GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, but if we just focus on today, we would like to congratulate Augusto Fernandez for his first rookie race in MotoGP.
“He struggled a bit at the beginning of the race with the bike’s weight with a full tank, but then he adapted, set his rhythm and really did a solid race with a strong pace all the way until the end. After twenty-five laps, he rode his last lap in 1’39.6, which is faster than the fastest lap of the race simulation done in Portimao Test two weeks ago. He finished thirteenth today and scored three points, twenty-one seconds from the leader, less than one second gap per lap, so we can say that this is a very strong result for him.
“Thank you to the Pierer Mobility Group who has provided us with strong support this weekend that helped us improve our performance.
“I would like to finish with a little word for Pol Espargaro who was transferred to Barcelona last night. We know that his mind is already focused on his comeback, and I know he will be back with us sooner than later. The whole team wishes him a speedy recovery. Time to pack and fly to Argentina for the second round in Termas de Rio Hondo!”
Razlan Razali – CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Principal
“That hasn’t been a good result of the first race, for obvious reason. I will push for tougher penalties for riders who recklessly endangered other riders in this incident. MotoGP riders need to be made an example for the younger Moto2 and Moto3 riders and reckless racing like this need to be severely punished so that riders are aware of what not to do. After all, it’s a 25 laps race not a sprint race and this happened to Miguel on the third lap. Fortunately, Miguel is okay with no broken bones and we wish him a good recovery in the next couple of days before flying off to Argentina.
“For Raul, he showed a good progress during the Sprint Race yesterday, unfortunately for the main race today, he suffered some issues with his right arm. We will have to evaluate the situation and find a solution for the next race.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Manager
“So Round 1 has been done, I’m happy to see that the speed are with the boys especially Miguel who has a fantastic pace. We finished seventh in the Sprint race yesterday and proud to fight for the podium. Of course, I’m not satisfied with both race results for the Sunday race, of course to be taken out by Marc (Marquez), I also really believed then when we miss out three or four riders like in Portimao, we really need to look into this situation. I’m a little bit afraid that it’s going the wrong way, we need the riders to have an enthusiastic race and missing riders out will lessen the interest of the races.
“Raul struggled after 15 laps in the main race, he had probably some nerve in his right ahnd so he could not control his throttle and brake properly and had to reduce his space. He then made a mistake in Turn 4 and crashed.”
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