The Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez is to replace Jonas Folger in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team at the Sepang test. The move had been widely anticipated, though officially denied. Hernandez has recent MotoGP experience, having spent five years in the class between 2012 and 2016, most of those years on a Ducati. He returned to Moto2 in 2017, and had decided to make the switch to WorldSBK for 2018.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the Sepang test:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Concludes Sepang Test on Top
In a few hours time, the grandstands at the Sepang International Circuit will echo with the booming assault of MotoGP machines being pushed to their limits. The entire MotoGP grid has assembled for the first test of the preseason, meaning that the 2017 MotoGP season is about to get underway, at last.
That, at least, is the plan. The reality is that the grandstands may echo only to the sporadic rasp of a MotoGP bike being warmed up, and the occasional intrepid test rider being sent out to test conditions. The resurfaced Sepang continues to be plagued by drainage problems, water remaining on the track for a long time. In high humidity, relatively low track temperatures and without the burning tropical sun, the water left by unusually heavy rains is not evaporating. Parts of the track remain wet all day, making it impossible to push the bikes to the limit, and very risky to try.
Suzuki team boss Davide Brivio expressed the concerns shared by most teams. "You never know how many hours you can test, because the track remains wet for a long time. And if it rains a lot in the evening, maybe you have to wait a long time in the morning. So it's a little bit of a question mark now, how much you can test."
Press release previews of the last race of the year at Valencia:
Marquez and Pedrosa reunited for Valencia 2016 season finale
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin after a soaking Malaysian round:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after a wet qualifying at Sepang:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after practice on Friday:
Marquez sits out FP2 due to gastroenteritis after setting the quickest time in the morning
Press releases previewing this weekend's Malaysian MotoGP round from the teams and Michelin:
The Repsol Honda Team heads to Sepang for 2016’s penultimate race
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin after Sunday's Australian Grand Prix:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after a weather-hit qualifying at Phillip Island:
Historic 65th pole for Marquez at Phillip Island, Hayden an impressive seventh