MotoGP testing is to be further restricted from next season. At the meeting in Motegi of the Grand Prix Commission, MotoGP's rule-making body, the teams, factories, FIM, and Dorna agreed to limit the amount of testing which can be done next year and in 2019.
The 2018 testing season will look largely familiar, with a two-day test at Valencia on Tuesday and Wednesday after the race, then three three-day tests at Sepang, Thailand, and Qatar ahead of the start of the MotoGP season, and one-day tests after three of the European rounds (Jerez, Barcelona, Brno). In 2019, the number of preseason tests will be reduced, with testing taking place only at Sepang and Qatar before the start of the season.
Teams still have five days of private testing, but in a bid to switch the aims of testing from preparing for a race to actually developing their motorcycles, fewer tests will be allowed before a race. In 2018, teams will be allowed to use three of their five days at circuits before the race has happened there, while the other two days may only be used after the race has been held.
In 2019, the teams will have to use two of their private test days in November, after the last race of the season. The remaining three days can be used at any time during the season. As is now the case, no private testing is allowed at a track within 14 days of the race being held there.
The reason for the testing changes is to restrict the advantage factory teams were gaining preparing for the races. Private teams often don't have the resources to use the full five days of private testing, but factory teams have been testing ahead of races to prepare the ground and get a jump on setup for the event. There have been numerous examples: Ducati at Barcelona and Misano, and Honda at Brno and Misano, among others.
For manufacturers with concessions - that is, new manufacturers and manufacturers which have not scored a podium in 2017 - they will retain the right to unlimited testing.
The GPC also reduced the number of wildcards. From 2018, factories will be limited to a maximum of three wildcards each season. Factories with concessions will be restricted to a maximum of six wildcards. What this means in practice is that Michele Pirro will only be able to race for Ducati at three events in 2018, while Mika Kallio will be able to participate in six races next year. Only three engines will be available to wildcard entries for the entire season.
The GPC finalized a few other details. The use of air bags is to be made compulsory from 2018 for all riders, as had previously been agreed. And Moto2 chassis manufacturers were granted 10 days of testing with the new Triumph Moto2 engine to be used in the class from 2019.
The FIM press release containing the decisions of the Grand Prix Commission appears below:
FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission
The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting) and Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), in a meeting held in Motegi on 14 October 2017, made the following decisions:
Effective Season 2018
All rider’s race suits must be fitted with an Airbag system designed with the purpose of minimising injuries. The technical specifications of the systems and the testing methods were also approved.
Moto2 Testing with Triumph Engines
Each manufacturer of Moto2 chassis who is supplying teams in the 2018 season may test chassis fitted with Triumph engines for a maximum of ten days per manufacturer. Testing may be conducted using any rider and the number of riders who may participate on each test day is not limited.
MotoGP Class Wild Card Machines
Each wild card entry is restricted to the use of three engines for their exclusive use. The technical specifications of the engine, ECU hardware, other electronics. etc., must be as those for the manufacturer of the machine.
MotoGP Class Testing Restrictions – Effective Season 2018
Current arrangements for official tests are unchanged being a two day test after Valencia, three of three days tests at the beginning of 2018 at circuits outside of Europe and three, one day tests on Mondays after events.
Teams are restricted to five days of private tests with their contracted riders. After the winter test ban period only three days of testing are permitted prior to events and other tests can only take place on a circuit where the event has already taken place. No testing can take place within 14 days of the event at the same circuit.
No testing with contracted riders is permitted in the “summer break”. In 2018 this means between Monday 16 July and Thursday 02 August.
Test teams of Manufacturers may nominate three current Grand Prix circuits at which they may test at any time except within 14 days of the event at that circuit. They may also test during the three days preceding the first official test after the winter test ban period. Such teams may also participate at all official tests.
MotoGP Class Testing Restrictions – Effective Season 2019
Regulations will be as per season 2018 above with the following changes:
The number of official, three day tests outside of Europe is reduced to two. Teams will continue to be restricted to five days of private tests with their contracted riders. However, at least two days of private testing must take place between the last event of the season and 30 November. Remaining tests can take place at any time but not within 14 days of the event at the same circuit.
Wild Card Entries in the MotoGP Class – effective Season 2018
Each Manufacturer is permitted to enter a maximum of three wild cards per season. With the exception that Manufacturers who benefit from concessions are permitted to enter a maximum of six wild card entries per season. Entries from any single Manufacturer cannot be at consecutive events.
A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on: