MotoGP Testing Limits To Be Abolished For 2012

Testing for the MotoGP class is set to undergo a radical shake up for 2012, with the current restrictions on testing to be abolished. According to both Italian magazine website MotoSprint and the Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport, the Grand Prix Commission will approve a plan to scrap the testing limits imposed after the global financial crisis in 2008, and allow MotoGP riders to test the bikes as often as they like, within a few set limits.

The testing changes are a response to the cold hard reality that the testing limits have done nothing to cut costs. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta told Corriere dello Sport's Paolo Scalera at Phillip Island that the limits, introduced to cut costs, had done "precisely the opposite." While contracted riders - that is, riders currently racing in MotoGP - are restricted to a very limited number of test days, the factories are free to test as much as the like, with the proviso that Bridgestone is only prepared to provide them with 240 tires (equivalent to 120 sets of tires) each year to test with. So the factories go testing almost as much as they did in the bad old days, only they are having to pay extra to contract test riders, and the feedback they are getting is not of the same quality as the MotoGP riders can provide, the test riders being at least two to three seconds off the pace of the factory men.

Two factors have made the situation even more glaringly obvious: the first is the return to a maximum capacity of 1000cc for 2012. With Honda, Ducati and Yamaha all having built new bikes to campaign in 2012 - whether they are using the full capacity or not is unknown - the factories were allowed an extra 8 days of testing ahead of next season. But while the main development has largely been done early on, the real work of refinement will take place over the winter, and it is that process that will gain the final few tenths that mean the difference between victory and defeat. That process really needs the speed and finesse of the factory riders to complete, as they are the only people fast enough to fully test the parts being tested.

The second and most blatant problem with the current testing limits has been apparent from Valentino Rossi's utter failure to get to grips with the current iteration of the Ducati Desmosedici. As early as the first race at Qatar, Rossi's crew were talking about treating the rest of the season as a test, working on developing the bike for 2012. But that approach has also not met with much success, as the limited time on track - less than four hours of practice plus the race - during a weekend has left little time to test parts fully. When parts have been taken from the testing done on the 2012 bike, that, too has not provided much benefit. The difference in engine characteristics between the larger engine which Rossi tested for next year and the 800cc engine used in the GP11.1 has meant that any improvements have not been apparent for the 800s, and the data has not transferred well between the two engine capacities. Rossi, along with all of the Ducati riders, has continued to struggle in 2011.

The proposal to be adopted at Valencia removes the restriction on factory riders testing. The tire limits will remain in place, and according to MotoSprint, each factory will be allowed to nominate a track at which it will be allowed to test as often as it wants with factory riders. This means that instead of Yamaha sending Katsuyuki Nakasuga to Sepang and Ducati sending Franco Battaini to Mugello, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi can go in their places. The riders and factories can test all they want, until the tires run out. The proposal came from the factories, with Ducati pushing for the change with the full support of Honda, and though the change has to be formally approved by the Grand Prix Commission, which contains representatives of Dorna, the FIM and the teams, as well as the manufacturers, it is customary for the rest of the GPC's members to accept what the MSMA propose.

But Dorna is fully behind the change to the testing rules. At Phillip Island, Carmelo Ezpeleta told the Corriere dello Sport that it was absurd that MotoGP was "the only sport where the athletes cannot train, cannot improve." But the move may also prove to be a tactical one, giving the factories something they asked for just before the looming conflict over the Claiming Rule Teams breaks loose.

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Comments

I think it's great... if it had saved the teams money, allowed the satellite teams to be more competitive, and put more bikes on the grid... that would be one thing, but it did none of those things, so I am really happy they are scrapping the idea.

And now, it will give the GP guys some decent seat time again. How frustrating it must be to be at the pinnacle of the sport and only be allowed to ride the bike with SUCH time restrictions.

And I personally don't think the CRT's are playing too much into this. I don't think the Honda factory team is worried about a tuned CBR or RSV engine. But, I also personally hope they are wrong, and the CRT's give'em a run for their money at certain tracks... doubt it though. Satellite teams?? THEY may be worried a bit.

Total votes: 114

The CRT teams might have something to do with it, but as the article said, the main reason is that Ducati are dead in the water. Honda have decided to go along, because more testing is hardly going to make them less competitive ... and the rest I don't know.

Limiting the tyres is smart. Testing the bikes with any riders, on different tyres is useless.

Overall I think it's a better and more sensible situation. But I'm not sure I understand all the vested interests and strategy here, once you get past Honda and Ducati.

Total votes: 105

Just like when he forced Bridgestone's hand and they were threaten to be kicked out of the paddock if they didn't supply Rossi tires, Val's Uncle Carmelo comes to the rescue again to help push his boy to the front. Rossi is Ezpeleta's cash cow who has artificially inflated the value of MotoGP with bandwagon/front running fans. Since a good number of Rossi's "fans" are "johnny come lately's" and only pay attention to MotoGP when Rossi is winning and wearing chicken suits, Carmelo wants to insure that he doesn't lose the viewing numbers that he can sell to sponsors/investors. It's much easier to sell your product when your viewership numbers are high. Rossi riding around in 9th and being midpack isn't good for Uncle Carmelo's pocket since a large number of Rossi's "fans" aren't interested in the entire sport but only Rossi winning. So what's a good Uncle to do? Change the rules of course. You could see this coming a mile away with Rossi struggling to beat Crutchlow in QP. This season there has been much crying about the lack of testing time. Funny how when Casey had his problems on the Ducati the cry for more testing wasn't loud at all. Ask yourself, if Rossi was winning do you really think anyone would have cared about the testing rules? No. The effort to get Rossi back at the front will probably be in vain though as Ducati's engineers haven't proven that they can solve whatever problems they have.

Total votes: 200

After what happened at Sepang, most people took stock of what's really important in life and the sport. You obviously don't like Rossi but there's no need to turn every thread into a Rossi-bashing exercise.

All of those riders put their lives on the line every time they head out on track and they ALL deserve our respect. Maybe Rossi does get things his own way but that's life and life isn't always fair as was proved last weekend...

I don't think Stoner has anything to worry about from Rossi and Ducati next season so sit back and have a chuckle to yourself if this is proved to be the case but keep the hate to yourself ...

Total votes: 147

You're a sad man Dawg..

..the change makes sense but, be under no illusion, this will benefit those with the biggest budget not the little minnow that is Ducati.

Give them all 26 litres..

Total votes: 128

If you actually read the article properly RDawg, you will notice it is the manufacturers (plural) calling for the testing restrictions to be lifted - Ezpeleta is only in agreement with them.

It was in fact the manufacturers who came up with the testing restrictions as a cost cutting measure in the first place, and even then our Mr. Emmett pointed out what a pointless exercise that would be.

http://motomatters.com/news/2009/02/04/manufacturers_meet_in_sepang_and_...
The most bizarre proposal of all was to ban the team riders from testing on Monday, and allow only test riders. Just how this would save money is a bit of a mystery, as the mileage on the bikes would be only marginally reduced, while the test riders would have to be flown to all of the post-race tests, instead of leaving the team riders to do the testing for them.

Total votes: 116

Mr Ezpeleta is running a business, a big business that didn't make a very large profit last figures I saw, so if 'this' is his doing I'm not surprised.

F1 amended their testing rules for THIS season: was that just to get Lewis nearer the front ?

'it was absurd that MotoGP was "the only sport where the athletes cannot train, cannot improve." - Carmelo Ezpeleta.

Casey expressed intense frustration last year (roughly) "we live to race these bikes, but we hardly get to ride them."

Isn't there a safety issue if teams don't have sufficient time to properly set up these machines ?

Isn't there an issue if Ducati have to use races for testing, and have to use test riders, at additional cost, who cann't provide full information ?

Total votes: 127

Sorry man but your level of conspiracy theory borders on insanity. It is not like they are saying testing is just for ducati and Rossi has been this vocal even when he was with yamaha. It makes no sense to pay these top riders to just sit around and let test riders do all the work.

Total votes: 110

Now if they can liberalize the fuel limits and do something about the tires we might get a show!

Total votes: 135

Want to help costs go down (at least in the short to middle term)? Back off the fuel restrictions and let these machines off the electronic hook of super-expensive fuel control systems.

Total votes: 117

Don't underestimate the impact this has had on Rossi and Ducati. Much has been made of their struggles, lackluster results, poor qualifying and race times that in many cases have been slower than last year's. Many comparisons between Rossi's results and Stoner's on "the same machine". The problem, to me, is that the bikes aren't the same. Rossi has radically changed the approach and without testing he's forced to air those changes in public. You can almost see Ducati's tailspin...round and round they go making big changes without knowing if they will work until a race weekend offers the opportunity to find out.

With the testing limits gone, don't be surprised to see a radically different and much improved platform from Ducati next year. With Rossi and Hayden doing the testing themselves, you'll be hard pressed to find a better pair of riders with which to move forward.

Total votes: 128

as far as I can see on behalf of particular riders or factories. Of course the immediate beneficiary will be Ducati and Rossi by extension but they of course have the most work to do. Even if the rule changes were with them in mind or at their urging it's fair and reasonable for all teams and riders. Unlike the special considerations Suzuki were given in light of their lack of competitiveness this affects everyone equally and with the limit being the tires it's not like the depth of testing will only be measured by the depth of the corporate coffers. Makes a lot of sense. Let the riders who are bought and paid for who ultimately have to ride the bikes do the testing. Everything else pretty much stays the same and the don't have to parcel out test days and nanny the sessions.
Curious about the choosing of test tracks. I would think they would limit it to tracks not on that year's calendar. Each factory's test track might give some sort of home team advantage come race day.

Total votes: 124

So more track time for everybody... This should be good.
Rossi left Honda because they let engineers build bikes and then hire good fast riders to ride them. He felt like "the monkey working for the organ grinder."
And make no mistake, Casey Stoner is good and fast. So are Dani and Andrea but can they develop a bike? Can you just see Casey telling the engineers from Honda that he thinks they should try a carbon swing arm? Maybe go with another type of frame? Casey likes to say that when he was on the Ducati they didn't change much of anything. Maybe that's because he didn't know what to ask for. Which would explain how he came out of the box so strong on the Duc (you do remember watching him pull away from everyone on the strait at Qatar), but as time wore on he crashed more and more. Front end feel or something like that, wasn't it?
What is the Rossi mystique? Among many things, he left Honda and his unbeatable RC 211v and went to Yamaha with their total crap M1. Him, Jeremy Burgess and the boys went winter testing and came back to beat Max on his unbeatable Honda factory bike. Then they went on to develop the M1 into the bike everybody wanted to be on. Amazing "front end feel" or something like that. Say thank you, Jorge.
Now that they're lifting the testing limits and Rossi & crew will have more track time, can they catch up and build another Grand Prix winning bike? Maybe.
Maybe with more testing time Casey and his crew will manage to make a Honda with front end problems. Then again, Honda doesn't want rider input so he'll probably just ride it.
But don't worry, Casey, after Rossi has chalked up yet another championship in 2012 and the Ducati becomes the envy of the paddock, you can move over to Ducati with Jorge for 2013 and start winning races again.

Total votes: 137

..are surely kidding. Are you trying to match Rdawg's post in utter ridicule?

Total votes: 103

So many misconceptions in this post that I don't even know where to start...

Mate, EVERY motorcycle manufacturer that races "lets" their engineers build the racebike. You could count on one hand the number of riders who have built their own bikes (that have been successful). In every case, the riders simply turn up and ride the bike they have been given. They aren't the ones running computer simulations on dimensions and materials to come up with new ways of doing things... they have spent their whole life since childhood racing motorcycles, none of them have engineering degrees - or degrees of any kind, period.

The reason Ducati was so fast in 2007 was because they were the only manufacturer that built a seriously high hp motor, and caught the other manufacturers napping (they built 8 different motors before they settled on that one). It's all on the record...

The M1 was a great bike when Rossi and JB went to Yamaha, they just set up what Yamaha provided to suit Rossi's preferences, and his talent did the rest. Believe it or not, that bike did not change between when Rossi signed for Yamaha and the first race he did on it. They did not turn a dog into a gemstone. In 2002 the M1 won two races in the hands of Biaggi and finished on the podium in ten other races, against the all-conquering RC211V. In 2003 it would have probably had an even better result if Biaggi had not defected to Honda.

The reason Ducati did not change the bike when Casey asked for improvements is sheer vanity - they were winning regularly with Casey, so clearly there was nothing wrong with their bike... now they realise that they had a genius on the bike who was able to ride around the problems. They don't have that in 2011.

There's more myths here that I could debunk, but previous experience suggests that I've already wasted my time enough.

I suppose you also think that Sebastian Vettel developed the cars he took the last two F1 championships with? There's an average of 400-500 people employed by an F1 team, but the driver is the brains behind the whole thing?

Total votes: 157

when the University of Urbino granted Rossi a honorary doctorate in Communication Science few years ago. So he is officially a qualified spin doctor.

Total votes: 122

I think the other less publicised reason Ducati didn't make many changes for Stoner (and his respective teammates), is that unlike Rossie, Stoner doesn't bring in the big bucks.
The Ducati/Rossi dream team certainly have very good sponsorship and sales help that aid the funding of all the new parts. As we already know, Stoner hate(s/d) doing the myriad of publicity, and thus he's not a sponsors "dream".

Total votes: 96

Oh dear.

From Shuehi Nakamoto at HRC after the PI round.

To my mind, Casey is one of our more highly-strung riders. And by that, I certainly don't mean he's at all timid. I mean he's always sensitive, very aware and able to take extreme care over the smallest details. In fact, this causes a huge amount of work for us, responding to every little thing he points out. But every time we do, the result is clear – he gets better times from the bike. It's all worth it – this is the kind of rider we like.

Total votes: 123

By prefacing Nakamoto's comments (which aren't that current, it has been a long time since PI in an emotional sense and in column inches) with "Oh dear" you introduce a slant to their interpretation. My problem is that I can't work out which slant you would like me to adopt or to disagree with. Would you clarify?

I remember a few previous champions that were also less than accepting of compromised setup and who were constantly seeking improvement and it was seen as a positive.

Total votes: 124

I believe the 'oh dear' is how TDI-Rick felt after reading an earlier post : )

The quoted comment is with regard to Casey's supposedly inferior bike set-up skills...

Total votes: 126

I know it's not mentioned in the article above however I'm interested in whether getting rid of the carbon brakes may be an advantage as well.

From my understanding each new rider, and especially wild card riders, that come into the MotoGP category have a huge learning curve with the totally different braking characteristics of the carbon brakes.

Basically the carbon brakes need to build heat before they work effectively and then when they come on, they work too well which means the rider needs to reduce pressure before tipping into the corner. This all happens in the few short seconds before each corner.

While I know that the riders have learnt to use the brakes well, and in fact the good ones probably use them best of all, I wonder what's the point of them?

Carbon brakes won't/can't be used on road bikes (esp wet) so they have no technological benefit to the motorcycle industry. So why not make the top level race machines develop brakes that have a real world application in weight saving and performance.

New riders and wild card riders have a hard enough time coming to grips with the light weight, power and cornering performance of the MotoGP bike plus all the other stresses of working in a new team in the highest category of racing.

So why not get rid of them and make them use something that's going to be a benefit to us and make the life of a new rider a bit better and possibly make a new rider a bit more competitive.

Total votes: 112

To answer your question because MotoGP is prototype motorcycle racing. The series for "real world application" as you say is WSBK. Don't dumb down MotoGP. Also just because Carbon brakes aren't used on the street and don't work in the wet now does not mean that at some point the engineers won't find a way to make them work in both conditions and eventually they become cost effective for street bikes.

Total votes: 119

What's so high tech about carbon brakes? They're just expensive!

It's just pad and disc material...nothing fancy about that. In fact, it's probably dumb because it just a cop-out for better systems.

From my opinion it simply appears harder to use. If your set against dumbing down why be in favour of electronics? All they do is reduce the rider input! Look at Lorenzo's accident where he lost his finger, the electronics allowed the rear tyre to spin, grip, spin, grip, spin, grip and chucked the guy down the road. Talk about taking the control away from the rider!

Personally, I want to see good racing between great riders and that seemed to occur a long time before carbon disc brakes were introduced.

The other aspect is cost. The category is too expensive for the level of sponsorship available world wide. Until MotoGP attains a world level that major corporations want to use MotoGP to advertise their products then costs have to be controlled.

Total votes: 118

...aren't useful in street applications...yet. That's the whole point of PROTOTYPE racing. They develop technologies by testing them at the peak of motorsports competition. There are so many countless innovations that have been developed in GP's it's not even funny. Most riders neither fully appreciate or understand them all.

The reason electronics have become so prevalent in motorcycle racing is because of their advantage in safety, performance, and efficiency.

What the factories won't say is that most of you are horrible riders with very little skill in the manipulation of a high performance motorcycle at speed. This is all being done for your better enjoyment of high performance motorcycling. They are making it safer to go fast, thus giving them a good argument to keep building 200hp missiles for your "riding pleasure".

So unless you all plan on becoming pro riders BEFORE you buy your sport bikes, you should probably be thankful they even give a shit. In fact, I'd guess to say that 99% of the people who argue against electronic safety aids are usually the first one's that end up on their ass.

If innovation and technology are really a problem for you, there's always vintage racing...

And for those of you who actually have the skills to handle these machines properly and prefer no electronics, there is always the 2004-2004 vintage Kawasaki ZX10-R. I hear there's even a company that makes a supercharger for it that pushes power to around 240hp. That should be enough to haul your humongous balls around...

Total votes: 125

Just wanted to say thanks for the best comment I've read in ages.

Total votes: 110

And from me too : ) That was great. The best humour always contains a few home truths.

Yes, A&A Performance do make a supercharger kit for the ZX-10R, because the 2004 ZX-10R really did need a bit more power... LOL : )

Total votes: 101

If I remember right it was said 3-4 Weeks ago the Checa was going to aid in development next yr because Rossi was out of test time and Franco was too far off the pace to be helpful.

That in and of itself was enough reason to Dump Test limits. I am thrilled they are gone at least the conspiracy police will give us something to read in the Off Season. Its been a boring 3 winters.

Total votes: 96

If I remember right it was said 3-4 Weeks ago the Checa was going to aid in development next yr because Rossi was out of test time and Franco was too far off the pace to be helpful.

That in and of itself was enough reason to Dump Test limits. I am thrilled they are gone at least the conspiracy police will give us something to read in the Off Season. Its been a boring 3 winters.

Total votes: 91

with my pick for best rider in the future now dead, i'm all for unlimited testing as it will quicken the learning curve for rookies. Now, find some riders with a personality and motogp willl survive.

Total votes: 114

With Honda wanting more testing as well, it shows that they hold absolutely no fear of Ducati creating a bike that Rossi has the skill set to ride competitively against the Stoner/Honda combo. I guess they just see any opportunity to extend their domination even further into the future. If they thought Ducati might actually pull a cat of of the bag with 'unlimited testing', it is highly unlikely they would go along, as they know their bike is already competitive with the Yamaha. Why would they give a competitor a break when they are down?

Total votes: 118

I agree, good news for all teams.
They can now use the GP riders to test till the bloody wheels fall off....well 240 of them anyway.

Total votes: 101

Good to hear another idiotic ruling is apparently headed for the dumpster.
Who will benefit ? All the manufacturers and HRC in particular. They have the best 'feeler gauge' in the paddock on board their kit. Stoner will probably make the HRC machine progressively better within 80 sets (seconds !) of tires over the season's length to boot. 120 not required. That's cost cutting.

Total votes: 117

Oh my, some logic slips into the GP.

Of course the testing ban didn't save money. Of course it was crazy to not allow the top riders to train at their sport. It was grade A stupid (maybe not as stupid as CRT, but close).

Now, if they will just do something about the silly closed motors, fuel limits and spec tire...

Total votes: 113

Were the CRTs exempt from the testing limits? If not, I see this as a good way to get these machines up to speed. It's a shame Colin's not going to be able to get started on that until after the first test in Valencia.

I'm hoping that someone like Edwards can use this open testing rule to really bust ass and close the gap to the satellite bikes.

Total votes: 132

Holy Moly! Dorna has awakened before the entire enterprise crashed. I guess that a day late and a dollar short is better than never, but why did it take so long for the powers that be to see what serious fans predicted at the outset? Perhaps motomatters.com should have a competition to predict the next major idiotic pronouncement Dorna will make (big enough to undo the resumption of unrestricted testing). Winning prize could be a latex Carmelo Ezpeleta mask and the right to wear it at each and every race for the 2012 or 2013 season.

Total votes: 110

Perhaps Honda realized MOTOGP was in danger of extinction from bored spectators watching their bikes wipe the floor with the competition? I think RDawg has it pretty well figured out though he wrote it a way designed to rile up the masses. With Rossi riding around at 70%, the interest in the series has declined....and make no mistake, the deal is ENTERTAINMENT first, sport second. That's what puts the euros in the pockets of the organizers. Honda had a pretty good bike already so whether Stoner can develop anything other than an upset stomach doesn't hurt them much. The Yamaha folks haven't seemed to do so well once development with Rossi and Co. ended and Ducati has gone backwards since they stopped with Stoner when he announced he was outta there. ONLY Honda has enjoyed an uninterrupted development process leading into the 2011 season...is it any surprise they're dominating? With the testing limits, how would the others ever catch up? Any racing series needs competition to be interesting, especially if it can be with different makes of machines. DORNA and the others have simply seen the handwriting on the wall and would/should have done the same thing if Honda was struggling as a result of these testing limits while Rossi and Ducati were wiping the floor with the others - and I'd bet Rossi would want it too....you don't get to be called the greatest of all-time with victories over weak on non-existent competition.

Total votes: 100

Well, there has been a raft of inflammatory language from the anti and pro Rossi camps, some of which WAS informative.

It's true that Ducati does need extra effort to get their bikes right, and that may benefit Valentino. But is it any value to MotoGP to have the Ducatis filling up the grid? Wouldn't we rather they were actually being competitive? We should aspire to have every marque being competitive, irrespective of our allegiances. If people can't get past that, they should understand that they are not GP racing fans, they are followers of a particular marque who just happen to follow MotoGP. Acknowledge your bias, if you have one, and if you do I suggest those people move on to crash.net where bias and vitriol are a way of life, and where their petty arguments and small-mindedness can find a happy home.

Yes, Valentino did get his way with the Bridgestones, but it also had the effect of removing the "saturday night specials" that only the top riders received, and as such we now have everyone developing for the same rubber, and riders getting a fair and equitable access to that rubber. So it has been a good thing, because guys like Rossi and Stoner and Lorenzo and Pedrosa are all competing on the same rubber. (I might add that I was initially opposed to the one-tyre rule, but I'm happy to admit I was wrong).
Rossi has been the biggest name in the sport, and sure some people only came to the sport because of his rock-star persona. Whether you like it or not, it added to the theatre. I didn't much like some of his manipulative ways, but I still revelled in his mastery. And whilst there are some like Casey who are faster, there are few who can out and out RACE as well as Vali did in his prime.

As for the assertion that Casey might not have had the necessary development skills, well that has clearly been put to bed courtesy from no other that the main Honda man. As for the development of the Ducati whilst Casey was there - well Casey didn't know how to fix the Ducati front end, but neither did the Ducati engineers, neither did the Ducati race team, neither did the Ducati riders. So let's put that to bed. The Ducati problem has everyone puzzled, even the so called geniuses.

Now to the transformation of the Yamaha M1 by Burgess and Rossi. Much is written on this by those who don't know - so much that you could fill an encyclopedia.
Burgess and Rossi took some very talented electronics guys with them when they went to Yamaha, and it's no coincidence that the wonderful Yamaha chassis suddenly had the manageable power to go with it. The electronics guys must be furious that Burgess and Rossi get all the credit, when they so significantly (and so anonymously) contributed to the result.
The M1 went from having the worst electronics to the best, and Vali and Jerry built a reuptation for development that doesn't properly attribute credit, and with Ducati that reputation was found to be somewhat exaggerated.

I thought the restrictions were stupid to start with - how did having to pay GP race riders AND test riders drive down the cost? Maybe some air fares here and there, but if you are an engineer working at the bleeding edge of technology you don't use second or third tier testers, you use those best able to operate at the bleeding edge.
The only downside is that we may occasionally see riders miss races if they test too close to races, so I hope that is sensibly managed. Don't want to see anybody missing races because they got badly banged up in testing.

2012 and the thousands - bring it on.

Now, if we could only have a sensible fuel allocation that allowed pure balls-out racing..........................

Total votes: 113

Sure, allow them more testing, fine if the rules are the same for all and the CRT/privateer teams are not disadvantaged. But guys and girls don't tie yourself in knots pretending Rossi and Ducati's humiliation this year has had nothing to do with it. I have no doubt it helped tipped the balance in Ezpeleta's decision-making.

Rossi's case is perhaps a perfect demonstration of how testing restrictions work: he couldn't get to grips with the 2011 bike and Ducati as a factory outfit weren't just able to throw endless testing at it to make the problem go away.

One problem I can see is this might open a gap between privateer and factory teams: the factories will be able to go out there and hone, refine, improve their bikes AND have the capacity to develop new engines, TC packages etc. in response to the data. The privateers and satellite teams can go out there and test just as much but unless the factory agrees to hand them the crucial upgrades where does it get them?

Another thing I worry about is racers being run ragged with too much testing and being fatigued on race day as a result - with all sorts of issues arising, from poorer results to safety issues.

@Aerodynamique: don't drag the Simoncelli tragedy into this. Bit offensive to imply that because of SuperSic's death we're now not allowed to criticise Rossi and discuss whether he or anyone else sometimes gets special treatment.

Total votes: 117

I remember a certain Mr. Burgess commenting on a rider named Doohan and how this rider Doohan basically set the bike up at the first of the year and RODE the bike. This Mr Burgess suggested Mr Doohan did not like changing up the setup race after race etc. This Mr Doohan it seems did not like monkeying around making change for change sake. Seems this rider did pretty good during his time.

Then we have a certain rider that just came to Ducati who has the bike changed race afer race after race chasing his tail like a dog and getting Zero results. I'd suggest this certain rider has not a clue how to ride the Ducati. The same Ducati (at race one this year, at least) that got podium after podium last year and won races and qualified on the pole numerous times.

More testing at Ducati will not change a thing for Ducati's results. Testing is not the problem. The rider is defective in spades. Perhaps the present rider(s) at Ducati might try to emulate Mr Doohan i.e. RIDE the bike. Oh. And quite faling off all the time like they have on the Ducati this yr.

That said, Ducati just might make another podium in the last race since the field has been whittled down so much. Thats the only reason they Might podium.

Total votes: 129

It's worth noting that while testing restrictions have been removed, there is still a limit on the tyres available for testing.
So in effect - there is a practical limit to testing.
However, now this can be managed as X days or 2X half days depending on what is required.

Total votes: 106

This will help new riders to learn and possibly even evolve as stars of the future. I can't help to think how much performance has been lacking from the riders who entered MotoGP during the testing ban years.

My prediction for F1 is that star quality drivers will become less scarce as the mileage is just so much lower than it used to be. Test drivers used to do 30 000 km a year driving and F1 car on various tracks and now the new drivers are supposed to adapt in a few tests during the winter and learn during race weekends.

Total votes: 107