The sun is shining and the bikes are out on track at Jerez for three days of testing. The test will see a wide variety of bikes take to the Andalucian asphalt, including the BQR MotoGP team with their FTR-built, Kawasaki-powered CRT bike, Colin Edwards getting his first outing on the BMW Suter CRT bike, a bevy of Moto2 teams including Marc VDS Racing testing the Kalex further, Tech 3 riders Xavier Simeon and Bradley Smith, the Pons and Aspar teams, Maverick Viñales testing the FTR Moto3 bike for the first time, the factory BMW World Superbike squad of Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam, and the Ducati MotoGP test team, with test rider Franco Battaini and the specially drafted in Carlos Checa to help test the Ducati Desmosedici.
For the Moto2 riders, this is mainly a welcome continuation of the test at Valencia. The teams lost two days of testing to the weather at Valencia, leaving them with a lot still to do. Scott Redding was an early crasher on Wednesday morning, taking a tumble at Turn 7, from which he walked away unscathed. The crash was caught on video by the onboard camera installed by the Marc VDS Racing team on Redding's Kalex.
For the Ducati test team, this is another chance to get feedback from 2011 World Superbike champion Carlos Checa. Checa has been handed the bike Ducati is calling "GP Zero", the 2012 Desmosedici with the aluminium chassis which Ducati debuted at the Valencia MotoGP test, and which is being used as a baseline for the development of a radically new chassis to be tested in Sepang in February. There was some speculation that Valentino Rossi could be drafted in to ride the GP12, but as Ducati does not have sufficient new parts for Rossi to test, and Rossi is due to take part in the Monza Rally Show - a special edition this year, dedicated to the memory of Marco Simoncelli, killed in a crash at Sepang - the Italian will not be present, despite being allowed to after the testing rules were relaxed by the Grand Prix Commission when it met at Valencia.
BMW's World Superbike squad is also present, with a lot of work to do ahead of a second test scheduled for next week at Portimao. BMW have finally abandoned their home-made electronic package, and have adopted the Magneti Marelli electronics used by almost every other team on the grid. Along with Marco Melandri, BMW have hired most of the members of the now-defunct Yamaha WSBK squad, including crew chief Silvano Galbusera and former team manager Andrea Dosoli.
The test is a private one, and as a result, times are unlikely to be published. This is a shame, as the comparison of the Moto2 machines, CRT machines - especially with a rider of the class of Colin Edwards aboard - and the BMW Superbike would make fascinating reading. We shall publish whatever we learn of the times, but as they say, don't hold your breath.