MotoGP Testing: Who Is Testing Where And When

MotoGP's long winter break is drawing to a close, and the testing season is about to kick off once again. For the last couple of years that's been very easy to follow, as everyone headed to the official MotoGP tests organized by IRTA. With the introduction of the Claiming Rule Teams, however, MotoGP's testing schedule has become a lot more complex, as some of the CRT teams will be joining the test in Sepang, while others will be remaining in Europe.

Below is the schedule as we know it so far. Everyone on a factory prototype (that is, all of the factory and satellite teams) will be heading to the two Sepang tests (Jan 31st - Feb 2nd, and Feb 28th-March 1st), with Colin Edwards on the NGM Forward Suter BMW and the BQR CRT team consisting of Ivan Silva and test rider Robertino Pietri aboard the FTR Kawasakis at the first Sepang test at least. The Aprilia-powered CRT bikes will be firing up their engines in Europe, starting at Valencia on January 30th. PBM's James Ellison will join the Aspar bikes at Jerez on February 20th, while a fuller compliment of CRT bikes is expected at Aragon on March 8th. Testing then culminates at Jerez in late March, as everyone gathers for the final CRT test.

With the relaxation of testing restrictions, however, there could be more testing still. Both the CRT teams and factory teams are likely to organize private test sessions to get more miles on the bikes. Ducati especially are expected to have a full test schedule ahead of them, after the complete redesign of the 2012 Desmosedici GP12 which was undertaken during the winter. Those dates will be reported on as and when they become known.

Here is the testing schedule as we know it so far:

Circuit/Date Participants
Valencia, January 30th-31st Aspar Aprilia CRT: Randy de Puniet, Aleix Espargaro
Speed Master CRT: Mattia Pasini
Sepang I, January 31st , February 1st & 2nd Factories: Repsol Honda, Yamaha Factory, Ducati Marlboro
Satellites: Gresini Honda, LCR Honda, Cardion AB Ducati, Pramac Ducati, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha
CRTs: NGM Forward (Colin Edwards), BQR (Ivan Silva, Robertino Pietri)
Jerez CRT, February 20th - 22nd
Aspar Aprilia CRT: Randy de Puniet, Aleix Espargaro
Speed Master CRT: Mattia Pasini
Paul Bird Racing CRT: James Ellison
Sepang II, February 28th & 29th, March 1st Factories: Repsol Honda, Yamaha Factory, Ducati Marlboro
Satellites: Gresini Honda, LCR Honda, Cardion AB Ducati, Pramac Ducati, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha
BQR and NGM Forward uncertain
Aragon, March 8th-9th
Aspar Aprilia CRT: Randy de Puniet, Aleix Espargaro
Speed Master CRT: Mattia Pasini
Paul Bird Racing CRT: James Ellison
BQR and NGM Forward uncertain
Gresini Honda CRT: Michele Pirro, though not yet confirmed
Jerez Full March 23rd, 24th & 25th All teams likely to attend.


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Phone the circuit and ask. Certainly the official tests allow fans to watch, but some of the private tests may not.

Hi Nostro

A couple of weeks back you ‘slammed’ DE with ‘his view of a certain rider is increasingly at odds with your own’.

We know the unmentionable is VR46.

Well, you are allowed that view in a free world (even though you’ve stated you’ve expected some of your posts to be removed from the site).

Trying to be agnostic on this, I wonder if you’d allow me a few comments, a touch randomized they may be. (All are from reported commentary or interviews).

Poor ’11 results – for sure. Not trying : NOT true says Hayden.

Ago said “Mike did not (set it up very carefully, as he/Ago did) – he didn’t care about suspension or anything. I think Valentino’s problem is he is very sensitive to the bike, so he quickly understands it is not correct. Stoner is like Mike. The bike doesn’t matter – just open the throttle and go: win or crash. So maybe Stoner is like Mike, and Valentino is like me !” Mat Oxley

Lorenzo said recently VR is almost impossible to beat on the brakes

…. by years end, there were times when the enthusiasm was clearly wearing thin. Speaking more frankly at the end of the year, he (VR) admitted the feeling of desperation had kicked in the first time he rode the Desmosdici at the post-season Valencia test in Nov. “I understood immediately this bike had some problems at the best point of my riding style … braking and entering the corner, but on the Ducati it is the weakest point,” he told MCN.

Rossi admitted the biggest mistake he and his crew made was to badly misjudge Casey Stoner …. people thought CS was the problem. But it is not true. The problem is the bike. It is very difficult to ride, and Stoner is very fast.” Michael Scott

When VR apologized to CS with his helmet on in Jerez after knocking him off, and turned to Italian TV and said “maybe he doesn’t know who I am,” I wondered was that playing up to Italian media, or hubris.

“I don’t have the feeling on the front, and my position on the bike is not good. This problem remained after all our modifications. Maybe we didn’t modify the right things.” This was as close to an admission of failure as a rider’s self-belief would allow, and his underlying principle remained as all year – “Hope never dies. I still believe I can come back to the top.” Michael Scott

“Rossi’s horrible year proves one thing: MotoGP is a very finely balanced science. Get one part of the formula wrong and it doesn’t matter how good the rest is. Perhaps this has changed since Rossi left Honda: the science and electronics has advanced so much it really has become that hard for a rider to make a difference.” Michael Scott.

Coinciding with Stoner’s emergence

“ There is no way Valentino fights and then plays anymore, he hasn’t been since we have been racing against him. He was good at tailing people and being able to put last minute moves on them, but we’ve all learnt how to do that, so it’s not something he is better at anymore ... playing with riders and beating them in the last few laps, now he doesn’t try any of that stuff, now he is pushing every step”. Casey Stoner (Colin Young)

“If he can make a gap, he does, and if can’t, he fights and that is something he is very good at and he is still capable of winning races.” Casey Stoner (Colin Young)

Indisputable is that in terms of longevity and contribution to promotion of the sport, Rossi is unmatched. Numbers will never dismantle Rossi’s status as motorcycling’s global superstar. Colin Young

I think Lorenzo was quoted as saying if VR is with you on the last lap he is almost impossible to beat.

Did you see the result of the Nov Monza Rally Show: It’s not a World Championship event, but World Champions participate.

VR46, 2nd to 8 times World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb, (last year 3rd to ex World Champion, Marcus Gronholm).

I was bowled over when I saw that, but there was more.

VR won 2 stages ie on 2 stages VR BEAT SEBASTIEN LOEB!!!!!!!!

An aside:
The last time World Rally was in the New Zealand I made a point of heading to the back blocks to see first hand action (cus I didn’t think they would be back due to costs, even though drivers say the roads in NZ are fantastic).

I particularly wanted to see Sebastien Loeb first hand, this marvellous champion.

The previous day he’d hit a bridge and was a long way behind. Well, he pulled the pin – there were 12-15 of us on the section we chose, enabling good vision before and after a car passed. After Loeb went through, gobsmacked, nobody said anything for a while. It was as though we all recognized we won’t (probably in our life times) see a rally car driven any better than that.

Turned out he’d put in an historic drive and made up 1.5 minutes over the day, taking more risk than normal for him (he said he had to).

Do I think VR’s speed disappeared over the previous winter: DOUBT IT.

Will we see him at/near the top again: who knows: CS is going to keep a tight hold on # 1 I suspect.

Slammed? You quoted me, I hardly think such an utterance counts as a 'slamming'.

The Ago / Hailwood analogy mentioned by Agostini, whilst quaint, is such a long way removed from reality and does neither VR or CS any favours. Are there actually any people out there that still believe Stoner just throws a leg over the thing and rings its neck without an incredible amount of behind the scenes analytics and adjustments going on in the pits?

I agree with Lorenzo. Rossi was the sickess of the sick on the anchors.

Rally cars. The only car drivers that impress me. And by virtue so does VR on the dirt. History has shown us time and again it is relatively easy for a top bike racer to make the transition to four wheels. History has also shown us approximately zero drivers have made a sucessful transition the other way at national level or higher.

Reagrdless of my dislike of Rossi's public persona I still feel he has been overtaken on the talent front by Lorenzo and Stoner, if not Pedrosa. Certainly, after wading through the BS excuses made by all the sundry, the last two years have shown us that. I don't expect anything to change 2012. If Rossi pulls another rabbit from his camel hump - good for him. I don't have problems eating humble pie.

Masao Furasawa's respect for VR is clear and on record.

I saw with my own little blue lasers and aural receptors the high level of respect afforded VR by the senior Pirelli personnel when he ran his own rally car.

I don't believe a bunch of Aussies (Jeremy B and team) would put up with a prat (or whatever word you might choose).

Just a couple of examples - I think an AWFUL LOT of people on multiple continents disagree with you.

Jesus H Christ Nostro, are you still harping on about your dislike and lack of faith in VR??I reckon most folk have got it by now.. You should concentrate on the ones you like and their good points and let the Rossi fans enjoy their hobby...

In the off season I seem to have lost my bearings, does anyone know at what time(gmt) the testing starts....?? Thank you.

Its morning and I can see I misspelt your name in the header - sorry.

Slammed - yea wondered about that after I pressed 'Save'. I would edit it if I could find the edit mechanism. (yes I'm logged in).

Are there people who believe CS just throws a leg over ........ No of course not.

But I remember screaming off a txt at Phillip Island the 1st time I saw Casey practice: "Casey Stoner doesn't warm up - he just pins it and goes with the slides! And one can hear the TC (seemingly)."

"....... he fights and that is something he is very good at and he is still capable of winning races.” Casey Stoner

Talent peaks, true (ask Michael Schumacher, or maybe ask his boss), but I'd go with the incredible Casey on this one. He doesn't BS.