MotoGP Winter Test Schedule For 125, 250 And MotoGP Classes

The schedule for the official tests has been announced. The MotoGP and smaller classes will test separately. Highlight of the test season is as ever the official IRTA test at Jerez, also known as Grand Prix Zero. Here, a BMW coupe will be up for grabs during a special qualifying session held on the last day.

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MotoGP 2008 Valencia Test Times Day 1 - Finalized

Times from the first day of testing at Valencia. These will be updated as soon as official times are available. All times were set using the new standard tires provided by Bridgestone, with a choice of either a soft or a hard compound available. For comparison, see the fastest lap each rider set during the race on Sunday.

Times courtesy of GPOne.com and Motociclismo.es

Times at 5pm, the end of the test:

1Casey StonerDucati1'32.46431 / 54
2Dani PedrosaHonda1'32.67224 / 60
3Valentino RossiYamaha1'32.92120 / 34
4Chris VermeulenSuzuki1'33.14241 / 67
5Loris CapirossiSuzuki1'33.32537 / 75
6Alex de AngelisHonda1'33.37535 / 77
7Jorge LorenzoYamaha1'33.55041 / 44
8Andrea DoviziosoHonda1'33.67538 / 57
9John HopkinsKawasaki1'33.76044 / 74
10Marco MelandriKawasaki1'33.78247 / 75
11Randy de PunietHonda1'33.83239 / 80
12Nicky HaydenDucati1'33.96074 / 79
13Toni EliasHonda1'34.12978 / 81
14Sete GibernauDucati1'34.45121 / 52
15Mika KallioDucati1'34.79357 / 60
16Olivier JacqueKawasaki1'34.92548 / 71
17Niccolo CanepaDucati1'34.99559 / 62
18Yuki TakahashiHonda1'35.20372 / 73
19Gabor TalmacsiAprilia1'38.47255 / 57

 

Fastest lap of each rider during the race on Sunday:

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerFast LapDiffDiff Previous
11Casey STONERDUCATI1'32.582  
22Dani PEDROSAHONDA1'32.7960.2140.214
346Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA1'33.0750.4930.279
44Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA1'33.3130.7310.238
569Nicky HAYDENHONDA1'33.3930.8110.080
65Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA1'33.3990.8170.006
756Shinya NAKANOHONDA1'33.5500.9680.151
865Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI1'33.6261.0440.076
915Alex DE ANGELISHONDA1'33.8391.2570.213
1048Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA1'33.8841.3020.045
1121John HOPKINSKAWASAKI1'34.0351.4530.151
1233Marco MELANDRIDUCATI1'34.1171.5350.082
1352James TOSELANDYAMAHA1'34.1501.5680.033
1414Randy DE PUNIETHONDA1'34.2251.6430.075
1550Sylvain GUINTOLIDUCATI1'34.4621.8800.237
167Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI1'34.5952.0130.133
1724Toni ELIASDUCATI1'34.6342.0520.039
1813Anthony WESTKAWASAKI1'34.7152.1330.081

 

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2008 / 2009 Provisional Testing Schedule

With the new tire regulations comes a severely reduced MotoGP testing schedule. Here's the testing schedule as it stands:

October 27 - 28 Valencia Spain
November 26 - 27 Jerez Spain
February 5 - 7 Sepang Malaysia
March 1 - 3 Losail Qatar
March 28 - 29 IRTA Test, Jerez Spain

More details when they become available.

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2008 Valencia Day 3 Warmup Times - Stoner Dominates As Ever

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerFast LapDiffDiff Previous
11Casey STONERDUCATI1'32.844  
22Dani PEDROSAHONDA1'33.3820.5380.538
369Nicky HAYDENHONDA1'33.5990.7550.217
45Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA1'33.6050.7610.006
546Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA1'33.6760.8320.071
614Randy DE PUNIETHONDA1'33.7490.9050.073
715Alex DE ANGELISHONDA1'33.9731.1290.224
84Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA1'33.9821.1380.009
956Shinya NAKANOHONDA1'34.0101.1660.028
107Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI1'34.2521.4080.242
1133Marco MELANDRIDUCATI1'34.2801.4360.028
1248Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA1'34.3281.4840.048
1350Sylvain GUINTOLIDUCATI1'34.3381.4940.010
1465Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI1'34.5151.6710.177
1521John HOPKINSKAWASAKI1'34.5871.7430.072
1652James TOSELANDYAMAHA1'34.7001.8560.113
1724Toni ELIASDUCATI1'34.9572.1130.257
1813Anthony WESTKAWASAKI1'34.9922.1480.035

 

Circuit records:

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Yamaha Could Be Interested In 250 Replacement Class

At the end of the season, Yamaha's top engineers usually give a presentation on the inner workings of their championship-winning M1. So it was earlier this week, but during that presentation, comments were made which were even more interesting than the notes on the MotoGP bike.

Shigeo Kitagawa, head of projects for Yamaha's racing department, told journalists that they could also be interested in supplying equipment for the new four-stroke class which is to replace the current 250s in 2011. "In the past, we had a near-monopoly in the 250 class with our TD 250 and TZ 250," Kitagawa said. "At the moment, we are engaged in MotoGP, but that doesn't mean to say that once the rules are clarified, Yamaha won't be interested in producing a low-cost machine, especially if it could also be used in national championships."

So far, the consensus has been that the 250 replacement class - due to consist of 600cc four strokes - will be Honda's plaything. But with Yamaha's long history in 250s, plus their failure to win a World Supersport title since 2000, there's every reason to assume that Yamaha have an interest in getting involved. Whether the 600s are as interesting as the 250s have been remains to be seen. But with more than one manufacturer involved, the class is starting to show potential.

 

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2008 Valencia Qualifying Report

Opinions about the proposal for a single tire manufacturer are still divided among the riders, but there is one thing that all of them agree on: They are going to miss the breathtaking sensation of pushing the astonishingly grippy qualifying tires to their very limits. Nicky Hayden has said the tires are so good, that "you get off the bike and you're shaking." For riders so used to being right on the edge to be shaking takes something quite remarkable.

So there was some disappointment when the weather on Saturday started off as gray and wet as it had been on Friday. It looked like the last chance to use qualifiers might be gone, but as the afternoon started, the rain stopped, and the track started to dry out.

The track filled quickly once qualifying started. With the race expected to be dry, teams and riders were anxious to find a race setting that might work on Sunday. After three drenched sessions of free practice, they had learned more than they needed to know about riding in the wet.

The track was still cool, and spotty in patches, so times came down slowly. It took 5 laps before the times even got into the 1'34s, Randy de Puniet the first to crack that barrier on his LCR Honda. De Puniet was joined seconds later by Loris Capirossi, then Shinya Nakano, the Japanese Gresini Honda rider taking half a second off the Frenchman's time, with a lap of 1'34.437.

Three minutes later, Nakano's time was beaten, Nicky Hayden taking over the top spot with a 1'34.351. The Kentucky Kid had been fastest in all three wet sessions, and was showing he was quick in the dry too. Hayden was on a strong run, going on to take 3/10ths off his time on the next lap, with a time of 1'34.009.

His team mate, with whom Hayden had been engaged in a war of words by proxy, was not about to let Hayden run away with the session, and with 15 minutes gone, set the 2nd fastest time with a lap of 1'34.195.

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Clocks Change In Europe Sunday - Valencia Race May Start Later Than You Think

Central European Summer Time ends at 3am Sunday morning, and while that means an extra hour in bed for most Europeans, it could end up confusing the many MotoGP fans who live elsewhere. For with the clocks going back an hour in Europe, that could throw the schedules of fans based in the US or Australia into disarray.

The final round of MotoGP in Valencia, Spain, is due to start at the regular race start time of 2pm. But that is 2pm CET, or Central European Time, rather than CEST, Central European Summer Time. Clocks in the US and most of Australia aren't due to change for another week, so for fans there, the race may be an hour later than they thought it would.

It goes beyond the scope of this website to list the race start time in every possible time zone - the official MotoGP.com website has a nifty time zone checker for that - but by using the invaluable tools on the Time And Date website at http://www.timeanddate.com/, we can calculate that the race will start at 9am EDT or 6am PDT in the US, and midnight at EDT in Australia, for fans in Sydney.

If you want to see what time the race will start in your time zone, then check this page on the Time And Date website.

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2008 Valencia FP3 Times Day 2 - Hayden Fastest Again, Melandri Beats Stoner

Hayden was quickest once again in the morning session, but the big surprise was Marco Melandri. The Italian, who has an inconceivably appalling season as he struggles with the Ducati, has found something in his setup, and regularly topped the timesheet. The track dried out during the last 10 minutes of the session, generating a frantic rush of activity, with the lead swapping several times a minute.  

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerFast LapDiffDiff Previous
169Nicky HAYDENHONDA1'43.940  
256Shinya NAKANOHONDA1'44.3660.4260.426
333Marco MELANDRIDUCATI1'44.5820.6420.216
446Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA1'44.6210.6810.039
54Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA1'44.7030.7630.082
67Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI1'44.7720.8320.069
71Casey STONERDUCATI1'44.8300.8900.058
82Dani PEDROSAHONDA1'45.2821.3420.452
965Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI1'45.5091.5690.227
1015Alex DE ANGELISHONDA1'46.0682.1280.559
1113Anthony WESTKAWASAKI1'46.4562.5160.388
1214Randy DE PUNIETHONDA1'46.7212.7810.265
1348Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA1'46.8472.9070.126
145Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA1'47.2553.3150.408
1552James TOSELANDYAMAHA1'47.3093.3690.054
1650Sylvain GUINTOLIDUCATI1'47.3273.3870.018
1721John HOPKINSKAWASAKI1'48.0194.0790.692
1824Toni ELIASDUCATI1'50.9977.0572.978

Circuit records:

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2008 Valencia Day 1 Roundup

Two things dominated the first day of practice at the final MotoGP round in Valencia: Rain, and Nicky Hayden. Rain has lashed the circuit all day, turning the adjacent campsite into a mudbath, and making the going treacherous around the circuit.

Added to the rain was the cold, temperatures hovering around 14 degrees Celsius, or the high 50s Fahrenheit. So not only is the rain causing grip problems, but the chill conditions are reducing grip even further. As a consequence, and rather unsurprisingly, a lot of people have been off into the gravel.

Casey Stoner got away with just a scare. Though his crash in FP1 looked scary, coming as it did at a fair speed round Turn 13, the Australian landed luckily, and didn't injure himself. Valentino Rossi also came away unscathed from a lowside in Turn 14. One of the slowest corners on the track, Rossi almost managed to catch the rear as it went away from him, but couldn't quite lever the bike back up onto the fat part of the tire.

Unluckiest team of the day were the Alice Ducati men. Toni Elias came off after a semi-highside, and has had a generally miserable day, finishing bottom of the pile and 6 seconds off the pace. But while Elias was relatively unharmed, Sylvain Guintoli is battered and bruised, after banging his knee and his behind in a big highside during FP2.

The other constant factor was Nicky Hayden. The American was fastest in both morning and afternoon sessions, and was clearly at home both on the track and in the rain. Hayden is just a few hundredths faster than his team mate Dani Pedrosa, but he was unlucky not to be much further ahead. Coming round on a very quick lap with a few minutes to go, Hayden nearly overcooked Turn 12, and pulled into the pits for new tires, after having been half a second up at the third intermediate checkpoint.

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2009 MotoGP Calendar Update: Misano Moved Back A Week

The FIM announced a minor change to the 2009 MotoGP calendar today. The Misano round of MotoGP will be held a week earlier than previously scheduled, moving it to the week after the Indianapolis MotoGP round.

DateGrand PrixCircuit
April 12th*QatarLosail
April 26thJapanMotegi
May 3rdSpainJerez
May 17thFranceLe Mans
May 31stItalyMugello
June 14thCatalunyaCatalunya
June 27th**NetherlandsAssen
July 5th***United StatesLaguna Seca
July 19thGermanySachsenring
July 26thGreat BritainDonington Park
August 16thCzech RepublicBrno
August 30thIndianapolisIndianapolis
September 6thSan Marino & Riviera di RiminiMisano
September 20thHungaryBalaton
October 4thPortugalEstoril
October 18thAustraliaPhillip Island
October 25thMalaysiaSepang
November 8thValenciaRicardo Tormo - Valencia

* Evening race
** Saturday race
*** Only MotoGP class

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