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.
Photo: Ducati Corse
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.