Following the debut of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden on an early version of Ducati's 2012 MotoGP machine, during a private test at Jerez last month, the FIM has made an official ruling on 1000cc testing.
Under the title of 'Machines Eligible under 2012 Regulations- '1000cc Machines”' the new rule reads:
“During the 2011 season manufacturers may test for a total 8 rider/days with their contracted riders. This will apply retrospectively for the 2011 season.”
Ducati's Jerez test exposed a well-known grey area in the MotoGP rules, which only apply limits on testing with “machines eligible for the MotoGP class.”
The implication therefore being that, since 1000cc bikes are not presently eligible for MotoGP, testing restrictions do not apply. Hence the new ruling to clarify the issue.
Ducati is the only manufacturer whose MotoGP race riders have tried a 2012 bike.
Honda's 2012 prototype has been spotted being ridden by test riders in Japan, and is expected to be tried by the factory's race riders later this month.
Yamaha is expected to let its factory racers ride the 1000cc M1 in a test after the Italian Grand Prix in early July, while Suzuki is yet to announce its 2012 plans.
In terms of this year's 800cc testing, a slight rule modification means that teams can now chose to test on “the day following the Italian Grand Prix (Mugello) or the Czech Grand Prix (Brno).”