It appears the addition of Thailand to the 2018 MotoGP calendar could lead to several changes in the testing schedule, with Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of series organiser Dorna, hinting that modifications to the current schedule are afoot.

Crash.net has learned that proposals were tabled at an IRTA Committee meeting at Aragon, with IRTA - the International Road-racing Team’s Association - and Dorna keen to limit factories testing at circuits during the season, several weeks before a race, as witnessed on several occasions this year.

As Mike Trimby, CEO of IRTA, put it, "We want factories to use these days based on the original purpose of machine development and not as extra set up practice for specific events."

Related Articles

And it is believed other ideas were aired, which included fairly radical changes. One of those could see each MotoGP rider limited to five days of testing from the nine available at the three official preseason tests at Sepang (Malaysia), Burium (Thailand) and Losail (Qatar). At this stage, premier class rookies would be exempt from this rule.

Another could see the scrapping of the Valencia MotoGP test in November, ’18. Next year’s race will take place on the 18th of that month, meaning the two-day test, held in the subsequent days, would be limited by ever-falling temperatures and decreasing light.

The IRTA Committee will meet again at Motegi next weekend where further proposals will be tabled. The Grand Prix commission, which comprises of members from Dorna, IRTA, the FIM - the motorcycle governing body – and the MSMA, the manufacturer’s association, would then be consulted, to discuss and approve those changes.

Speaking at Aragon, Ezpeleta put it plainly: “It’s better to race than test. When we are testing, they pay money and we pay money to lease the circuit or whatever. When we are racing we receive money and the teams receive money.”

For the first time in its 69-year history, the motorcycle grand prix season will be contested across 19 rounds in ‘18, with races running from mid-March to late November. With the addition of other countries like Finland in the following two years, the calendar could expand to 20 before 2020.

Ezpeleta also suggested that one of the three preseason tests could be dropped in the coming years. “I’m completely sure that if we increase the number of races, we will reduce the number of tests,” he said. “Testing, to be honest, one day the test was to prepare the bikes for the new season, the new situation.

“Now today many of the tests are used to prepare the race, and this is not a reason. We don’t want people testing to prepare the race because this costs money. At least we will propose to reduce that. If they don’t want, it’s their problem. But then later, don’t claim.”

Would MotoGP rookies be exempt from any particular cap that could be placed on testing? “Yes. As we do, it’s our proposal,” came his response. And it would not just be rookies that could benefit from ‘concessions’ as he put it. ‘Teams who are not winning,’ may also be allowed to test more than the official factory entries from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati, who have shared the premier class wins among them this year.

“If it’s accepted, good. If not, we will see. But it’s our proposition to say exactly the same, but we make some concessions to teams who are not winning.

“We think to make some concessions in testing for the rookies in the championship. It’s my opinion. If something need to be approved by the other people, but clearly we share your opinion that rookies must have the opportunity to test more.”

On whether these changes would be implemented for the 2018 season, Ezpeleta said, “We will try.”

Earlier this year, Michelin’s technical director Nicolas Goubert expanded on the benefits of factories testing at tracks a number of weeks before the race weekend.

"Quite often what happened this year is that the team that went testing two weeks before the race - like Yamaha did in Le Mans, like Ducati did in Mugello and Barcelona, like Honda before Brno - they won,” he said.

"Of course that is a big advantage - and it's even more of an advantage when you get bad weather during the weekend, like in Brno. Rain means less dry time for the guys that have not been there for testing and a bigger advantage if you have been beforehand.”

All will become clearer next weekend.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

i use  to feel when Exzpeleta borraicho says something of common sense, is when i have more fear things gonna go worse...

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Racing makes money, testing costs money seems to be the main motive here - hence the possibility of 20 races in a season. Mind you, stopping teams testing at tracks just before the race sounds reasonable. If teams want to test at certain circuits, they could be allowed to test after the race weekend, as they do at official MotoGP tests. But I bet they wouldn't be quite so keen, having been rumbled.

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Will rookies be used to implement data to factories teams via sat teams  and be changed more often. Why testing before race,testing should be after the race. But all will find the ways to skip the rules 

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Why not allow testing but at tracks not on the current tour. That way they get to test and fans from other countries also get to experience MotoGP, to grow support !

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

@Toggie, Best suggestion I've seen yet on testing.

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Hope they don't get rid of the post Valencia race test... for me its a favourite, seeing some riders on new bikes, rookies on their first time out etc.

Regards in season, agree with the comment about limiting testing to the Monday after a race weekend, rather than in advance (unless it's a new circuit obviously)

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

@ Crash.Net

Is there any possibility you can make the comments box a little bigger?

I shouldn't have to scroll up and down to re-read a 2 line post - there's enough blank space on the page for heavens sake!

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Maybe Dorna should buy a couple of cicuits! Then they can make even more money renting them out to teams to test!

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Dorna the illegitimate creation of a Spanish bank, true to its aim as usual, to monetise the sport and squeeze every penny they can out of it. They are all that’s bad about modern sport. 

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!