How do you check if your MotoGP machines are ready for a delayed private test the following day, without asking the race riders to try them?

Most MotoGP riders are restricted to just five days of private testing per season and even a few shakedown laps would count as one day of testing.

The answer, in the case of Repsol Honda at Jerez last Friday, was to ask former MotoGP title runner-up Sete Gibernau to do the shakedown for the RC213Vs of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Gibernau, who made his last MotoGP start in 2009, is now working as an advisor for Pedrosa.

Due to poor weather, Marquez and Pedrosa did not ride as planned on the Friday, to avoid wasting a precious test day.

But Repsol Honda confirmed to that Gibernau instead took to the track, to check the machines were working correctly for Saturday, when better weather allowed both Marquez and Pedrosa to test as planned.

HRC used exactly the same tactic when Alex Marquez rode an early version of the 2017 Honda at Misano last year.

Marc Marquez and Pedrosa have thus used only one private test day each, since last year's Valencia finale (when the new season officially starts).

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales spent two days at Sepang in November (alongside Tech 3 riders Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco), when Jack Miller was completing two days for Honda at Jerez.

The satellite Ducati teams (Pramac, Avintia and Aspar) also rode for two days at last year's private Jerez test, alongside Suzuki (one day for Andrea Iannone), Aprilia and KTM.

Aprilia and new manufacturer KTM are not yet subject to the five-day private testing limit.

Gibernau, now 44, raced a Repsol Honda in the then 500cc World Championship from 1998 to 2000, finishing on the podium five times. He later claimed eight of his nine premier-class wins as a satellite Honda MotoGP rider at Gresini, between 2003-2005.

By Peter McLaren



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