MotoGP 2016- Testing begins;Will sparks fly?
The 2016 MotoGP official testing begins next week at the Sepang International Circuit – almost 3 months after their coming together of Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez at the very same track.
As in seasons past, MotoGP teams will put their riders and machines to test, and the 2016 season kicks off with the same from February 1st to 3rd, with the exception of the Aprilia team.
The after effects of last season’s race to the wire between Rossi and his Spanish teammate Jorge Lorenzo was often referred to as the Spanish Conspiracy by Camp Rossi.
This season’s MotoGP will see changes to the rules described by some as brutal. Apart from the introduction of a single ECU for all teams, a change of tyre manufacturers from Bridgestone to Michelin might also weigh in on the outcome of races.
“With the challenges ahead, all the riders including Rossi and Marquez will undoubtedly be fully focusing on the task at hand, and gathering as much data as possible during the three-day test. As such, they would be looking ahead rather than dwelling on their past encounter. Unlike previous years, they will have limited testing time in Sepang as there will only be one session here. However, there is an exciting twist this year as they are testing on the existing asphalt next week while they will be racing on a fresh track come October, practically rendering the data gathered obsolete,” said SIC’s Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Razlan Razali. The Sepang track will be closed for complete resurfacing works from 15 February to 8 May 2016.
“With the single ECU ruling and the use of the new Michelin tyres, it is difficult to predict the leading contenders for this year’s title, though they are most likely to be from the factory teams of Yamaha, Honda, Ducati and Suzuki. I am hoping for the season to be as exciting as last year’s, with the championship decided in the final race of the season or at the penultimate round in Sepang. Hopefully, without the controversies, of course,” he added.
Leading into the last 2 races of 2015, Rossi threw away his chances of winning the crown when he was adjudged to have deliberately ridden out of line causing Marquez to fall off his machine. Despite finishing third in that race, Rossi was penalised for his role in Sepang causing him a pitlane start which eventually saw Lorenzo winning comfortably in Valencia, and the title too.
Further testing will be done in Phillip Island from 17 to 19 February before a final test in Qatar just before the first race. It has been reported that Aprilia riders Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl will not be participating in the pre-season testing in Sepang as well as in Phillip Island but will instead conduct a private test in Qatar mid February.
Fans who would like to get a sneak preview of the upcoming season’s excitement can come and watch from the Main Grandstand as entrance is free during the testing period this 1 to 3 February. Tickets for the MotoGP will be on sale at special Early Bird discount prices during the 3-day testing. Fans can save up to RM63 with tickets available from as low as RM42.40.
MOTOGP 2016 ENTRY LIST
4 – Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Racing Team (Ducati)
6 – Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini (Aprilia)
8 – Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing (Ducati)
9 – Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Racing (Ducati)
15 – Alex De Angelis (RSM) Iodaracing Project (ART)
19 – Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini (Aprilia)
25 – Maverick Vinales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar (Suzuki)
26 – Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)
29 – Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Racing Team (Ducati)
35 – Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda (Honda)
38 – Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)
41 – Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar (Suzuki)
43 – Jack Miller (AUS) Marc VDS Racing Team (Honda)
44 – Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)
45 – Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Racing (Ducati)
46 – Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (Yamaha)
50 – Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar MotoGP Team (Ducati)
53 – Tito Rabat (SPA) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (Honda)
68 – Yonny Hernandez (COL) Aspar MotoGP Team (Ducati)
76 – Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Racing (Ducati)
93 – Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)
99 – Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (Yamaha)