Manufacturers back plan to cut back MotoGP testing
MotoGP's leading manufacturers have expressed support for plans to cut down the number of pre-season tests from three to two in 2019.
With two scheduled additions to the calendar over the next two years, it is expected that MotoGP will only host two pre-season tests to compensate for the expanded schedule from 2019.
The introduction of Thailand to the calendar in 2018 will result in MotoGP having 19 races this year, making it the busiest season ever for the championship.
Finland’s scheduled return to MotoGP from 2019 will also increase the number of race weekends in a season to 20, an amount series boss Carmelo Ezpeleta previously promised the championship would not exceed.
On top of the two days of official testing back in Valencia in November of last year, another nine testing days await at Sepang, Buriram and Qatar before the first race of the season at the last-named venue in March.
The challenge of finding time for the three tests and a possible 20 races has lead to calls for a reduction in the amount of testing from 2019 onwards, to help teams and riders find a sensible balance.
Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis said: “20 races is a lot, not only for the riders but also for all of us.
“Doing the triple flyway is always exhausting at the end of the year, and [this year] the first extra race [Thailand] is outside of Europe.
“Definitely we don’t want to do more than 20, and I think if we do 20 we should reduce the testing.
"I believe there’s a plan to reduce the winter tests by one, to give us a little bit more balance.”
Former Honda team principal Livio Suppo also made it clear that he believed that it is “better [to be] racing than testing, at the end of the day.”
He added: “For the test rules, the situation now is ok. We cannot speak always about reducing costs and then be free to go testing everywhere.
“Consider also there are six manufacturers: three in Europe, three in Japan. It is correct to try to have a balance, considering we mainly race in Europe, to go testing in Europe or not.
“Having said that, for 20 races, it’s more than enough and also considering this, it’s not so easy to find a week to go testing again. I think the limitation of tests is welcome.”
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