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The testing of MotoGP™ machinery is an absolutely crucial part of the preparation process for the teams involved in all three MotoGP™ categories.
Scheduled test sessions at designated circuits in various parts of the world allow teams to test new machinery, collect crucial performance data, gather information about specific venues, try new tyres, undertake race simulations, try out new set-ups and resolve problems with existing machinery.
For the rider, tests also allow them to become accustomed to new machinery, gain experience of riding at the designated venues, improve or maintain fitness levels and familiarise themselves with new colleagues if they have recently moved to a new team.
In addition to test days after the Jerez, Catalunya and Italian races the pre-season is an important testing period for the teams. There is an almost two month long ban on any on-track testing for the race teams December and most of January, but the months of November and February, and March are vital development periods for MotoGP™.
Valencia (after the final race of the year), Sepang (Malaysia) and Jerez in southern Spain are regular test venues, providing an array of challenges and demands for the riders.
Indeed the selection of testing venues by IRTA and Dorna (see Governing Bodies section) is designed to give the teams and the tyre suppliers a good all-round variation in terms of track layouts and the locations are intended to provide clear, dry weather - as rain hindered practice runs are not generally as useful to teams as dry sessions.
The following important regulations apply to testing:
The `Season´ is defined as the period starting the day after the final race of the year and ending the evening after the last race of the year, both dates being inclusive. The Season does not include `Breaks´. A Break is defined as two consecutive week-ends where events are not scheduled. The period of the Break extends from 09h00 on the fourth day after the Grand Prix until the following Grand Prix.
Separate test teams of manufacturers involved in the Championship are considered as part of the contracted team.
- A) Practice by contracted teams with contracted riders, with MotoGP™ class machines is only permitted between 01 February and 30 November of each year at the following times:
- a) Practice included in the schedule of the events.
- b) Practice during the day following events nominated by Dorna/IRTA and during two days of the three days immediately following the last event of the Season.
- c) Practice on days using the “test tyre allocation”.
- d) Practice at the official tests organised by Dorna/IRTA.
- e) Any activity authorised by the Race Direction.
- B) Practice by contracted teams with non-contracted riders (test riders), with MotoGP class machines is also permitted at the following times:
- a) Practice during the day following events nominated by Dorna/IRTA and during two days of the three days immediately following the last event of the Season.
- b) Practice on days using the “test tyre allocation”.
- c) Practice at the official tests organised by Dorna/IRTA.
- d) Any activity authorised by the Race Direction.
- C) The “test tyre allocation” is a total number of tyres for the contracted team to use in development testing, supplied exclusively by the MotoGP tyre supplier. The allocation is as follows:
- a) MSMA manufacturer Factory Teams – 240 tyres per season. These tyres may be used by contracted MotoGP™ riders or non-contracted test riders, the number of tyres used per rider is not controlled.
- b) Other Contracted Teams, including teams leasing machines from MSMA manufacturers and CRT entries – 120 tyres per contracted rider, per season. These tyres may be used by the team’s contracted MotoGP rider or a non-contracted test rider approved by Race Direction.
Tyres from a team’s test tyre allocation may not be used by another team or manufacturer.
Testing with the test tyre allocation may take place at any time, at any circuit, with the following exceptions:
- a) No testing is permitted by contracted riders between 01 December and 31 January.
- b) Starting from 14 days before the first event of the season, testing at a Grand Prix circuit included in the calendar is not permitted before the event at that circuit has taken place.
- c) Except that every team may designate and inform Race Direction of 3 Grand Prix circuits at which they may test. These test circuits for the following season must be informed to Race Direction by the conclusion of the final race of the current season. In the case of new teams contracted after this date, test circuits must be informed within 14 days of their entry being accepted.
- d) No testing is permitted in the 14 days before the event scheduled at the circuits. The schedule of such tests and any subsequent amendments must be notified to Race Direction at least 7 days in advance.