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Confirmed winter test dates

Confirmed winter test dates

Confirmed winter test dates

Preparations for the 2005 MotoGP World Championship continue in earnest next week, with several factories having confirmed test dates at three different tracks around the world.

After a brief first shakedown with the 2005 version YZR-M1 at Valencia two weeks ago, Valentino Rossi will be back in action alongside his new factory Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards at Sepang in Malaysia for three days from the 22nd November onwards.

Team Suzuki are also expected to confirm their participation in the test, although John Hopkins will not be fit to ride as he awaits an operation to remove metal plates from his ankles in California this week. In what looks certain to be new Team Manager Paul Denning's first test, Suzuki are likely to develop the Suzuki GSV-R with test rider Gregorio Lavilla and MotoGP regular Kenny Roberts, who is continuing his recuperation from an elbow injury.

Meanwhile, a three-day test begins at Jerez on the 23rd November involving Honda, Ducati, Kawasaki and Aprilia. Whilst Honda will be without the services of Max Biaggi through injury, Nicky Hayden is expected to be fit despite a knee problem and Marco Melandri should make his debut with Team Gresini.

For Ducati, the Jerez sessions will be a first shakedown with Bridgestone tyres after a surprise agreement announced on Monday between the Italian factory and the Japanese rubber manufacturer. Kawasaki will continue their own development work with Bridgestone whilst Aprilia will test an updated version of the RS3 as Shane Byrne makes his return to action after recovering from a wrist injury.

The HRC squad will take a couple of days off after the test but will be travelling north up the Spanish coast to continue working on the 29th and 30th at Valencia in a private session.

On the 1st December a testing ban comes into force which will restrict teams from gathering any track time until the 20th January. HRC and Yamaha have both confirmed their presence at a three-day test just two days after the embargo is lifted, starting on the 22nd January at Sepang.

MotoGP, 2004

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