After last jumping aboard a MotoGP™ machine on the 24th February in Qatar for most of the premier class field, Wednesday's Jerez Test will prove absolutely pivotal as riders try and reacclimatise themselves with their machines ahead of the 2020 World Championship. Two 90 minute sessions ahead of the Gran Premio Red Bull de España on Wednesday will be fully analysed, with interviews from all of the top riders, in a special After The Flag, live from the paddock, at 17:00 (GMT+2).
Steve Day and Matt Birt will host the Jerez Test After The Flag episode on Wednesday evening, as Simon Crafar and Amy Dargan roam around the Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto paddock to speak to all of the main contenders for the 2020 crown before the season officially starts on Friday.
There are some key things to keep an eye on up and down the grid, however, before the season starts. Most notably, the fitness of Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso. Wednesday will be the Italian's first opportunity to ride again after breaking his collarbone and having surgery after a crash at an MX race a fortnight ago. How many laps will he do? What will his pace be like? Tune in on Wednesday as we hear from the three-time runner-up in the MotoGP™ World Championship for the first time since his accident.
Plus, have Honda managed to resolve the issues that plagued their pre-season. After seemingly finding a breakthrough by reverting to 2019's aerodynamic package on the final day of the Qatar Test, how will the untested 2020 package perform at a circuit with totally different characteristics to Qatar? Wednesday will be our first indication as to whether the Repsol Honda Team and Marc Marquez are in trouble ahead of the 2020 season. However, Wednesday will also act as a great chance for Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to get his head around a MotoGP™ bike again, becoming the last rookie to get some laps under his belt.
For Yamaha and Suzuki, can they convert the pace and form both factories showed in Malaysia and Qatar into the start of the season? After such a long lay off, have the Japanese factories being able to hold onto the small advantage they appeared to have ahead of the season back in February or have their closest rivals had the chance to close the gap? For Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), plus Alex Rins and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), it will be vital that they hit the ground running in 2020 with Marquez and Dovizioso potentially on the back foot for differing reasons.
KTM and Aprilia made considerable strides ahead of the 2020 season and now they're in the greater position as being the only three teams to have considerable mileage on their machines ahead of the season opener. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had a two-day test at the Red Bull Ring before then joining Red Bull KTM Tech 3 and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in Misano for a three-day test; how much of an advantage will that be for the Austrian and Italian manufacturers?
Moto2™ and Moto3™ also get their first chance to ride after the coronavirus enforced break, and it'll all be covered in the special After The Flag, live from 17:00 (GMT+2) in the heart of the Jerez paddock. The perfect way to get warmed up and clued up ahead of the 2020 MotoGP™ World Championship finally kicking off.