MotoGP Test #1
The MotoGP season is about to get underway as the race teams are on their way to Sepang in Malaysia to resume preparations for the 2010 season. The Sepang test is very important, as it is the first of three tests scheduled before the 2010 MotoGP season opener at Qatar in March.
Most of the riders have been training hard throughout the winter break and while others have been just enjoying their time-off. Now, the waiting game is over. The gear is being unloaded in Sepang and all of the signed riders are eager to achieve as much testing as possible with the limited practice time now available.
The established MotoGP pecking order will indeed be upset. At least five rookies will enter the season, all with the ability to contend for the 2010 championship. The first test will provide an eagerly awaited indication as the world waits in anticipation to see what the new names will do.
Former 250cc riders moving up to MotoGP include: Hector Barbera riding for Team Aspar Ducati, Hiroshi Aoyama riding for Team Interwetten Honda, Marco Simoncelli riding for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini and Alvaro Bautista riding for Team Rizla Suzuki. The lone Superbike rider moving up to MotoGP will be the Texan Ben Spies riding for Team Monster Yamaha Tech3.
Over the last few years, it has been the 250cc riders who have best adapted to the premier 800cc MotoGP. Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa all came up through the ranks and have all won races in MotoGP. Casey Stoner actually walked away with the World Title in 2007 as a reshuffled field became acquainted with the then new 800cc platform.
Sepang is a well-liked test track as it offers a mix of tight turns, fast sweeping corners, two long straights and good weather. Check back here at Ultimate MotorCycling for the updated test results.
MotoGP Veteran - Loris Capirossi Speaks...
"It feels like a very long time since I was on the bike and just cannot wait to start riding again - I am even having trouble sleeping because I am so excited about getting back to work! I know the guys at Suzuki have been working really hard this winter so we will hopefully be able to get on the pace - or close to it - from day one at Sepang. We are looking forward to a good package and I am also going to the factory after the test to do some work with the guys in Hamamatsu to try and make the bike the best it can be in time for the start of the season. After 20 seasons, I am as focused coming into this year as I have ever been and still really enjoy everything to do with MotoGP. I certainly feel like I have unfinished business in racing and a few more milestones to reach, so this test is the start of my preparations to making them happen."
MotoGP Rookie - Álvaro Bautista Speaks...
"I am really excited about this test, because it feels like my first real time as a Rizla Suzuki rider. I have already done a couple of tests, and the team seemed really happy with the job I did, but this time it will be my bike and I will also be in the team colours so that is another important thing. I am confident of my ability on the bike and the initial feeling on the MotoGP Suzuki is quite natural for me, but I will not be trying to break any records yet - I need to learn a lot more about the GSV-R and find the limits step by step. This Sepang test will be a good place to start, I am excited to be in Suzuki's factory team and I will do my maximum for them."
The first race of the 2010 MotoGP season will be held at Losail in Qatar on Sunday April 11th, 2010.