Practice reduced as MotoGP bosses agree 2009 cost cuts

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Friday morning free practice sessions for all three MotoGP classes will be axed as part of a range of cost-cutting measures agreed for the 2009 season today.

Electronic and hydraulic launch control systems and electronics suspension systems have also been banned.

And from the Czech Republic GP in Brno in mid-August, each MotoGP rider will be limited to the use of just five engines for the final eight races of the season, as was exclusively revealed by MCN two weeks ago from Sepang.

There can be no changing of engine parts except for daily maintenance.

Friday’s opening practice session has been scrapped for MotoGP, 250GP and 125GP classes and the three other MotoGP sessions, including qualifying, will be cut from one hour to 45 minutes.

There has been one compromise on the 2009 rules with post race testing now permitted immediately after the Catalunya and Brno races. Initially all five post race tests were axed.

The proposals were thrashed out by the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (MSMA) during meetings in Japan and Malaysia recently.

Supported by the International Race Teams Association, the plans were sanctioned at a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission in Geneva today (Wednesday).

The cost cutting measures have been introduced to counter the global economic crisis, with more proposals for 2010 to be discussed by the MSMA in Qatar next month.

Below are the full revised timings for the 2009 MotoGP schedule.

13:05-13:45 125cc Practice 1
14:05-14:50 MotoGP Practice 1
15:05-15:50 250cc Practice 1

09:05-09:45 125cc Practice 2
10:05-10:50 MotoGP Practice 2
11:05-11:50 250cc Practice 2
13:05-13:45 125cc Qualifying
14:05-14:50 MotoGP Qualifying
15:05-15:50 250cc Qualifying

08:40-09:00 125cc Warm Up
09:10-09:30 250cc Warm Up
09:40-10:00 MotoGP Warm Up
11:00 125cc Race
12:15 250cc Race
14:00 MotoGP Race

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt