Factories reject more winter testing

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Plans to test in Jerez and Phillip Island during the 2011 MotoGP pre-season have been thrown out by the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association.

Proposals submitted last month in Brno saw an increase in winter testing scheduled with Phillip Island in Australia and Jerez back on the pre-season calendar.

Those two tests were in addition to two planned visits to the Sepang track in Malaysia, increasing the off-season schedule from eight to ten days including the traditional post race session in Valencia.

Phillip Island was dropped off the testing in calendar after 2008 because of costs but also conditions during February in Australia’s summer are completely different by the time the race is staged in October.

Jerez was knocked off the testing schedule for 2010 despite being the traditional curtain raiser for the new season with a televised timed shootout for a BMW car the highlight.

Plans for the Jerez test to be moved to the end of November though have been rejected by the factories, as has a return to Phillip Island.

Factories felt the end of November test in Jerez was pointless given how cold track conditions can be, seriously restricting the opportunity for meaningful testing.

MCN understands a schedule approved by the MSMA will see one three-day test in Sepang in early February followed by a further three days at the Malaysian venue later in the month.

The Qatar night test would still take place, but only on the Sunday and Monday prior to the opening race under the Losail International Circuit floodlights.

The first race will take place on March 20, 2011.

Winter testing was drastically curtailed as MotoGP sought to counter the global economic a crisis.

A final decision on the winter testing schedule will be made during next week’s Motorland Aragon Grand Prix when the Grand Prix Commission meets

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt