Testing is set to continue this week in a range of classes, as bikes take to the track in preparation for the 2015 season. The south of Spain will see the most action, with a group of MotoGP teams being joined by the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike team at Jerez, and a selection of Moto2 teams heading to Almeria.
At Jerez, Suzuki and Aprilia will continue work on their bikes ahead of next season. As new factories, they receive the same concessions as Ducati, which means that they are allowed unlimited testing, more engines, they have the softer rear tire, and they are allowed to develop their engines throughout the season. Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro will be riding the GSX-RR for Suzuki, while Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri will be taking the Aprilia ART out for further testing.
Ducati will also be present at the test, Andrea Dovizioso and new teammate Andrea Iannone continuing work on the Desmosedici GP14.2. They are still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the GP15, but that bike will not be ready until the Sepang tests, and most likely, only at the second test at Sepang.
The NGM Forward team are also due to test at Jerez, though they may have less to test than expected. The test had originally been planned to continue work on Kayaba suspension, but after complaints from Stefan Bradl at Valencia, there may not be much point. Bradl complained to German-language website Speedweek that Kayaba were poorly prepared, had no real test plan, very few suspension parts to test, and the engineers sent by the firm spoke almost no English. Bradl did not see any point in continuing to test the suspension until these fundamental problems were solved. That could prove to be an expensive decision for Forward: Kayaba would come on board with the team as a technical partner, paying all of their own costs and possibly contributing to the team budget. If Forward stays with Ohlins, they will do so as a customer, paying a considerable sum for the privilege.
The Suzuki World Superbike team is also at Jerez, with Randy De Puniet about to get his first ride on the GSX-R1000 as he makes the switch to the WSBK series. He and Alex Lowes have work to do ahead of the new regulations for 2015, with Yoshimura staff also present at the test to help development of the engine. The team also have new technical staff joining them, and this will be their first chance to integrate them and get them working as a unit. Suzuki will be joined by Kawasaki, where Jonathan Rea will get his second test on the ZX-10R alongside Tom Sykes.
So far, the weather has not been kind to the teams testing, with the track wet and rain still falling. Better weather is forecast for this afternoon and for Tuesday, but the Jerez track takes a long time to dry out, meaning action is likely to be limited on Monday.
Further eastwards on the Iberian peninsula, the weather is a little better. From Tuesday, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing Team (currently candidate for the longest team name in racing) will be testing at Almeria. Tito Rabat, who virtually lives at the circuit, will continue work on the 2015 Kalex, while new teammate and reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez will carry on with his job of adapting to the new category, and changing his riding style to suit Moto2.
The man Marquez beat for the 2014 Moto3 title is headed to Malaysia. Jack Miller has a private test arranged at Sepang for later in the week, where he will get his first taste of the Honda RC213V-RS Open class bike. Miller will ride for two days at Sepang, on the 27th and 28th November, before heading home for a break.
For the Grand Prix teams, the winter test ban kicks in on 1st of December, and will last until the end of January. With new technical regulations coming into effect for the World Superbike class, their winter test ban has been greatly eased, testing only stopping for a brief two-week break for Christmas and New Year. Action ceases for WSBK on the 21st December, and will only resume again after 4th January.