Time Schedule For Aragon MotoGP - Practice Reshuffled

The move to drop Friday morning practice - introduced for the 2009 season as a cost-cutting measure - has never been popular among either riders or fans. The riders and teams feel they are wasting their time, sitting around on Friday morning kicking their heels waiting for the afternoon session to kick off, and the fans miss out on an opportunity to watch the bikes out on track. Rookies, such as Interwetten Honda's Hiroshi Aoyama and his crew chief Tom Jojic, also lamented the lack of an extra session of practice, as the time between the sessions allowed the riders and their crews to go over the data collected.

In response to these criticisms, the Grand Prix Commission decided to experiment with a change from three one-hour practice sessions to four forty-five-minute sessions, extending the number of sessions on the track while leaving the amount of track time - and therefore the possible mileage - unchanged.  The Aragon MotoGP round was chosen to stage this experiment, as Aragon was the only track which did not already have a list of supporting events which would need to be rescheduled. And so at Aragon, each of the classes will go out for four, shorter sessions of practice starting on Friday morning, rather than the three they have run at other events.

The organizers have also seized the opportunity to experiment with another oft-requested change. Throughout the season, MotoGP riders and team managers have complained that the track surface feels different on race day to the way it felt during practice. The finger of blame for this has been pointed at the Moto2 class: with 40+ four-stroke bikes circulating on big tires, the class seems to lay down a layer of oil and rubber during the race that changes the nature of the track. During practice, MotoGP has always followed the 125cc class - 30 lightweight two-stroke singles on skinny tires - but on race day, the main class immediately follows the Moto2 race.

Several prominent figures - most vocal of whom has been Jorge Lorenzo's manager Wilco Zeelenberg - have been asking Dorna and IRTA to change the schedule around so that MotoGP always follows Moto2, so that the MotoGP bikes get a chance to practice on the surface they will be racing on. And at Aragon, the order of practice has also been changed, with the Moto2 class and 125cc classes being switched around, Moto2 going first, before the MotoGP class, with the 125s following after. The hope is that the conditions in practice for the MotoGP bikes will be much more like the conditions on race day. If this experiment is a success, the changed order could easily be continued for the rest of the year, and the order the classes go out in reshuffled at the remaining MotoGP rounds.

The new, revised schedule for the Aragon MotoGP round is shown below:

09:05-09:45 Moto2 Free Practice 1
10:05-10:50 MotoGP Free Practice 1
11:10-11:50 125cc Free Practice 1
13:05-13:45 Moto2 Free Practice 2
14:05-14:50 MotoGP Free Practice 2
15:10-15:50 125cc Free Practice 2
09:05-09:45 Moto2 Free Practice 3
10:05-10:50 MotoGP Free Practice 3
11:10-11:50 125cc Free Practice 3
12:00-12:45 VIP Village Pit Lane Walk
13:00-13:45 Moto2 Qualifying Practice
14:05-14:50 MotoGP Qualifying Practice
15:10-15:50 125cc Qualifying Practice
17:00 Qualifying Press Conference
08:40-09:00 125cc Warm Up
09:10-09:30 Moto2 Warm Up
09:40-10:00 MotoGP Warm Up
10:05-10:35 VIP Village Pit Lane Walk
11:00 125cc Race (19 laps)
12:15 Moto2 Race (21 laps)
14:00 MotoGP Race (23 laps)

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It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

I'm thinking there will be fewer front ends folding in the race.

Why are they making a change and not making a complete change that makes sense?

So now they're running practice in a different order, but still not in race order. That's stupid!

Why not just run in race order for practice. Now 125s and moto2 will have undetermined track issues. If they ran in consistent order that would give consistent track conditions to all classes. As much as possible anyway.

Common sense would dictate that the larger the bike the more important grip and track consistency is. So start from bottom and build up. I guess the loss of common sense is a worldwide problem! LOL

This board always has insightful comments, am I missing something?? Do that have that many no GP events so the schedule is completely different every week?

on why they didn't switch practice to the same order as the race is to keep Moto GP in the same time slot. Probably has something to do with TV times for those lucky countries that get coverage of Qualifying and practice. This way, with Moto 2 first, they get the same track conditions AND they keep Moto GP running at the same time they always have

This is exactly the thinking behind this decision, and the reason for running the sessions in the order they do. It might be better to always run the sessions in the same order, but that would mean that the MotoGP class would not race at the same time as it practiced, unless they also moved the MotoGP race back to a later time, and then you start getting scheduling conflicts with soccer matches in Spain and Italy. It's a very fine balancing act. 

The complaints have been about an inconsistent feel, because of the difference the extra rubber laid down by the Moto2 bikes provide. Sometimes it's more grip, sometimes less.

As for oil, it's not that there's liters of the stuff being poured out over the track, but even just a few drops can be a lot when there's 40+ bikes circulating and producing a few drops. Some people, including Jorge Lorenzo's manager Wilco Zeelenberg, have complained about the oil, but Nicky Hayden was at a similar loss: "These ain't no Harleys" he said. 

Yes, what is that all about?

Also, I always thought the more rubber laid down, the better.

Maybe thats the real reason. ;-)

Regarding this oil being laid down, where's it coming from on a Moto2 bike? And isn't it more likely to come from that delicious thick blue exhaust streaming from the 125s? Also, David did you call Football Soccer?,nice. Goalll!

I always thought they run practice in an odd order to ensure MotoGP practice is run at the same time as the race so that the temperature and weather conditions are as close to race day as possible.