MotoGP Official Testing To Be Restricted To 8 Days A Season From 2023

The MotoGP testing regime is to be revised again for the 2023 season. At Portimão, the Grand Prix Commission agreed to reduce the total amount of test days to 8 in total, a reduction of 3 days compared to the 2022 season.

The 2023 preseason kicks off with a 1-day test at Valencia, after the race. After the winter break, MotoGP takes to the track again at Sepang. There is a three-day shakedown test for test riders and rookies, and then three more days for the full MotoGP field at Sepang.

To end the preseason, there will be another two-day test at the Lusail International Circuit, ahead of the first grand prix of the season at Qatar.

The in-season testing has been cut too. There will be only two post-race tests, at Jerez and Barcelona. In 2022, there are four days of in-season testing, with one-day tests on the Monday after Jerez and Barcelona, and a two-day test after Misano.

The reason for the reduction in testing is simple. The bargain made between the teams and Dorna is that as the calendar expands with more racing, testing would be reduced. The independent teams are some of the main beneficiaries of this, as they get paid to go racing, but they have to pay for their expenses around the test.

The return of the Valencia test is perhaps the biggest surprise. Previously, teams had pushed to drop the Valencia post-race test, as the track does not provide useful data due to its unusual layout. However, with a reduction of the post-race test from 2 days to 1, it makes little sense to pack up the paddock, drive down to Jerez, and set it all up again for a single day.

The fact that tests are to be held at Qatar and Valencia mean that these two races will once again bookend the season, with Qatar kicking off the 2023 season, and wrapping up at Valencia

That is the program for 2023, at least. The wording of the FIM press release issued after the GPC met is deliberately broad as to the locations of the tests. It states merely that there will be a 3-day test and a 2-day test before the start of the season, two 1-day test after races, and a 1-day test after the final race of the season.

That leaves open future changes to the calendar. Qatar is expected to be the first race of the season for some time, but Dorna's plan to rotate the Spanish circuits and Portimão, with 3 rounds a year at the Iberian peninsula, means that the season could finish at tracks other than Valencia in some years.

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Given how much data Ducati are collecting every race meet compared to everyone else, they definitely profit from these changes.

As so often, new regulations can have unintended consequences. I wonder if we will see a second Suzuki and Aprilia team next year. Surely there must be enough interest in both of these bikes from teams, but it also depends on current contracts of course. Is there any team that could be switching for next year? I would love to see the VR46 team switch to Aprilia, for example. Pramac is the solid Ducati second team and Gresini surely is not returning to Aprilia any time soon, so who else could make a move..? Maybe one completely new team? Gresini to Suzuki..?

RNF are the only team that have not signed a deal for next year. All the other independent teams have contracts at least until 2024.

As Aprilia or Suzuki, I wouldn’t be very keen on that team. It wasn’t convincing last year and certainly not this year either, although I would cut Darryn Binder some slack. Still, too much background noise there to say the least.

Livio said this past weekend that Suzuki won't have a satellite team in 2023. They had their chance last year to have the number one draw in motorcycle racing for their satellite team and couldn't pull the trigger. Rumors are it was because Davide Brivio left abruptly. I think that's conventient. Seems Suzuki management is same as it ever was: timid, at least in Motogp terms.

I do think it’s high time they did a refresh and held the season finale at a really great track, like Aragon or Barcelona, rather than that ratty little karting circuit in Valencia.  If and when the title once again comes down to the final race you really want it to be spectacular, showing off the very best of MotoGP.

I get that races = money and testing = no money.... but MotoGP is a prototype class. These bikes are supposed to have cutting edge technology. That's impossible to do with no way to test and experiment.

Dorna may as well seal the bikes up forever and ban new tech going forward. I know that would make a lot of people happy and could be rationalized with a lot of surface level nonsense.

I don't think it is a prototype class. Spec tires, spec electronics, spec cylinder bore, aero that must be approved to fit the rules...imo, not a true prototype class - but a class that makes for the best racing I've ever seen.

Check out the second Assen race of the Supersport 300 class before you say that. Seriously. Near the end of the race, 19 bikes in the lead draft -- really -- and no way to know who was going to win even after the last corner. Spectacular stuff.

I haven't seen that, I watch Motogp. I have no knowledge of the WSBK side of things. Moto3 is plenty close and unpredictable to me. I guess I shoulda known I needed to qualify my opinion with "in the open class". I'll try to be more precise in future. 

I think this is only the race rider tests. Doesn't stop the test teams rolling on. New tech would be dragged around lap after lap by the test team I guess.

It seems that for the last few seasons we've seen satellite teams running 1-year old bikes do well at the start of the year, often put down to having last year's data and having the pre-season testing to concentrate on set-up rather than testing parts. The shorter the pre-season this could see a stronger benefit at the start of the season, although the longer the season the less impact it will have. It seems to me the factories need to have the next year's bike pretty much sorted by Qatar test if they don't want to start on the back foot in the first few races like Ducati have

Cue expansion and importance of Test teams. Having a great Test rider at GP pace (Dani, Cal etc). 

We'll be ok. 

Curious about Monday in Spain, who has what out being worked on. Hoping David, Crafar and others have their noses in the bikes.