MotoGP revs up with pre-season test on Tuesday

A file picture of MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez. He will be strutting his stuff on his Honda bike in Sepang from Tuesday.

PETALING JAYA: The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) will roar to the thunderous sounds of MotoGP bikes when the first pre-season test takes place from Tuesday until Thursday.

The first of two tests at Sepang will see new MotoGP bikes revving the track in a bid to gauge their competitiveness for the new season. The second test will be held from Feb 26-28.

For this season, the MotoGP has done away with Claiming Rule Team (CRT) class, which used to house teams like Power Electronics Aspar and Ioda Racing who competed against the factory teams like Yamaha, Honda and Ducati.

CRT ran similar engine to the factory bikes, with special consideration on fuel tank size and engine changes to be competitive against factory bikes.

This season, however, all other entries not by factory teams will be lumped in the Open class. The factory teams this year will have to use a Magneti Marelli electronic control unit (ECU) with their team’s own software, while the Open class teams will use the same ECU but with supplied software.

The factory teams will be limited to five engines per rider per season and the engines are not to be modified during the season. The Open class teams, meanwhile, will have 12 engines per rider per season.

The first test will offer some insight on the Honda machines of reigning world champion Marc Marquez, who will continue to share the garage with fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.

Another interesting development to look out for is Valentino Rossi’s reunion with chief mechanic Silvano Galbusera at Yamaha.

Galbusera replaced Jeremy Burgess at the end of last season after 14 years together. Jorge Lorenzo will partner Rossi at Yamaha for another season.

Moto2 and Moto3 teams, meanwhile, will have their first test in Valencia, Spain, on Feb 11-13.

Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) will fly the Malaysian flag in Moto2 while Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta AirAsia) and Amirul Hafiq Azmi (SIC-Ajo) will race in Moto3.
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