MotoGP News: Riders split on plan to hold test before first race

Suzuki rider Alex Rins says he’d rather go straight into racing when the coronavirus-delayed MotoGP season begins instead of having a test before the first event.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has delayed the 2020 season and forced the postponement or cancellation of the first 11 scheduled races of the original calendar.

MotoGP has set out plans to begin racing on 19 and 26 July at Jerez, pending approval from the Spanish Government.

In March, KTM boss Pit Beirer told Autosport that a test prior to the first race had been planned. Though nothing has officially been organised, a one-day test on 15 July at Jerez is expected to be scheduled soon.

Asked if he thinks riders will need some time on the bike prior to the first race, having not ridden since February’s Qatar pre-season test, Rins said: “For sure, this is a lot of time without racing.

“The last time we rode was in the Qatar test, that was in the end of February. It’s hard.

“For sure, the first time we get back on the bike will be hard, because – for example – Malaysia is the first test after all the holidays [over the winter].

“All the riders are destroyed after the first or second day, with a lot of problems with the physical conditions of the neck.

“That’s normal after all that time off.

“But for me, I prefer to go directly to the race, because it’s less time that we lose.”

Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi holds the opposite view and hopes for a test out of fears that the riders may not be “ready for FP1 straightaway”.

“This will be a very new thing, because it’s never happened that we stay off our MotoGP bikes for a long time,” Rossi said.

“But usually anyway when you start from the first test, you are always scared – or me personally – that I’m not able to be as fast as the year before.

“But, in the end, it’s not like this as soon as you jump on your bike and you get the feeling.

“Will be difficult physically because we need to train a lot, to try to be ready.

“I hope that before the race we can do another test at the same track, like two days, because if not it’s a very long time we are off the bike.

“So maybe we are not ready for FP1 straightaway [without the test].”

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