SEPANG, 27 January 2016 - Feuding champions Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez will return to the site of their infamous clash last October at Sepang International Circuit (SIC), when the MotoGP opens its eagerly-awaited 2016 season next week - with the first official test of the year at Malaysia’s Home of Motorsports.
Rossi and Marquez will be joined by all MotoGP riders, except the Aprilia team, for the three-day test from 1 to 3 February 2016, in preparation for what has been described as a very challenging season, following the drastic rule change. Apart from the introduction of a single ECU for all competing teams and riders, MotoGP has also moved from using Bridgestone tyres to Michelin ones for this year’s competition.
“With the challenges ahead, all the riders including Rossi and Marquez will undoubtedly be fully focusing on the task at hand, and gathering as much data as possible during the three-day test. As such, they would be looking ahead rather than dwelling on their past encounter. Unlike previous years, they will have limited testing time in Sepang as there will only be one session here. However, there is an exciting twist this year as they are testing on the existing asphalt next week while they will be racing on a fresh track come October, practically rendering the data gathered obsolete,” said SIC’s Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Razlan Razali. The Sepang track will be closed for complete resurfacing works from 15 February to 8 May 2016.
“With the single ECU ruling and the use of the new Michelin tyres, it is difficult to predict the leading contenders for this year’s title, though they are most likely to be from the factory teams of Yamaha, Honda, Ducati and Suzuki. I am hoping for the season to be as exciting as last year’s, with the championship decided in the final race of the season or at the penultimate round in Sepang. Hopefully, without the controversies, of course,” he added.
Challenging for his 10th world crown last season, Rossi saw contact with Marquez on the seventh lap of the race in Sepang, which resulted in the young Spaniard crashing, while the Italian, who took third place, was penalised and effectively lost the title in Valencia. Rossi was forced to start from the back for the Valencia MotoGP and the world crown was comfortably won by his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
The MotoGP riders will be further testing in Phillip Island from 17 to 19 February before a final test in Qatar just before the season opens. It has been reported that Aprilia riders Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl will not be participating in the pre-season testing in Sepang as well as in Phillip Island. The Aprilia riders will instead conduct a private shakedown in Qatar in the middle of February.
Fans who would like to get a sneak preview of the upcoming season’s excitement can come and watch from the Main Grandstand as entrance is free during the testing period this 1 to 3 February. Tickets for the MotoGP will be on sale at special Early Bird discount prices during the 3-day testing. Fans can save up to RM63 with tickets available from as low as RM42.40.
MOTOGP 2016 ENTRY LIST
4 - Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Racing Team (Ducati)
6 - Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini (Aprilia)
8 - Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing (Ducati)
9 - Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Racing (Ducati)
15 - Alex De Angelis (RSM) Iodaracing Project (ART)
19 - Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini (Aprilia)
25 - Maverick Vinales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar (Suzuki)
26 - Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)
29 - Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Racing Team (Ducati)
35 - Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda (Honda)
38 - Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)
41 - Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar (Suzuki)
43 - Jack Miller (AUS) Marc VDS Racing Team (Honda)
44 - Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)
45 - Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Racing (Ducati)
46 - Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (Yamaha)
50 - Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar MotoGP Team (Ducati)
53 - Tito Rabat (SPA) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (Honda)
68 - Yonny Hernandez (COL) Aspar MotoGP Team (Ducati)
76 - Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Racing (Ducati)
93 - Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)
99 - Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (Yamaha)
Tickets can be purchased online at www.sepangcircuit.com or from the Customer Service Centre at the circuit.