Rossi, Stoner, and Spies will have more time to get used to their new rides after the Grand Prix Commission announced a more liberal MotoGP practice schedule.The extra track time amounts to only 15 minutes. The GP Commission added 30 minutes of MotoGP practice time on Friday, while taking away 15 minutes on Saturday. The difference is in how the time is allotted.MotoGP riders now have two 45-minute Friday practice sessions. The first is from 10:10 to 10:55 a.m., the second from 2:10 to 2:55 p.m.

Saturday's 45-minute free practice is again at 10:10 a.m., with qualifying for 60 minutes from 1:55 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.The single Friday practice schedule was put into place two seasons ago as a way of saving money, the rationale being that less track time meant less mechanical wear and tear. Now, with Valentino Rossi moving to Ducati Marlboro, Casey Stoner to Repsol Honda, and Ben Spies going from the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team to the factory Yamaha team, they'll all get a little more seat time. More importantly, they'll have an opportunity to make changes on Friday afternoon based on Friday morning's practice.The practice time is also welcome because of the relative lack of pre-season testing. The MotoGP teams have three official tests, two in Malaysia in February and the final one a week before the season-opener in Qatar on March 20.Rossi, Stoner, and Spies aren't the only ones who could use the extra time. Brit Cal Crutchlow will be making his MotoGP debut on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias moves to the LCR Honda team, veterans Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi join the Pramac Racing Ducati team, and Czech Karel Abraham will enter his rookie MotoGP season on the Cardion AB Ducati Team.Friday

09:15-09:55                  40 min.                  125cc                  Free Practice 1

10:10-10:55                  45 min.                  MotoGP                  Free Practice 1

11:10-11:55                  45 min.                  Moto2                  Free Practice 1

13:15-13:55                  40 min.                  125cc                  Free Practice 2

14:10-14:55                  45 min.                  MotoGP                  Free Practice 2

15:10-15:55                  45 min.                  Moto2                  Free Practice 2Saturday

09:15-09:55                  40 min.                  125cc                  Free Practice 3

10:10-10:55                  45 min.                  MotoGP                  Free Practice 3

11:10-11:55                  45 min.                  Moto2                  Free Practice 3

13:00-13:40                  40 min.                  125cc                  Qualifying Practice

13:55-14:55                  60 min.                  MotoGP                  Qualifying Practice

15:10-15:55                  45 min.                  Moto2                  Qualifying PracticeSunday

08:40-09:00                  20 min.                  125cc                  Warm Up

09:10-09:30                  20 min.                  Moto2                  Warm Up

09:40-10:00                  20 min.                  MotoGP                  Warm Up

11:00                  125cc                  Race

12:15                  Moto2                  Race

14:00                  MotoGP                  Race

 


MotoGP Headlines

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.

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