Want to catch some MotoGP action for free? Sepang International Circuit will be opening its main grandstand for free viewing of the annual MotoGP pre-season test, to be held from tomorrow (31 January) till Thursday (2 February). This is the first of three official test sessions before the season starts in Qatar on 8 April.
This three-day session will give fans a first glimpse of the new 1,000 cc MotoGP bikes, which replace the 800 cc bikes from this year. For the riders, not only will they have to get to know their new machines, it will also an emotional return to the track that claimed the life of San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli last October.
The key factory teams will have unchanged line ups. Casey Stoner will defend his world title alongside Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, the Yamaha factory team have Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, while Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will be flying the Ducati flag.
The off-season saw some transfers, including that of Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (Honda Gresini). Hector Barbera will now be the sole rider of the Pramac while Karel Abraham will continue with Cardion AB Racing Team. Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet joined Forward Racing and Aspar Team respectively, where they will ride new CRT-spec machines. A total of 21 riders will form the MotoGP grid this year.
Besides getting to watch the tests for free, those who make their way to Sepang will get to buy special early bird tickets for the 2012 Malaysian MotoGP (21-23 Oct). In addition, for every MotoGP ticket purchased during the test session, fans are entitled to a 50% discount on 2012 Formula 1 Malaysian GP hillstand tickets from as low as RM30.