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Honda planning extensive testing schedule for 2024 MotoGP season

Honda is looking to take profit of MotoGP's new concession system by scheduling a total of up to 22 private tests over the course of the year, Autosport has learned.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

As a consequence of their poor results last year, both Honda and Yamaha - the only two Japanese brands in the championship - will benefit from a series of advantages agreed by the other manufacturers and the various bodies that organise and legislate the championship.

Apart from the option to continue to develop the engine throughout the season while the other manufacturers' development is frozen, another point in favour of Yamaha and Honda will be the possibility to carry out as many private test days as they wish with their race riders.

Honda has decided to put its main focus on testing and Autosport has learned it has already planned a private test calendar which could consist of up to 22 outings.

It should be noted that this is only an initial plan that will most likely not be fully carried out, as Yamaha and Honda's support will be reviewed during the summer break and recalculated according to the results achieved up to that point.

Both Joan Mir and Luca Marini, the two riders who share the garage of the works HRC team, could take part in all these tests, although the start of the championship - from the weekend of 10 March - will make their participation much more complicated, especially considering this season will include 22 events, with sprint races every GP weekend.

Luca Marini, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Luca Marini, Repsol Honda Team

That will mean that most of the work will be carried out by the test team and Stefan Bradl.

As a result, Honda has started a search for a second test rider, with the intention of dividing the load and relieving the German, who in 2024 could compete in up to five grands prix as a wildcard, starting with the Jerez round on 28 April.

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Although the satellite LCR team, for which Johann Zarco and Takaaki Nakagami will compete this year, offered privately and publicly to Honda to contribute to the development of the new bike, there are no plans at the moment to use them for private testing.

Next week, the members of the test team and LCR will travel to Tokyo to take part in the traditional 'schooling', during which the technicians will familiarise themselves with the 2024 bike.

After that initial contact, Bradl and the test team will travel to Jerez for a first test, alongside the World Superbike teams, the week of 22 January.

That will coincide with the official HRC garage members' presentation in Japan, prior to the collective shakedown at Sepang in the first week of February, which will be attended by both Mir and Marini.

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