MotoGP riders want practice reinstated

Leading MotoGP riders have called on the sport's organisers to re-introduce Friday morning practice and increase running time at grand prix weekends

MotoGP riders want practice reinstated

Former world champion Casey Stoner believes that the lack of track time following the reduction from four one-hour sessions (including qualifying) to three 45 minute sessions, has had - and will continue to have - an impact on the closeness of the racing, and revealed on Friday that the riders have put forward their views to the organisers.

"It's had a big impact for everybody," he said. "The racing's going to be a lot more spread out this year because nobody has the opportunity to change their bike or set-up during the session because it just wastes time and you just need to do laps.

"If something happens like at Motegi, where you have one wet and one dry session and the other one's cancelled, it completely screws your weekend. We have to make do with what it is, but nobody really has the opportunity to make the settings that they need to to run at the front.

"For me it's a better idea, even if we went to 45 minutes for four of them instead of three one-hour sessions," he added. "Everyone's here, everyone's ready, and on Friday morning we're all sitting around doing nothing.

"Everyone wants the Friday session back. Everyone's flying in here, we all arrive on the same day, we have the press conference on Thursday and everyone has to be here, but we're only getting on track on Friday afternoon, so it's a waste of time.

"I'm not the one doing the numbers, but for me it's a waste of money as well. We're sitting here not doing anything, we've got the track running, and everybody is ready for it.

"For sure I've seen a lot less spectators here than I have in the past on a Friday. This is having an impact, for sure."

Stoner revealed that the riders have already approached organisers about the situation but admitted the matter was out of their hands.

"We've put it forward, that's about as far as we can go with it," he said. "I think it's more a decision for the MSMA rather than the safety commission. It's not a safety issue. Just like the tyres for me is not a safety issue. So it's not really our department."

World champion Valentino Rossi also spoke out about the lack of track time, which means paying spectators only get to see 45 minutes of MotoGP action on Friday, at Jerez.

"I agree with Casey, four sessions of 45 minutes may be better," he said. "I think we will have three sessions of one hour... but what is better for me is four sessions of 45."

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