There are still 4 races left until the end of the season, but the Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing championship is already preparing for 2017. A few weeks ago the first draft schedule for next season was released (you can see it HERE compared to the Formula 1 calendar) and along with it, the dates for the winter tests were also decided.
As always, the first two days of tests will be at Valencia after the last GP of the season, so Tuesday and Wednesday, 16 and 16 November. Then the teams will be free to test until 30 November, using the 5 days of testing available throughout the year. Someone who will definitely not be able to take advantage of this chance is Jorge Lorenzo, who has been released from his contract with Yamaha to ride the Ducati only at Valencia in 2016.
In accordance with the rules, December and January are forced holiday months for the riders who will be back on their bikes in Malaysia a couple of days earlier than usual. In fact, the Sepang tests are scheduled from 30 January to 1 February 2017. The teams will then go to Phillip Island from 15 to 17 February and they will complete the winter sessions in Qatar from 10 to 12 March, a couple of weeks before the opening round, scheduled for the 26th of the same month in Losail.
The pre-season triple-header of Malaysia, Australia and Qatar has therefore been reconfirmed after being introduced a couple of years ago.
As for the Moto2 and Moto3 teams (who have 10 days per year to use for private tests), the collective test calendar includes two dates: at Jerez from 8 to 10 March and in Qatar from 17 to 19 March, just a few days before the season opener.
Winter test schedule:
30 January - 1 February Sepang (Malaysia)
15 -17 February Phillip Island (Australia)
10 - 12 March Losail (Qatar)
Moto2 and Moto3
8 -10 March Jerez (Spain)
17 -19 March Losail (Qatar)