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GP Week : Issue 38
>>Moto GPnews ‘GP Zero’ razzamatazz to drown out the doubters MOTOGP’s official kick-off, at Jerez next weekend, will be a key indicator of the season to come, with the first public airing of how racing will cope with the world financial recession. But promoters Dorna will be hoping there will be enough of a fanfare to drown the cries of the prophets of doom. In previous years, the official Jerez season launch has been the climax of at least four previous tests. The 2009 programme was slashed to just three tests in total for the MotoGP class – Sepang, Qatar and Jerez. As a result, there is much more urgency for teams and riders. This is especially true for riders on different machines, like Nicky Hayden, gone from Honda to Ducati, and Toni Elias, who has made the opposite journey. The same is true for class rookies like Mika Kallio and Niccolò Canepa on the satellite Ducati team, and Scot Honda’s Takahashi. Dorna’s show-time climax, as usual, comes with a televised 45-minute ‘Dash-for-the-Cash’ session for the top class, with the fastest runner taking home a BMW sports car. This first contest of the year has given the tests the insiders’nickname “GP Zero”. For the more serious business of preparing for the new season to begin, this session is just part of a total of 14 hours of testing time, over Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday the track is open from 10:00 to 18:00; with Sunday’s 14:05-14:50 timed session and associated festivities taking a chunk out the same time span. The 250s and 125s test over the previous three days, with both joint and individual test sessions. 15