World-class motorcycling action gets an early start at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) this year with MotoGP legend and two-time world champion, Casey Stoner, returning to Malaysia for pre-season testing with the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) team.
Stoner, whose contract as HRC test rider was recently extended by another year, will be conducting the team’s private testing for two days beginning today before the MotoGP teams and riders start their first official pre-season test for 2015 the following week.
“Stoner’s return to Sepang is a great start for motorcycle racing this year. His fans here will love to see him in action again. Immediately, after the HRC test, we will be having the first official test session for the MotoGP riders.
“We will also be hosting the first ever test session for the non-MotoGP teams. This session will be for our own SIC Racing Team and Malaysia’s new Moto2 team, JP Moto. As Malaysian-based teams, they have been granted permission to do their testing in Sepang. They will not have to join the Moto2 and Moto3 riders in Europe,” says SIC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Razlan Razali today.
The new Malaysian Moto2 and Moto3 teams will take part in their maiden official test session from Feb 18 to 20.
Meanwhile, the first official pre-season testing for MotoGP in 2015 will be from Feb 4-7 while the second session is scheduled from Feb 23 to 26.
While SIC Racing Team features Malaysian rider, Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Jakub Kornfeil of the Czech Republic, the newly-established JP Moto features Malaysia’s rising star, Muhammad Zaqhwan Zaidi, holder of three championship crowns – the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) 600cc Supersport title, the CP130 Malaysian Cub Prix Championship title and the Malaysian Super Series Superbike crown.
Malaysia’s two other Moto2 riders – Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman of Petronas Malaysia Raceline and Idemitsu Honda Team Asia respectively, will be joining the rest of the championship riders in their official test in Valencia from Feb 10 to 12 and a second session from Feb 17 to 19 at Jerez Circuit in Spain.
“The tests will be a preview of the level of action that awaits fans when the season blasts off in Qatar in March. I am excited with the participation of the new teams and the potential they offer.
“This year, the Aprilia and Suzuki factory teams have returned to the MotoGP fold. Marco Melandri will be joining Aprilia while Suzuki will have the flamboyant Maverick Vinales in their ranks this year. Other interesting news includes Australian Moto3 ace, Jack Miller moving directly to MotoGP,” said Dato Razlan.
“The most significant developments this year are the participation of the SIC Racing Team and JP Moto who are backed by passionate motorsports fans, JP Chin and Raja Zaini.
SIC Racing Team and JP Moto will have their second test session from March 2 to 5, which will be run together with the first official test for Shell Asia Talent Cup. The ATC is a regional series promoted and organised by Dorna and supported by SIC.
“Fans can catch all the action during the tests from the Main Grandstand at no charge,” Dato’ Razlan said.
In conjunction with the MotoGP official pre-season test, Dato’ Razlan said SIC would be offering early bird tickets prices for the 2015 Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, which will be held at the end of October.
Discounted tickets would also be offered for the second edition of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship 2015 Malaysian Round and the 2015 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix™, which will be held from March 27 to 29.