MotoGP changes qualifying format

Autosport

MotoGP has announced a new split qualifying procedure for 2013, with the fastest riders from practice going into a pole shoot-out.

The existing three 45-minute practice sessions will remain, but the first half hour of qualifying will now be additional practice and will not count for the grid. This period is invariably used for race preparation anyway.

Qualifying itself will become two 15-minute sessions known as 'qualifying practice 1' and 'qualifying practice 2'. QP1 will commence 10 minutes after the end of the new practice four, with a further 10-minute break before QP2.

The 10 fastest riders in the combined times from practices one, two and three will go straight through to QP2.

The rest of the field will have to participate in QP1, from which the fastest two riders will qualify for QP2, with the remainder forming the grid from 13th back.

QP2 will then decide the top 12 grid positions.

The current expectation is that the 2013 entry will contain 12 MotoGP prototypes - four each from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati - with CRT teams comprising the rest of the pack.

The new procedure applies for MotoGP only.

The Grand Prix Commission has also made small adjustments to the testing regulations, with post-season running now counting towards the following calendar year's testing allowance rather than the just-ended season's limits.

In addition, non-factory teams now have the option of using a non-contracted rider for testing.

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