Alex Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo take centre stage as MotoGP 2020 begins

Alex Marquez under the spotlight as Sepang MotoGP shakedown begins, while Jorge Lorenzo makes Yamaha return and Aprilia debuts all-new RS-GP

Alex Marquez - Repsol Honda

The 2020 MotoGP World Championship roars into life for the first time this weekend as the first of three pre-season tests to take place in Sepang kicks off on Sunday, with Alex Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo taking centre stage.

Though two tests across six days involving the entire MotoGP field will form the lion’s share of the pre-season interest from February 7, an additional three days of shakedown in Malaysia have been put aside for rookies and test riders on February 2-4.

It means reigning champions Repsol Honda will be able to get a significant jump on its key rivals by being able to test its rookie signing Alex Marquez alongside its test rider Stefan Bradl.

Set to be the first time the Moto2 World Champion – younger brother of Honda’s six-time MotoGP winner Marc – has had to get to full grips with the 2020 RC213V, he will then head straight to Jakarta, Indonesia for the official team presentation.

It’s set to be a relatively crucial few days for both Marquez and Honda as it prepares to welcome a compromised Marc Marquez back into the fray, the Spaniard having claimed he’s only 70% fit following his shoulder operation in November. However, the reigning champion has had a chance to ride a bike again in Spain with an exploratory outing on a BEON 450 at a karting circuit.

The test will also be the first chance to see Lorenzo back in Yamaha colours following this week’s confirmation that he’ll return to the team he won three MotoGP world titles with as a test rider.

In addition, Aprilia is set to give the brand-new RS-GP its first public outing, complete with a 90-degree V4 inspired by Ducati and Honda. The team has confirmed Lorenzo Savadori has been taken on as its test rider, with Bradley Smith stepping up to ‘race rider’ in the absence of Andrea Iannone, whose appeal against a drugs ban takes place on February 4.

Also on track will be KTM’s rookies Brad Binder (factory) and Iker Lecuona (Tech 3), plus Michele Pirro with Ducati and Sylvain Guintoli at Suzuki.