MotoGP announces significant qualifying changes

MotoGP has followed Formula 1 & World Superbikes by announcing knockout qualifying

DORNA has announced changes to MotoGP qualifying in 2013, a move that will give privateer teams more TV coverage and therefore sets out to encourage more CRT teams into the sport.

MotoGP's tiered qualifying is less straight forward than that in F1 and World Superbikes and doesn't look like adding much drama.

The MotoGP 'tiered' knockout system is complex and blurs the boundary between what actually constitutes a qualifying and free practice session as the top ten riders from the first three Free Practice sessions will automatically move into the second qualifying session when the top twelve grid places will be decided.

Which means that qualification for riders outside the top ten after third free practice will take place in the first part of qualifying QP1 - the two fastest then progress to QP2.

A new (fourth) free practice session of 30 minutes, upon which qualification is not dependent, has been introduced to precede qualifying runs.

The system doesn't look like adding any of the excitement of F1's qualifying, with the sole purpose looking like being to gain media coverage for CRT riders who will be the centre of attention in QP1, fighting it out for the remaining two spaces, getting additional exposure for their sponsors in the process.

A full explanation of the new system, from the FIM, is as follows:

New Qualifying Procedure

1. The three existing sessions of free practice will be unchanged, however, the combined times from those sessions will determine participation in the final qualifying practice.

2. The ten fastest riders will be seeded through to Qualifying Practice 2 (QP2).

3. All other riders will take part in Qualifying Practice 1 (QP1).

4. The fastest two riders in QP1 will progress to QP2, making a total of 12 riders competing for the first 12 grid positions.

5. The riders not in the fastest two places in QP1 will take grid positions 13 and above according to their times in QP1.'

New Practice and Qualifying Schedule

Day One:
Free Practice 1 45 Minutes (Unchanged) Timed for Qualifying Participation
Free Practice 2 45 Minutes (Unchanged) Timed for Qualifying Participation

Day Two:
Free Practice 3 45 Minutes (Unchanged) Timed for Qualifying Participation
Free Practice 4 30 Minutes (New) Not Timed for Qualifying Participation

Break 10 Minutes
Qualifying Practice 1 15 minutes (New)

Break 10 Minutes
Qualifying Practice 2 15 minutes (New)

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