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More Manufacturers in MotoGP, More Leased Bikes, Dorna Can Buy the Last Two Slots

As 2016 will bring major changes to the premier class, including the use of the spec software for both factory and non-factory teams, the same amount of fuel and more, Dorna is trying to create a stable racing environment.
Ezpeleta, Poncharal, Ippolito 1 photo
On the technical side, the Grand Prix Commission believes that no more changes will affect the sport, unless direly needed and if agreed by all the participants. However, the structure of the championship was detailed in a press conference at Assen. Carmelo Ezpeleta Vito Ippolito and Herve Poncharal spoke about how the grid is expected to look like.

For starters, 2017 will see six manufacturers on the grid, Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha. Each manufacturer will be entitled to field two contracted riders and will be required to lease at least two bikes to other teams.

The change in this area is that manufacturers can now lease two extra bikes, meaning that they can have a total of six machines on the grid. They must be as close as possible to the factory ones, with some methodology to differentiate between the factory bikes and the leased ones most likely to follow.

A manufacturer will lease a bike for a cost no greater than €2.2 million ($2.45 mil), but this money does not cover the crash tab. Even though the grid now consists of 25 riders, the future will only see a minimum of 22 and a maximum of 24.Dorna can buy the slots of the last two teams
At the end of a season, if Dorna sees fit, they can buy the last two slots and sell or lease them to other teams in order to maintain competitiveness. Ezpeleta hopes Dorna will not be forced to act this way, but time will tell.

New manufacturers like KTM will be able to enter as a full-factory team and buy their slots, or act as a full-factory support for an existing private team. Dorna will increase the contributions towards the factory and especially towards the private teams, and a 30% growth can be expected until 2017.

With more bikes to lease, the private teams are offered more opportunities to choose the bike and make they see fit, Poncharal adds. "As IRTA President but also as a team owner, we are pleased with the new agreement we reached for 2017-2021. First it gives us stability, it's easier for a company, for an entrepreneur to invest on the long term in such conditions. It also ensures stability of cost as the technology will be frozen for five years," the Tech3 Yamaha boss adds.

Currently at Assen, no less than thirteen riders are stacked in a one-second space and this says a lot about how the championship is becoming more competitive. That is, the new manufacturers and even private teams are now riding closer-spec bikes, and this leads to a better racing show.

We'll be looking out for more news from the Grand Prix Commission, but don't forget that the Ducth GP race takes place today, with Rossi in pole position.


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