has reported that the factory MotoGP teams will be permitted to run four riders next year.
"The Grand Prix Commission has agreed to change a 2012 rule limiting factory squads to two entries from the start of next year." More ...
The MotoGP official website
and crash.net have also reported that four factory riders will be allowed, but crash observes
that there will remain a limit of four on the number of bikes each factory puts on the grid.
I hadn't realised the factories had been limited to two riders last year.
So, what does it all mean? Anyone know?
My first thought was that Honda had pushed through the change so as to make way for Stoner next year, and that it could also help Yamaha supply a seat to Cal Crutchlow (last I saw, Crutchlow was still claiming he'd not signed with anybody.)
But another interpretation would be that it is merely a naming change to fit the new engine rules for next year, which would appear to classify the factory-supported satellite bikes as "factory" bikes.
A hybrid of those two would be that the factories would take on the running of up to four bikes directly, while the current satellite teams would run either Honda's customer racers or Yamaha's customer engines in bespoke chassis, and as "non-factory" entries. Spec-ecu Ducs would also be "non-factory", presumably.
Sounds like there is at least potential for interesting developments.