If the changes to the 2012 MotoGP regulations were aimed at filling out the grid, then they appear to have succeeded. Today, the FIM released the numbers of teams who had put in for a provisional entry for the 2012 season. The numbers were very promising: 16 teams entered, of which 14 were accepted, representing a total of 21 riders.
As in the Moto2 class, the number of entries actually accepted will be much smaller. The ideal grid size, as both Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and IRTA staff have confirmed, is around 24 bikes. But with the total commitment of the current factories likely to remain somewhere between 14 and 16 bikes (6 Hondas, 4 Yamahas and probably 5 Ducatis), getting an additional 8 to 10 bikes on the grid from the current entry list should be perfectly feasible.
Though no names or details were issued of exactly who the entries are, MotoMatters.com has learned that most of the entires have come from top teams in the Moto2 class. This comes as no surprise, as indeed, this was the very purpose of the Moto2 class, to groom teams for entry into MotoGP. The final list of accepted teams will be made public at Le Mans.
Below is the text of the FIM press release:
MotoGP Class Applications for 2012 Season
On 6 April 2011 the FIM announced that teams wishing to be considered for participation in the MotoGP class in 2012 should register their interest with IRTA. The closing date for expressions of interest was Friday 29 April.
Applications were not required from existing teams already participating in the MotoGP class.
IRTA has received submissions from 16 teams not currently participating in the MotoGP class. After reviewing the initial applications with Dorna it has been decided to provide further information to 14 teams containing 21 riders. Those teams will now be provided with a prospectus containing full details of the terms and conditions of participation.
Teams who wish to proceed with their applications will then have until Saturday 14 May to submit comprehensive details of their plans for participation. These applications will be reviewed at Le Mans and teams will be notified of an acceptance, a rejection or pending status.
Accepted teams will then have until Friday 3 June, the first day of the Catalunya Grand Prix, to lodge a security deposit with IRTA. A final list of accepted teams will then be published.