Rookie Rule To Be Dropped For 2013

The rookie rule is to be dropped for the 2013 season. The Spanish daily El Pais is reporting that Dorna and IRTA had decided that the rule preventing MotoGP rookies from being signed to a factory team had to be scrapped due to the difficulties presented by the limited number of bikes available to ride. As a consequence, it was felt it was better to drop the rookie rule altogether, rather than create more problems for existing satellite teams by maintaining it.

The rule had outlived its usefulness, IRTA secretary Mike Trimby told "The situation has changed," Trimby said. "There are far fewer opportunities for rookies now than there were when the Rookie Rule was introduced." In 2010, the first year of its introduction, there were three satellite Ducati seats, two satellite Yamaha seats and four satellite Honda seats available. In 2013, there will be just two satellite Yamahas and two satellite Hondas, with perhaps just a single satellite Ducati available, though Ducati team boss Alessandro Cicognani said that it was Ducati's intention to keep two satellite Ducatis if possible, and the factory was willing to look at pricing to help achieve that goal.

The catalyst of all this is of course Marc Marquez. Though it appears as if Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has caved in to pressure from Honda, who were known to be keen to have Marquez go straight to the Repsol Honda team, the pressure to drop the rule also came from the satellite Honda teams themselves. As LCR boss Lucio Cecchinello explained to at Barcelona, maintaining the Rookie Rule would have caused massive problems for both the LCR and the Gresini Honda teams had they signed Marquez. The Spaniard has a very long-standing relationship with Repsol, and that relationship would have meant the teams losing their own oil sponsors, LCR with ELF and Gresini with Castrol. They would also have to lose staff to make way for the crew Marquez is currently working with. With Marquez almost certain to then leave for the Repsol Honda team the year afterwards, there would have been massive disruption to the long-term relationships the satellite Honda teams had already built up with sponsors and crew, with little prospect of being able to repair them afterwards.

With the Rookie Rule out of the way, Marquez' path has been cleared to join Dani Pedrosa at the Repsol Honda squad. A HRC source said that no contract had been signed, though they acknowledged that talks were ongoing. They also affirmed that Honda were keen to retain the services of Dani Pedrosa, who they still consider vital to their championship chances.

No announcement has been made concerning the Rookie Rule, but it is likely to be included with a raft of other changes to be introduced after approval by the Grand Prix Commission at Assen in just under two weeks' time.

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Pedrosa will stay at HRC and Marquez will occupy the other empty seat, IMO.
Nakamoto said 2 Spanish riders in Ped & Lor is not an option, but 2 Spaniards in Ped & Maq certainly is. Both are Repsol sponsored, anyway. No harm done.
The master and apprentice.

Will Ducati be able to find 4 riders daft enough to end their careers before they start???? It's a goodish move though the grid needs more competitive bikes not more riders for less bikes. I like the idea of Rossis pulling power putting together a two man team and the Marlboro money is wasted at Ducat. Could have two decent teams for the money they spend . No reason the sponsors can't work with dorna and stil get the exposure they want. Not convinced dani and mm can put up a decent challenge to Jorge or Rossi if he gets a front end. Do Honda know something the rest of us don't?????

Why not require MotoGP rookies to start on CRT machines. They will have all the basic benefits of racing among the factory boys, and it will boost the exposure of CRTs. Seems like a win-win to me without all the political crap.

Rookies, especially the really talented ones, tend to push the MotoGP machines to their limit in their first couple of years resulting in crashing a lot. This actually costs the satellite teams more money than if a veteran who is no longer wanted on a factory team was slotted into the team.

Dorna is eager to get it's biggest stars into the big show. There's no way they would want the excitement of bringing in a new talented rookie to be lost on the idea of that exciting rookie battling for first of the CRT's. That's a total waste of talent. Besides if I were the next big thing I would consider defecting to a new championship before I took a giant dump on my career by riding around at the back of the field on a crap bike.

HRC Repsol Dani and Marc 2013. Rookie rule good bye and good riddance.
Judging by todays GP race,there is nothing to lose for Ducati 2013 employing two Italian riders in the form of Petrucci and Iannone.
There is always CRT and SBK for the elder statesmen.
Clearly their current crop can't even make an educated tyre or race strategy guess. Rossi tries a hard rear,Hayden tries a dirt track oval approach.
18 months,millions of euros and still a 36 second deficit.
Give the youngsters the kit. They did in 2007,right.
Personally I can't wait to see Rossi bail out of Ducati so that Ducati can get back to being Ducati instead of a floorshow.

You mean bring in a youngster who can ride like CS and win, and FP doesn't have to sort the Duc understeer (if Bridgestone will provide one-off special fronts - remember '07 - the Bridgestone front was THE front to have).

PB "Clearly their current crop can't even make an educated tyre or race strategy guess. Rossi tries a hard rear, Hayden tries a dirt track oval approach."

Well they (NH + VR) did make an educated guess. They both tried to use compensate for the non-steering Duc front end >> as VR has said (approximately) 'we over stress the rear tyre because we have poor turn in on this mahine.'

PB "..... there is nothing to lose for Ducati 2013 employing two Italian riders in the form of Petrucci and Iannone."

Not sure Domenicali would agree with you on that - didn't he say in an interview with Colin Young the brand has had good exposure from VRs presence.

BTW PB - you can just about bet your grandma that JB was equally involved in that decision (to go with the hard rear).

sigh... the same old crowd using this board to dress up their hatred of ol' Valentino Rossi. Give it a rest Pit Bull / Southerner, this is about the corruption of junking the Rookie rule for Mr Marquez!

You know what? Why not say any Rookie has to spend a year on a Ducati? If they finish within the top 18 they may progress...

I don't see how this is corruption of the rookie rule when what basically was Dorna has admitted is that that rule is no longer beneficial so instead of being stubborn they are willing to change. Its not corruption if pretty much all the factories are in agreement on this. Honda certainly is, Yamaha was anyway, the LCR and Gresini teams are strongly also.

If Honda's that powerful, they should scrap the tyre changing in mid-season rule, right now!
That way they can continue to rule the track against the 'best bike' Yam, rather than hampered by chatter and tyre issues in every race.
No, Honda doesn't always get what they want.

The Rossi/Ducati experiment is a huge failure for both parties. I don't see it changing much at all future hence.
Right now they are rock bottom. They have changed everything about the bike except the L layout of the engine. I don't see another huge investment in changing the engine to a narrow V with pneumatic valves changing things a bit for Rossi. His huge experience of V's was the V5, not a V4.
Back to the issue and the rookie rule. To me it was flawed from the beginning.
Whether or not Marquez gets the Repsol nod or not is irrelevant for 2013.
The Ducati issue concerns me. I sincerely believe they need to inject youth into the chassis. The old dogs they have between the pegs and the bars are too old and set in their ways to adapt. Rossi is so lost he tried a hard rear today against the the run of play,to what end? The results bear testimony.
Rookie rule and Stoner's departure. There is no guarantee that Marquez will come good as a replacement should it transpire. By the same token,Hayden,Lorenzo and Pedrosa stepped straight onto factory kit and no one complained. Why not Marquez ? Why not have a cheap shot at giving a hard charger like Redding ,Iannone, (add a name), a factory ride at Ducati. They are so far down right now,there is only one way to go and thats up.
They have changed everything about the bike,they may aswell change pilots and if that means signing rookies for nothing more than expenses and a result driven incentive,so be it.
Of course Rossi and Hayden add huge marketing value. For how long though?
Ducati need to think long term and rookies. Just my take without hate.

I seem to recall Ducati making a pretty awful tire choice a few years ago...back when they had their youngster Stoner in the pilot's seat.

As for the V-angle, it makes a difference in terms of packaging. Maybe they should have tried this first and saved some time and money.

Honda too only a couple of weeks ago got it badly wrong, there haven't been many races where everyone has gone for the same tyre so it can't be that straight forward.... I don't think Rossi made a poor tyre choice. He spoke at length all weekend about how he couldn't get the soft tyre to work even explaining that the rear wheel steering he had to do was shredding the tyre, he said he still had two brand new soft tyres at the end of FP3.

I disagree PIT BULL. They haven't changed much since 2010. The same problems a year and a half ago exist today. Rossi's requests in November of 2010, remain the same requests here in June of 2012. Yes Preziosi and Corse have changed some materials, but that's about it.

A narrow angle would be good for Corse to test, side by side, to see the difference. A narrow angle V is a more compact engine, able to move around in the chassis much easier. It reaps benefits with weight distribution. The blocky L limits setup possibilities and at least IMHO, is why Corse has steadily declined each year from 2007. Even with Stoner aboard, wins decreased every single year since 2007. And 2007 is the Duck's only championship, and that year they had Bridgestone reeling off tires custom suited to the bike.

Rossi's first premier class championship was aboard a V4. And his crew chief has heaps of V4 experience, more than any other living and working crew chief. The 211v's engine, the V5, was also able to move around in the chassis better than the L. Again, this is why Yamaha isn't having the same tire problems as the factory Hondas. The crossplane is easier to move around and adjust. That is as true today as it was in 2008, when the factory Yamaha team, with Rossi as pilot, used Bridgestone tires, developed around the Ducati, to win a championship. The engine layout allowed them to use tires developed for the Ducati, and exploit them.

As far as the hard tire choice. Jorge was asked about this in the post race press conference and said he chose the safer choice but the hard rear would have given him more consistent lap times, and he would have been faster. If that is your basis for your argument, Lorenzo, that won Silverstone, does not agree with you concerning Rossi's tire choice of a hard rear. Hayden said the same thing that the rear was destroyed quickly and that they should have went with the hard rear.

Who do Ducati have working for them to not have noticed this huge flaw in their design?? Monkeys?

Nick was around 15.5 seconds off of Lorenzo at the finish. That's half of the deficit Ducati had at the beginning of the year. By any measure, that's progress. Also, Nick posted the 3rd fastest lap of the race .34 behind Lorenzo. Nicky has shown a couple of times this year that he can hang with the front runners until his tires go off. If Ducati can solve that problem it's evident both the bike and it's riders can be right up there. I think they're much closer than they were though they still have quite a bit to make up.

Watching the race footage when Crutchlow (ride of the day right there) was closing on Nicky, it was easy to see that Nicky was sliding the rear to get the front pointed in the right direction. To have to do that to get the bike to steer, and still post the 3rd fastest lap is pretty amazing. I think once Ducati sort the tire longevity out you'll see Nicky and Valentino running much closer to the front. I still think they're a season's development away from winning races but I hope one of the two of them prove me wrong.

It was amazing riding by an injured Crutchlow to put himself into 6th from the back of the grid and my vote for the ride of the day. I think he deserves a seat on a factory bike next year. Unfortunately, with the way things are going right now, he might be looking at slim pickings for next year, and that's a damn shame.

"If Ducati can solve that (tire) problem..its riders can be up there"

I believe for the last 18 months we have been hearing ..if onlys.. When do the loyalists (I'm a Nicky fan) face the truth? How many frames, new electronics tweeks, motor mods until we face the hoplessness of their situatuation?

The fact that Nicky on his 3rd lap posted the 3rd fastest time gives little encouragement. A 20+ lap race is an excersise in tire mangemant. Nicky (probably?) in a futile gesture of bravado (probably dictated by management) goes out with a banzai run knowing he is sacrificing his tires to give the Ducatisti "something" to cheer about.

Lorenzo, Stoner, DP & the rest of the contenders are looking at the last 3 laps, not the first. JL & CS's late laps were only down about 1 sec/lap while Nicky's were off by 2. I'm guessing its not so much the bike as NH's tire suicide strategy.

Re: Rookie rule. I'm sure Jorge isn't loosing any sleep over the prospect of MM on a Repsol Honda.

All the riders fastest lap times were set on laps 2-4 and most of them had issues with the rear tyre loosing traction fairly early. The Ducati's also suffered sever chatter when the grip dropped off.

I see my suggestion to make all rookies wear one of those "age suits," that makes you feel 40, was overlooked by Dorna.

What really concerns me is we'll have even less proper MotoGP bikes on the grid next year. It's mentioned in the article that there may only be one satellite Ducati, but I don't see who would want it. Pramac is probably pulling out because of their corporate issues, and I don't the Abraham's want to drop any coin on one next year. Especially after getting the terrible, and properly named, GP Zero this year.

So, 10 prototypes for 2013? I think I'll end this with a cliche:


All this does is guarantee that teams will find it difficult to secure sponsorship for the next decade.

When a competition is biased to one team or rider it deters business from sponsoring anyone but that team or rider. Business want to associate with winners and when the governance is prepared to change the rules to suit one team or rider then there is no point in sponsoring anyone else. We have seen this very thing happen through the Rossi era when even a rider/team wearing the #1 can't secure a title sponsor. We saw 2 manufacturers leave because they couldn't fund their effort from sponsorship once the tyre rules were changed to suit another team/rider rendering their bikes useless.

From 2013, Marquez's team will have more money than they know what to do with and everyone else will have scraps because Dorna, FIM has made it perfectly clear that nothing will get in the way of making Marquez the next Rossi.

Of course Rossi is a marketing genius and good on him for using the weakness of Dorna to further his own cause. As with Rossi and now Marquez, no blame can be laid at their feet for the weakness and corruption that exists inside the governance of MotoGP.

"How do you solve a problem like Marc Marquez", sung to the tune from The Sound of Music. Answer, change the rules. Or if he breaks the rules, put him on double secret probation.

So assuming Dorma don't buckle like a belt and bin the 4-bike prototype rule as well, at least one of the current crop of prototype riders will be heading to CRT/SBK.

What we know as confirmed

Yamaha - Lorenzo & Smith
Honda - Bradl
Ducati - none.

It's fair to say that Marquez will add to the Honda list, although there is no formal announcement yet. I would also think that Hayden will resign with Ducati, although that's more speculative on my part. However, who else 'wants' to sign for Ducati? They are the 3 (or just 2) creaky looking chairs in this musical merry-go-round. No-one wants to sit on them, but considering the alternative may be of CRT or SBK nature, they may hope (in vain??) that Ducati sort out their issues rather than consider a relegation to what they consider a lower class.

So, out of (in no particular order), Spies, Crutchlow, Dovi, Bautista, Pedrosa, Rossi, Barbera & Abraham, who's going? I know it would seem easy to dismiss the later 2 on that list, but they may know that the creaky chair is their only option at the table and may head for it straight away. The real quandary are the 2 remaining Yamaha seats, they are the thrones if you will. And for me, it's too hard to call, as you have all eight of those riders saying "Pick me! Pick me!!!" with Honda, then Ducati, in that order, picking up the scraps. And yes, on current evidence, I put a satellite Yam ahead of a factory Honda in terms of desirability.

Is Smith actually confirmed as moving up to the Tech3 MotoGP team? The guys on the telecast during yesterday's Moto2 race made a comment that there have been rumors all week about Smith not having a guarantee of moving up. Instead, Yamaha have an option to move him. If his performance does not improve, they will fill that seat with someone else. Makes sense - why would you tie your hands with Smith, when there is an abundance of superior talent (Espargaro, Redding, Iannone, etc.)?

Regarding Abraham, doesn't his father own that team? Why would he go anywhere?

As far as I know, Smith is confirmed for one of the Tech 3 seats. They even did a piece in the programme for the British GP about his training regime to get him ready for handling a MotoGP bike. I've not heard anything to the contrary, I've been listening out for something, as like you, with no disrespect to Bradley, it does seem an odd choice. Although the only scenario that makes (sort of) sense is that based on last years performance, Crutchlow wasn't justifying his place, and the future didn't look bright. Dorna, in their infinite wisdom (ha!) wanted another Brit rider in the top class to keep exposure up for the BBC, and Tech 3 had one in the wings.

Your point with Abraham I agree with, as it represents his best chance of getting further up the grid, apart from his father thinking that a CRT bike makes better value for money. Karel still gets to ride in the main event, but for a fraction of the cost.

No way do contracts get signed at this level without performance clauses nor do teams back themselves into a corner for a guy who has done nothing. I guarantee you that Smith will not be on a satellite yamaha in 2013. At best it will be a CRT.

However, if there was such a clause to keep Smith away from that seat, then I'm sure we would have heard about it by now. Like Dovis clause to keep him at Respol in 2011 if he got a certain position in the champoinship. He did his part, and Honda gave us 3 Respols.

If Honda couldn't wiggle out of that, what chance does a satellite Yamaha team? Even Crutchlow has said in interviews that Bradleys deal is a done thing. I'm sure he's better placed than most of us, and is not one for putting a PR spin on anything.

I doubt a performance clause would have 8th as an acceptable championship place to get a spot in MotoGP ahead of Crutchlow, Dovi and Spies not to mention the other 7 guys ahead of him in the Moto2 Championship.

Maybe I am wrong but I just don't think the Tech3 team is that stupid to sign a contract that is in the riders favour to that degree. odd as that may be. I would have thought that if they 'need' a Brit rider, due to the metaphorical Dorna gun to their head, then Redding would be the more suitable option, in both physical stature and results.

Maybe they will have both Cal and Smith next year, going from 'Team Texas' in 2010 with Colin & Ben to 'Team Tea & Biscuits' in 2013....

Dorna need Rossi on a competitive bike next year nothing less will do, the viewing figures have dropped through the floor, christ, eurosport is only showing qualifying and the junior races live, BBC just race day, the rest giving way to a junior tennis match or repeats of old movies.
I suspect that dorna will do a deal with honda, perhaps the rookie rule is the first part of it, that way Rossi gets a honda. Honda get Rossi who they need without losing face, and hopefully there is a 3rd factory Honda maybe with a teamate on a factory/satellite one or a crt.. The sport is in serious need of an upgrade despite silverstone being a great spectacle. I don't think it'll all be about who's done what and where etc.. Stoner needs to rethink his retirement for the good of the sport his reasoning shows a distinct lack of appreciation of the state of the sport and what it needs to do to ensure it's popularity/survival... Jorge on the yam with Dovi or Cal, Rossi, Casey and Dani on factory hondas, anyone daft/desperate enough on a ducati what a show that would be.... Though I suspect, if Ducati stays next year the current set up will be changed dramatically by the new owners.. Should take a leaf out of bmws book, Still have the heritage with some very nice boxer twins(HP2 please!) but have gone straight to the 21st century for racing and what they know has history(benchmark) of successful competition. The bmw 1000rr is still all BMW.

>>Dorna need Rossi on a competitive bike next year nothing less will do

Dorna need to focus on the sport and creating stable rules, not trying to milk another year or 2 out of a rider that is in the end years of his career, regardless of what bike he is riding.

>>Stoner needs to rethink his retirement for the good of the sport his reasoning shows a distinct lack of appreciation of the state of the sport and what it needs to do to ensure it's popularity/survival

You don't get it, do you? Stoner thinks Dorna's actions are detrimental to the future of the sport, has expressed his feelings, and has been told by CE that his opinions don't matter. If he is not having fun then it is his prerogative to stop. Nothing is owed either way.


He should stay one more year in Moto2, maybe with a good chassis, Suter or kalex, rather than the Mistral - Hervé? . his decision was to stay in 2012 and be one of the best at M2, or even win it ( er...right.).

He's far more talented than what he's doing this year, but with his bike, it's a no no. If he stays in Moto2 with a good setup, maybe there's a chance there. And let Tech3 keep their actual riders, we need them for the show!!

I just read somewhere tonight that Smith could possibly be riding a Tech 3 chassis with an as yet undetermined motor, on a 3 bike Tech 3 team.

Not to sound entirely sceptic despite my Russian origins, but somehow I can;t shake the feeking that whether there is possibility that Ducati is purposely holding off introducing new parts to Rossi not untill later in the season (like Laguna Seca) so by then whether he makes improvements or not, he (Rossi) would have no choice but to re-sign with Ducati, because many seat could be taken by then by other, strong and competative riders? Seeing the depth of the MotoGP and Manufacturers political skills and bueracracy they've demonstrated so far, maybe my idea is not so far fetched?

Nick said he did his sighting lap with the harder rear, picked up a few spots of rain and switched to the softer tire on the grid as a result of the weather uncertainty.