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MOTOGP NEWS 

MotoGP grid sizes "a joke" - Stoner

Casey StonerCasey Stoner has labelled MotoGP's grid size as "pathetic", calling for more customer bikes to boost the numbers.

The series is aiming for a grid of 22 in 2011, but the Australian wants to see at least 25 bikes and believes each manufacturer should be forced to field more entries.

"They're talking about a maximum of 22, and that being a big grid - it's pathetic, it's a joke," Stoner said. "It needs to be like the grids of the old days with 25.

"They need more bikes on the grid. Suzuki need to be forced to put four bikes on the grid, personally [speaking]. They've got enough money, they've got enough chassis. It's just ridiculous, it should be a minimum of four.

"I don't understand why companies don't put last year's bikes out there like they used to. Put more bikes on the grid, make more opportunities for teams."

Stoner believes riders have been so strung out in this year's races because of a lack of bikes on the grid, and also hit out at riders of customer bikes complaining about their equipment.

"The reason why we're seeing fields stretched out is because there are no people to fill those gaps. There are enough riders around to fill those gaps. There are people this year who shouldn't be there and some people who should be there but aren't.

"The satellite riders complain so much about the bikes they've got these days - their bikes are basically factory. Freaking three or four per cent off a factory bike and they'll whinge, complain and whine. It's just tiring.

"In the old days they'd have two-year-old 500cc bikes and still stick it up there and try to get a podium. These days they just complain about whatever they've got."

He called for each manufacturer to put more year-old bikes on the grid for graduating Moto2 teams and riders.

"Last year's bikes are all being crushed or whatever, just put them on the grid," he said. "I'm sure they've got enough parts just sitting there. Even if each manufacturer ran one more of last year's bike, there's another four on the grid straight off.

"I'm sure if they were just one rider teams, some of the Moto2 teams would jump at that opportunity. There are no bikes for them [now].

"I'm sure there's a way they can sort it out to run last year's bikes, then smaller teams can grab a hold. It's always been like that for years, but now it just seems to have disappeared."

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