MotoGP grid expected to slim down to 22 bikes for 2019 season

The MotoGP grid is likely to lose two of its 24 bikes next year, Autosport understands

MotoGP grid expected to slim down to 22 bikes for 2019 season

The premier-class is currently populated by 12 two-bike teams, all of which are guaranteed places on the grid by the set of agreements and regulations that govern the championship.

But following a team management crisis that affected Honda customer outfit Marc VDS this year, which led Michael Bartholemy to depart as team boss after conflict with owner Michael van der Straten, the grid slimming to 22 entries for 2019 is now a real possibility.

The exact make-up of the MotoGP grid still hinges on the outcome of negotiations surrounding the mooted Petronas-backed satellite Yamaha team project.

Yamaha will lose its long-time satellite team Tech3 to KTM next year, but looks set to keep four YZR-M1s on the grid.

Talks over the new Yamaha project, which was seen as Jorge Lorenzo's likely 2019 destination prior to his shock deal to join Honda, are in an advanced stage, with a potential line-up of Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli and Honda outcast Dani Pedrosa.

"The situation is not confirmed yet but I would say that talks are progressing very well," Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MotoGP.com when asked about a new satellite Yamaha team during the Barcelona weekend.

"I'm optimistic that we'll find a good solution, hopefully within the next couple of weeks there might be some positive news about plans for 2019 and beyond."

It is understood there are two opportunities for the Petronas-backed project to work.

One would entail a partnership with the Angel Nieto team (formerly Aspar) that currently fields Ducatis for Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham.

If this does not come to fruition, a team could be built up from scratch, potentially by buying assets from Marc VDS.

Both of the aforementioned scenarios would likely mean a 22-bike field, which would make reserving the two remaining spots for Valentino Rossi's long-anticipated move to MotoGP team management a logical step for MotoGP stakeholders to make.

Rossi, whose VR46 organisation competes in the Moto2 and Moto3 series, will remain a Yamaha MotoGP rider until at least the end of 2020 and has ruled out fielding a team in the premier class until then.

shares
comments
Sidelined Folger completes first test since 2017 Aragon MotoGP race
Previous article

Sidelined Folger completes first test since 2017 Aragon MotoGP race

Next article

Jorge Lorenzo: Valentino Rossi's Ducati more complicated than mine

Jorge Lorenzo: Valentino Rossi's Ducati more complicated than mine
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes Plus

Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood Plus

How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood

Wayne Rainey, who’s paralysed from the chest down, will ride his 1992 500cc world championship-winning bike again at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. The American motorcycle legend explains how he's preparing to thrill on his first visit to the famed hillclimb

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2022