Reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has backed an age limit change that will allow highly rated French teenager Fabio Quartararo to start the Moto3 world championship campaign in 2015.
Quartararo does not turn 16 until April 20, which would have meant him missing the first two races of the season if Dorna sticks to the same schedule next season.
The age limit for entry into Moto3 is set at 16, and Belgian rider Livio Loi missed the start of his first world championship campaign in 2013 because he was too young.
Quartararo though will not face the same obstacle.
A new rule change approved in Brno last weekend gives special permission for the winner of the Spanish-based FIM CEV Moto3 championship to move to the world championship, even if they don’t meet the age criteria.
Quartararo has dominated the CEV series with five wins in seven races and he has yet to finish lower than second.
Quartararo is regarded as the hottest talent outside of the MotoGP paddock, but the move to allow him to start 2015 Moto3 campaign as a 15-year-old has angered some.
Quartararo is part of Emilio Alzamora’s influential stable, and the Spanish talent spotter is losing Moto3 duo Alex Marquez and Alex Rins, who are both heading to Moto2.
Quartararo is the obvious replacement, and the age limit move means the high profile Estrella Gallicia 0,0 squad now doesn't have to worry about missing races until he reaches 16.
Repsol Honda rider Marquez, who is also represented by Alzamora, said he had no issue with the change because Quartararo has demonstrated speed and talent that warrants a place in the world championship paddock.
Marquez, who has won 10 out of 11 races in MotoGP this season, said: “I know that they have changed the rule for Quartararo but he has enough to come into the world championship. For me, if some rider has the level it is OK. Sometimes riders have enough level and they are not here and some that have more money can be here and they don’t have the right level. For me if the rider that comes is strong like Fabio then it is OK.”