Valentino Rossi will head a 19-strong field in the 2009 MotoGP world championship after next year’s provisional entry list was announced today.
The only addition to the 2008 grid will be Spanish veteran Sete Gibernau, who will step out of retirement to ride the Onde 2000 Ducati GP9.
Gibernau, twice a premier class runner-up in 2003 and ’04, will run the number 59 plate, with Alex de Angelis having his favoured number 15.
Despite the current economic crisis and Honda’s decision to quit F1 and the American superbike series recently, the Japanese factory has its full compliment of six RC212V machines on the list.
Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo has dumped his traditional number 48, instead opting to run the number 99 on his YZR-M1. Reigning world champion Rossi will continue with his world renowned number 46, with the Italian always shunning the chance to run the number one plate.
Former world champion Casey Stoner will revert back to his traditional number 27 on the Marlboro Ducati and British rider James Toseland will stick with his number 52.
The 18-round 2009 season kicks off under Qatar’s floodlights on April 12.
Provisional 2009 MotoGP entry list:
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team
4 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team
5 Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha
7 Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki
14 Randy de Puniet LCR Honda
15 Alex de Angelis San Carlo Honda Gresini
21 John Hopkins Kawasaki Racing Team
24 Toni Elias San Carlo Honda Gresini
27 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Team
33 Marco Melandri Kawasaki Racing Team
36 Mika Kallio Pramac Racing
46 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha Team
52 James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha
59 Sete Gibernau Onde 2000 Ducati
65 Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki
69 Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro Team
72 Yuki Takahashi Scot Racing Team
88 Niccolo Canepa Pramac Racing
99 Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha Team