Jerez MotoGP: Suzuki exempt from rookie signing ban

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Suzuki will be given special exemption from the new rule that prevents a factory team signing a rookie rider from the start of the 2010 MotoGP world championship.

The Japanese factory will be allowed to select from an open rider market for next season, if Loris Capirossi or Chris Vermeulen leaves the Japanese factory.

A new rule unveiled during the Jerez winter test session earlier this year prevented a factory team from signing a rider in their rookie campaign.

That meant the likes of Suzuki, Fiat Yamaha, Repsol Honda or Marlboro Ducati being banned from hiring the likes of Ben Spies or reigning world 250GP champion Marco Simoncelli next season.

Instead, they will have to sign for an independent team for their rookie campaign to try the likes of Tech 3 Yamaha, Gresini Honda and LCR Honda attract more sponsors with big name riders.

But Suzuki will not face the restrictions because it only has a factory team entered in MotoGP, with no satellite team running its GSV-R machine.

Team boss Paul Denning told MCN: “If a manufacturer runs a satellite team the manufacturer can still tie in a talented rookie rider to their brand and their future plans via a satellite team.

“In our case as it sits at the moment, we are unable to do that. It would only take Loris to hang his leathers up at the end of the year and Chris to get an offer from another team and we would have to take somebody currently in the MotoGP class and that is just too restrictive.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt