Extra GP grid space withdrawn

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The 24th MotoGP grid space set to be made available for the 2017 season has been withdrawn after objections from the manufacturers, despite organisers admitting that there were a number of strong candidates to take over the place.

The selection committee, comprised of delegates of Dorna, FIM and IRTA, considered three official applications from five expressions of interest, and admitted that despite failing to select one that all three had merit.

The three selections, while not officially confirmed, were believed to be one from Sito Pons looking to expand his Moto2 team back onto the Grand Prix grid, LCR Honda looking to expand back to a two-bike team, and the Interwetten Moto2 team looking to step up to the premiere class for the first time.

However, after discussions with the manufacturers, the organisers have now taken the decision to withdraw the offer, citing “reluctance amongst the existing manufacturers to commit to making additional equipment available, at least for 2017.”

However, with a commitment from the manufacturers to provide two satellite bikes to anyone who requests them now written into MotoGP’s rules, the decision will no doubt be met with some displeasure inside the paddock, with only Honda, Yamaha and Ducati currently meeting the obligation.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer