The upcoming change in the rules to allow 1,000cc engines in MotoGP could already be doing its job to ensure larger grid sizes from 2012 after Norton was identified as a potential new entrant.
The iconic British marque has a long history of success in motor racing, but has been absent from the competition scene for decades now.
However, having been bought out in 2008 by UK businessman Stuart Garner, Norton – which is now based at Donington Park - is currently in the process of being re-launched, with plans for a Superbike and Supersport in the pipeline.
Furthermore, MotoGP is considered an ideal platform to promote Norton's new modern image, with Speedweek.ch
reporting that Dorna has already accepted a two-rider entry for 2012.
It is anticipated it would run under the 'Claiming Rule Team', which would enable it more fuel and engines for the season than it would as a factory entry.
The decision to change the rules from 2012 has seen a handful of names linked to a MotoGP move, most notably Aprilia and BMW, though only the Italian manufacturer has expressed a modicum of recent interest.