As MotoGP prepares for the first season of cut-price 'CRT' competition, alongside the manufacturer machines, spare a thought for the likes of Team Roberts, WCM and even Ilmor who would have the perfect torchbearers for the new class.
Sadly, all three of these independent constructor-teams were priced out of MotoGP years ago, before the economic crisis forced the big factories to reign in their own motorsport spending - prompting Dorna to look for other, cheaper ways to fill the grid.
The answer, at present, is to open the premier-class up to 'Claiming Rule Teams', which will enjoy extra fuel capacity (race) and engine changes (season) providing they are “not entered by a member of MSMA [Manufacturers' Association]” and do not “represent any MSMA manufacturer”.
To further dissuade undercover factory efforts, MSMA manufacturers can purchase the engine of a CRT motorcycle for 20,000 euros.
Team Roberts, WCM and Ilmor would all have met the CRT criteria. But without any CRT-style technical concessions, they instead went head-to-head with the factories for a fraction of the budget, just as MotoGP costs began to skyrocket and with open-tyre competition still in place.
Team Roberts, headed by MotoGP legend 'King' Kenny Roberts, had won 250 and 500cc world titles with Yamaha before claiming poles and podiums as an independent constructor-team.
However a strong debut year with a Honda engine/KR chassis in 2006 was followed by a poor 2007 and, when funding failed to appear, the team was forced to withdraw ahead of 2008.
WCM, which won races as a satellite Yamaha 500cc team, got into trouble for using an R1-based engine to power its Harris-WCM MotoGP prototype during 2003. Further modifications eventually allowed the team to race, but a planned partnership with Blata came to nothing and the team was forced out at the end of 2005.
Although free to design their own engines, the 2012 CRT class have unsurprisingly chosen the much cheaper option of using modified Superbike engines (from Aprilia, Honda, Kawasaki and BMW). These engines will probably be less modified than the original 2003 WCM had been.