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Rookie rule to be dropped?

MotoGP 'Rookie Rule' to be dropped for 2013?
A Sunday report in the Spanish media states that the MotoGP rookie rule is to be dropped for 2013, allowing Moto2 star Marc Marquez to sign for Repsol Honda.

The Rookie Rule was introduced for 2010 and prevents new riders going direct to a factory MotoGP team, although an exception had already been made for Alvaro Bautista's first year at Suzuki (which had no satellite team).

The rule intends to help the satellite teams by forcing rising stars to spend at least their first season outside of an official team, although there is no limit on the level of machinery - which can be full factory spec.

But with Repsol-backed Marquez clearly heading for the Repsol Honda team sooner or later, 'forcing' Marquez onto a satellite Honda team would cause immense disruption for Gresini or LCR - who would then have to rebuild their teams following his inevitable departure for the factory squad in 2014.

Honda, still reeling from the retirement announcement of reigning champion Casey Stoner, has therefore pushed the case for the Rookie Rule to be scrapped.

El Pais says that is exactly what will now happen, although Dorna is likely to have won some concessions from Honda in return, regarding the future cost cutting regulations.

If Marquez signs for Repsol Honda, it would create the possibility of an all-Spanish line-up, should Stoner's team-mate Dani Pedrosa be retained for an eighth season.

There is no doubt, however, that a Marquez signing would significantly weaken Pedrosa's position.

Existing MotoGP stars, including Valentino Rossi, had said the Rookie Rule would make little difference to Marquez - since he will have a full factory Honda and bring many of his own mechanics, whichever team he is at next year.

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June 17, 2012 11:31 AM

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