FIM president Vito Ippolito is confident that the slender MotoGP grid will increase by three or four riders (20 or 21 competitors) by the 2011 season.

The premier-class field currently contains just 17 full time riders, following the winter withdraw of the factory Kawasaki team and the loss of the new Grupo Francisco Hernando squad midway through the year.

The new Aspar Ducati team will take over the fifth Desmosedici supply next season, but Hayate - currently running Kawasaki ZX-RRs in an unofficial capacity - will need to find alternative motorcycles if it is to stay on the grid.

However, Honda might yet increase the number of RC212Vs available, while manufacturers are being pressed to provide 800cc engines for lease at competitive prices, in the hope that more Independent teams will join the field.

"We hope to be able to increase the number of riders in MotoGP as of 2011, while respecting the prototype concept of this championship," said Ippolito. "We should thus be able to introduce three or four additional riders on the starting grid of this class."

More details of the engine lease proposal, including which manufacturers plan to take part and from when, should be announced at the forthcoming Estoril round on from October 2-4.

 

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