MotoGP engine use was a hot topic of discussion throughout the 2020 campaign following Yamaha's valve issues at the Jerez season-openers.

As well as restricting the M1 riders to only 2 or 3 of their allowed 5 engines for much of last season, with a knock-on reduction in performance to extend engine life, Maverick Vinales was forced to start from pit lane at Valencia when he needed a sixth engine.

Thankfully, the opening half of the 2021 campaign has passed without such reliability drama.

As the following list shows, most MotoGP riders have used 4 of their 7 engines for this season, with Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) and the injured Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) running just 3 engines over the 9 rounds.

While three of the Yamaha riders lost an engine in the aftermath of Jerez last season, just four riders - Alex Rins (Suzuki), Luca Marini (Ducati), Marc Marquez (Honda) and Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) - have so far had an engine 'withdrawn' at the midway stage of 2021, meaning the engine cannot return to duty.

Of those, Rins stands out as the only rider to have lost two engines so far, with his GSX-RR engines number 3 and 4 both pulled from duty.

While engine 3 was first introduced during warm-up in Qatar and endured race accidents at Portimao, Jerez and Le Mans before finally suffering a terminal issue on the main straight during FP3 in Germany, engine number 4 was only introduced at Mugello (and never raced) before being withdrawn.

With no obvious signs of trouble on track, it’s not clear exactly what happened to force such an early exit but it is thought to have been withdrawn due to a technical issue originating from a fault outside of the engine itself.

Rather than opening new powerplants to compensate, Rins then reverted to engines 1 and 2 (with which he began the season) for the German race and following Assen weekend. Rins did not compete in Catalunya due to a broken wrist in a bicycle accident.

Team-mate and reigning world champion Joan Mir continues to have access to all four engines used so far this season, each of them seeing action during the recent Assen weekend.

Aprilia, now the only manufacturer still with access to technical concessions, is allowed 9 engine changes for each rider as well as unrestricted engine-design modifications.

Under the terms of the Covid technical freeze Suzuki, Ducati, Yamaha and Honda cannot change the design of their engines from the start of 2020 until the end of 2021.

KTM, which lost concessions due to its success last season, was allowed to update its engine over the winter (mainly to extend engine life, due to having two less engines per rider this year). RC16 engine design was then also frozen until the end of 2021.

Complicating engine planning for the teams this year is that the exact amount of remaining rounds is unknown.

The latest calendar update listed 19 planned events for the season, plus potentially Argentina, which is still postponed rather than cancelled.

'There will be a maximum of 20 events in the 2021 season. All dates, events and the attendance of spectators are subject to the evolution of the pandemic and the approval of the corresponding Governments and authorities' read a Dorna caveat attached to the latest calendar update.

MOTOGP ENGINE USE AFTER ASSEN (ROUND 9)
RIDERBIKEENGINES USEDENGINES WITHDRAWN
Alex RinsSuzuki4/72
Luca MariniDucati4/71
Marc MarquezHonda4/71
Franco MorbidelliYamaha3/71
Enea BastianiniDucati4/70
Johann ZarcoDucati4/70
Jack MillerDucati4/70
Jorge MartinDucati4/70
Francesco BagnaiaDucati4/70
Takaaki NakagamiHonda4/70
Pol EspargaroHonda3/70
Alex MarquezHonda4/70
Iker LecuonaKTM5/70
Brad BinderKTM4/70
Danilo PetrucciKTM5/70
Miguel OliveiraKTM4/70
Joan MirSuzuki4/70
Maverick VinalesYamaha4/70
Fabio QuartararoYamaha4/70
Valentino RossiYamaha4/70
Lorenzo SavadoriAprilia4/90
Aleix EspargaroAprilia4/90