MotoGP is aiming for four bikes per manufacturer as race organisers target a future with a 24 bike grid which will feature two satellite bikes and two factory entries from six manufacturers.
This year, the 21 bike grid has been dominated by eight Ducats, with two factory Desmosedici GPs being accompanied by six satellite entries, while Yamaha and Honda supply two and three independent machines, respectively.
Aprilia and Suzuki are the two most recent additions to the paddock and they are both currently focussing on their factory programmes.
It now seems unlikely that Suzuki will supply a satellite team for next season, with LCR seeming to be the most likely option, however it is reported to have opened talks with what is currently Pramac Ducati about the 2018 season.
The incoming programme from KTM will push the number of bikes on the grid up to 23 from six manufacturers, while plans to issue a 24th licence were put to one side earlier in the year.
However, the CEO of Dorna, MotoGPâs promoter, Carmelo Ezpeleta, insists that the goal is still to have a field of 24 bikes split equally between the six manufacturers.
He said that this is the dream for MotoGP: We are trying to make the rules, economical and commercial, that will help. We want to see every manufacturer with four bikes.
At the heart of the deal between the International Road Racing Teams Association and Dorna are improved financial terms, covering the promotion and structure of MotoGP.
IRTA President and boss at Tech3 Yamaha, Herve Poncharal, thinks that the new contract will enable satellite teams to strike up new and improved deals with factories.
He commented: This is clearly an opportunity in MotoGP for every single independent team to see what the best option is.
The six manufacturers now being in the championship from ’17 to ’21 are going to make the show more exciting but also the life of the MotoGP independent team managers easier.