2012 MotoGP Silly Season: Bradl Signing Makes 16 Confirmed And 7 Unconfirmed On 2012 Grid

With the signing of Stefan Bradl to LCR Honda, the total number of confirmed riders in MotoGP has now grown to 16, including 12 on factory prototype machines (traditional MotoGP machines from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati) and 4 CRT entries (cheaper entries, mainly based on production engines). With official confirmation of Suzuki's withdrawal still awaiting, though zero chance of them continuing, it looks like 12 is the maximum number of bikes that the factories are willing to supply, with Honda, Ducati and Yamaha all provding 4 each, 2 factory bikes and 2 satellite bikes.

The prospects for the CRT teams are much brighter. With 4 riders already confirmed (Colin Edwards, James Ellison, Ant West and Danilo Petrucci), there could be another 7 CRT bikes on the grid, bringing the total to 23. Those CRT riders could also include a couple of interesting names, with Randy de Puniet being linked to a ride with Aspar after testing the Aprilia RSV4 on Bridgestone tires at Valencia this week. The final rider line up will probably take a few more weeks to shake out, but the MotoGP grid is looking the healthiest it has been for years. The last time there were more than 20 riders on the grid was in 2004.

Here's the latest 2012 MotoGP rider line up, as of November 17th:

No. Rider Bike Team
1 Casey Stoner Honda RC213V Repsol Honda
4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha YZR-M1 Monster Tech 3 Yamaha
5 Colin Edwards Suter / BMW NGM Forward Racing CRT
8 Hector Barbera Ducati GP12 Pramac Ducati
9 Danilo Petrucci FTR? / Aprilia IODA Racing CRT
11 Ben Spies Yamaha YZR-M1 Yamaha Factory Racing
13 Ant West FTR? / Aprilia Speedmaster CRT
17 Karel Abraham Ducati GP12 Cardion AB
19 Alvaro Bautista Honda RC213V San Carlo Gresini
26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V Repsol Honda
35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha YZR-M1 Monster Tech 3 Yamaha
46 Valentino Rossi Ducati GP12 Ducati Marlboro
65 Stefan Bradl Honda RC213V LCR Honda
69 Nicky Hayden Ducati GP12 Ducati Marlboro
77 James Ellison FTR? / Aprilia Paul Bird CRT
99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha YZR-M1 Yamaha Factory Racing
51 Michele Pirro FTR / Honda CBR San Carlo Gresini CRT
68 Yonny Hernandez FTR / Kawasaki BQR CRT
22 Ivan Silva? Inmotec BQR CRT
41 Aleix Espargaro? Aprilia Mapfre Aspar CRT
14 Randy de Puniet? Aprilia Mapfre Aspar CRT
  Carmelo Morales? Suter / BMW Team Laglisse CRT
    Suter / BMW Team Laglisse CRT

All entries with a question mark (?) behind them are best guesses.
All unconfirmed signings without question marks are based on media reports and information from the MotoGP paddock. However, they have yet to be officially confirmed. 
All riders entered under the Claiming Rule Teams regulation are marked with CRT after the team name.


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What about the Grillini/Gapam BMW CRT bikes, they tested with Gianluca Nanelli & Federico Sandi?

@david, i dont think stefan bradl can run with 65. the number was retired with Loris caparossi.

I don't think that 65 has been retired yet, but it's definitely under consideration. But apart from that, I didn't know what his new number would be, so I went with 65!

or after Rossi did it. Wait, he held on to number 46. Guess we all know which one will be retired.

i think its more sensible to retire an arbitrary number, than the number which is generally assigned to the world champion. maybe they'll retire number 1 to honor Mick Doohan, and from then on, the world champion will be given #46.. haha. :D

That all this beef with Capirex's number being retired just pisses me off. What's the problem here people? He is an ambassador for the sport and a three time world champion. His accomplishments on and off the racetrack have only helped support this fact.

So, again, what's the problem here?!? Are there not enough numbers in existence that this is an issue?!

Superbikeplanet.com apparently has a real problem with this to the point that their posts on the subject are borderline mocking the man. I'll tell you why Roberts and Doohan's numbers aren't retired you douches, it's because they don't give a shit. I'm sure if they did, they would have spoken up about it and it would have been done.

Sorry 'bout the rant, but this issue has gotten to me.

Are you serious? When I first read they wanted to retire 65 I thought it was a prank.

Of course there are only 99 2 digit numbers. Then what? We get to see 3 digit boys like club racing? And after they are all retired?

A rider should have to eclipse all that came before to even be considered for this entropic honor. With all due respect to LC - that ain't him by any stretch of the imagination.

I still question why they retired #34, with all due respect to KS.

For me retiring Capirossi's 65 is disrespectful to others that use the number or who would like to. Bradl won the Moto2 title wearing 65 and now supposedly can't use it in the premier class. Others race in other classes using 65 by choice.
What about that Italian kid who loved Capirossi and would like to use his number as a tribute, does he have to drop it if he gets good and reaches MotoGP.
Capirossi's record is good and his longevity outstanding but nothing deserving to have his number retired.
I regard the habit as an unnecessary one (is it an american export), but then I preferred it when the riders largely wore numbers indicating their placing the previous year.
Is there a list anywhere of the numbers that have been retired?

If any number should be retired this year it is 58.

There's also the little incident that gave Capirossi one of his world titles when he deliberately ran his teammate and championship rival off the track. His first 125 title win was also a bit unorthodox. Yes it was years ago but its not exactly the kind of exemplary sportsmanship we want to memorialize.


Seriously though, I think it is rediculous to keep retiring numbers since it makes no sense why f.i. we should retire Schwantz's number but not Rainey's or Doohan's. Doing this for riders who have given their lives in the world championship sounds like a beautiful idea. So yes, let's retire 58 and revive 34.

Just because he's dead? Christ, Simoncelli's had a whole damn race track renamed after him a mere week after his demise. Perhaps a young up and coming rider who admired Simoncelli would like to 'honour' him by using his old number?

No number should be retired. The greats have their names on trophies and track corners. Surely this is enough.

Though i think LCR did a good move by signing Bradl, I'm a bit disappointed De Puniet has not got a prototype ride for 2012. Although he had a disastrous season this year on the Ducati [so has everyone on the Italian bikes], he showed some great form in the first half of 2010 on the LCR Honda before breaking his leg.
Personally i think with the present rules, that the CRT bikes wont cause many upsets against the full prototypes at the vast majority of circuits in the dry. But if i had to put my money on one of the CRTs causing some surprises, i would put it on De Puniet [assuming he gets the Aspar ride].
I do wonder why Suzuki have not announced their withdrawal from Motogp, did they have a contract with Dorna to carry on racing into next year?
I think Kawasaki had a contract still running when they pulled the plug on their Motogp project, forcing them to run a bike under the Hayate private team banner the following year to stop legal proceedings?

Is all the back markers disrupting (er ..ah .. I mean ruining) the races for the front runners. My predicition as to what to look for in 2012 that heretofore you have never seen much of in MotoGP - lots of BLUE FLAGS! ... MotoGP be careful what you wish for.

During the Valencia test, Dani Pedrosa's fastest time over both days was 1'31.807. 107% of Pedrosa's best time (Pedrosa was also fastest rider at the test) is a time of 1'38.233. Only the Grillini Gapam BMWs, the bikes with the two least competitive riders, were outside the 107%, the BQR bikes and the Suter BMW all well inside the 107% limit. And they've only just started to develop the bikes. 

As long as the bikes have half-decent riders on them, the CRT bikes should be fine. I think the AMA has a much bigger spread of talent, a few world-class racers and plenty of people who are one step up from club racing, than MotoGP does, and the tracks are generally shorter too.

I understand that this is a transitional year in MotoGP, but I almost fell out of my chair reading this:

"As long as the bikes have half-decent riders on them, the CRT bikes should be fine"

The low level of experience and success from a good portion of the grid next year seriously compromises the integrity of MotoGP, and possibly to some extent, rider safety week in and week out. Half of the grid are the best in the world and the other half simply are not even close.

Hailwood and ago lapped the field, and sometimes lapped them twice. I would like to see some back markers forcing passing moves by the leader rather than the first lap sprint to the front followed by five or six fast solo laps, then coasting while the remainder of the field jockeys for 2-6 place.
It's boring as hell. Why bother putting them on the track at the same time? Why not just award the trophy to the pole position. Back markers have made motor racing exciting since forever. The 24 hours of lemans is exciting because the fast teams have to negotiate around the slow ones, and it tightens the racing. FI is the same.

you want exciting racing and more teams? Ban the leasing of machines and equipment and force the manufacturers to sell it like they did thirty years ago. While you are at it, ban the use of any tech unless another team has purchased it. Prices will have to drop, and teams can do their own development instead of being slaves to the factories. The endless crazy cost spiral would stop, or motogp would end sooner than it looks like its headed to.

Seems silly to me, some sort of American Hall-of-fame, remember for eternity type nonsense.
You'd need pretty big ones to show up in the top class with a 34 on your bike (or in a few years 46) and I doubt anyone would do it for quite a while anyway. Eventually, someone would, and the time would be right to move on. As Troy Bayliss says "if they can live with it..."

Motorcycle racing has a long history, there are plenty of names that ought to be remembered : locking away some numbers of recent heroes is just cheap marketing via sentimentality. Will we lose 58, 69, 46 and 99 within the next 5 years as well? Are we encouraging champions to hold onto their number in the expectation that one day it will be retired ? After all, Agostini, Read, Biaggi, Lawson, Nieto, Roberts, Sheene and Stoner have all done as much and only Sheene is associated with a number... which Checa was happy to use in tribute.