There were few surprises among the provisional 2013 entry lists for all three classes of the World Championship released Wednesday by the FIM.
Two of the three remaining seats on the MotoGP grid were listed as filled. Veteran Yonny Hernandez and rookie Michael Laverty will take the two Claiming Rule Teams rides at Paul Bird Motorsport, with Hernandez on an Aprilia and Laverty on a bike listed as a PBM.
The only available seat remains at Came IodaRacing, where Danilo Petrucci’s mate aboard the team’s Ioda-Suter CRT remains unknown after Robbie Rolfo’s check for the ride apparently bounced.
About the only other newsworthy note on the premier-class entry list is that World Champion Jorge Lorenzo will stick with his regular number 99 next season instead of carrying No. 1 as the World Champion. This could be as much a move about superstition as it is rider marketing. Lorenzo carried No. 1 in 2011 after winning his first premier-class world title in 2010 and lost the title to Casey Stoner.
The last rider to eschew the No. 1 plate was Valentino Rossi in 2010 after winning his seventh MotoGP title in 2009. Rossi has used No. 46 for his entire Grand Prix career.
There will be only three Americans in Grand Prix racing next season – MotoGP riders Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies and Colin Edwards. It will be the second consecutive season with no Yanks in the introductory or intermediate class, another bad omen for the future presence of America on the world stage. This from a country with three MotoGP events in 2013.
While few Americans have budget to land a ride in a major European proving-ground series, the lack of Uncle Sam’s progeny in Grand Prix also is an indictment of how the feeder system of series in the United States continues to be a broken springboard to the big time. Do Americans still progress from the American national series to Grand Prix?