It’s hard to remember sometimes that Rizla Suzuki is a factory team in MotoGP. Afterall with Rizla Suzuki often trumped by the top satellite riders, there is nary a Rizla rider in the Top 10 for the Championship standings. With Laguna Seca marking the middle-point of the MotoGP season, things are looking even more bleak for the folks at Suzuki, as both Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista have nearly used up their six motor allotment for the 2010 season. As such, Rizla Suzuki is on its way to getting special dispensation from Dorna, and will see its motor allotment raised from six motors to nine, likely starting this weekend.
So far this season, Bautista has taken use of his 5th motor, while Capirossi will likely do the same at Laguna Seca this weekend. With MotoGP’s rules levying a stiff time penalty on teams that go over their allotment of engines, this dispensation is a huge boon to Suzuki. Without this dispensation, Rizla Suzuki would have to start 10 seconds behind the grid, and from the pits, during each race they were over the allotment. Already flirting with the back of the field, such a penalty would be a death blow to the team.
This dispensation as MCN’s Matthew Birt explains, comes from a verbal agreement between the teams when the rule for an engine cap was drafted. Knowing that it would adversely affect Suzuki the most, it was agreed upon before the start of the 2010 season that Suzuki could get a dispensation should their motor usage exceed the rules. The reading between the lines here is that Suzuki likely would have pulled out of MotoGP if they didn’t have this handshake agreement.
As the MotoGP season continues on, we suspect we’ll see even more importance stemming from this rule, and engine strategy playing a further role in the racing results.