Ezpeleta hints at softening of rookie rule
MotoGP's controversial rookie rule, which could keep Marc Marquez off Casey Stoner's Honda next season, could be reviewed according to Carmelo Ezpeleta.
In the past the Dorna boss has stuck firmly to the rule, which was introduced to prevent new riders from joining factory team in their very first season in MotoGP.
However, of late the rule has been questioned, especially with regards to Marquez.
Backed by Repsol, Marquez is expected to make the move up to MotoGP next season with the Repsol-Honda team touted as his natural destination.
But, should the rookie rule remain in place, the Spaniard has to join a satellite team instead.
And although Marquez could take a factory Honda bike at one of the Japanese manufacturer's satellite teams, his Repsol backing could lead to sponsorship conflict.
Ezpeleta, though, has hinted at a softening of the rule which could pave the way for the Moto2 rider to move directly onto the retiring Stoner's bike.
"The rule was made in order to help satellite teams, so as to guarantee for them young and talented riders before they inevitably end up with the factory teams," Ezpeleta told Motosprint.
"It helps keep the gap between works and satellite teams in check.
"In any case, like every rule, it doesn't necessarily have to be kept rigidly. If it is judged to be bad, it can be reviewed."
Asked specifically about the Marquez situation, Ezpeleta said: "There's a way to bypass it and Honda knows it well. When Valentino had his debut in 500cc what kind of bike did he have?"
Pointed out to him that Rossi was classified as a private entry, Ezpeleta said: "Yeah, right, very private! He had a very private bike!
"Let's be serious: if Honda wants, it takes just a second to find a way to place Marquez on a works bike. Anyway, I'm open to discuss it."