For the first time since 2016, no factory will be benefitting from Concessions on the MotoGP™ grid
For the first time since they were introduced into MotoGP™ back in 2016, no factory will be aided by Concessions this season.
Concessions remain in place to help manufacturers gain slight advantages if they go through a period of underperforming or struggling for good results. These include having nine engines available during a season instead of seven, the right to not seal their engine specification before the season, having six wildcard entries instead of three, having more test days allocated and having factory riders able to test in non-Official Test days.
The only team to have benefited from Concessions in the last two years has been Aprilia. Before that, it was KTM and Aprilia. However, after Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia Racing teammate Maverick Viñales notched up nine podiums between them last season, including Espargaro’s unforgettable maiden win at the Argentina Grand Prix, the Noale factory have joined their Austrian counterparts in longer having Concessions.
It shows the Concessions rule is working exactly as hoped. It gives MotoGP™ factories an added boost to bring them closer to the competition that has set the bar high for many a year. Despite falling just short, Aprilia proved last year that they have all the capabilities of challenging the likes of Yamaha and Ducati for MotoGP™ titles. That’s huge for the Italian marque, who have worked tirelessly to get their RS-GP to where it is today – a feared weapon on the premier class grid.
The same goes for KTM, who managed to wave goodbye to Concessions after their stellar 2020 campaign. Two wins for Miguel Oliveira (RNF MotoGP™ Team), one for their current stalwart Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), plus five rostrums for Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) helped KTM finish just 26 points off the top of the Constructor Championship, and third in the Team Championship. And despite their inconsistent form last season, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bagged P2 in the 2022 Team Championship.
A first year without Concessions for Aprilia will make for interesting viewing. It won’t be until we’re a few races in that we’ll see where they’re really at in the premier class pecking order, but if the Sepang Test is anything to go by, then we can expect another strong year for the Noale camp. KTM’s Malaysian outing didn’t go as smoothly, but they’ll undoubtedly be ones to watch in 2023 as well.