MotoGP grid falls to 22 bikes for 2016

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The MotoGP grid will fall from 26 bikes to 22 for the 2016 season following the departures of the Forward Racing and AB Motoracing teams, as confirmed by the publication of the provisional entry list.

In a statement issued by the FIM, motorcycle racing’s governing body, on Saturday, it was confirmed that the grid would fall by four bikes.

All of the leading factory teams will provisionally race with the same line-up once again in 2016, with the only team changes coming towards the back of the field.

Loris Baz of Forward Racing has already agreed a deal to join Avintia Racing in 2016, while Jack Miller will move from LCR Honda to join Marc VDS Racing.

Miller will take over from Scott Redding, who moves to Octo Pramac Racing as Yonny Hernandez replaces the WSBK-bound Nicky Hayden at Aspar.

As confirmed earlier this year by the FIM, the factory and open classes will merge for 2016, while Michelin becomes MotoGP’s sole tire supplier following Bridgestone’s withdrawal.

Here is the provisional entry list in full, as published by the FIM on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s 2015 season finale in Valencia.

2016 MotoGP provisional entry list

Andrea Dovizioso – #4 Ducati
Stefan Bradl – #6 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Hector Barbera – #8 Avintia Racing
Danilo Petrucci – #9 Octo Pramac Racing
Alex de Angelis – #15 IodaRacing
Alvaro Bautista – #19 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Maverick Vinales – #25 Team Suzuki Ecstar
Dani Pedrosa – #26 Repsol Honda
Andrea Iannone – #29 Ducati Racing
Cal Crutchlow – #35 LCR Honda
Bradley Smith – #38 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Aleix Espargaro – #41 Team Suzuki Ecstar
Jack Miller – #43 Marc VDS Racing
Pol Espargaro – #44 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Scott Redding – #45 Octo Pramac Racing
Valentino Rossi – #46 Movistar Yamaha
Eugene Laverty – #50 Aspar
Tito Rabat – #53 Marc VDS Racing
Yonny Hernandez – #68 Aspar
Loris Baz – #76 Avintia Racing
Marc Marquez – #93 Repsol Honda
Jorge Lorenzo – #99 Movistar Yamaha

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.