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MotoGP concessions could return to aid struggling Honda and Yamaha

Yamaha and Honda's current MotoGP crisis has led Dorna Sports to consider reviving manufacturer concessions in a bid to help the struggling Japanese brands.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team bike

Concessions were introduced in 2014 in a bid to help balance the field and provide a greater competitive platform for prospective manufacturers, which helped bring Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM to the grid between 2015 and 2017.

Those who ran under concessions received a number of benefits over non-concession manufacturers, who at the time were Honda and Yamaha, which included unrestricted in-season testing, a bigger engine allocation and unlimited engine development.

To be considered for concessions when they were introduced in 2014, a manufacturer either had to have been new to the grid or had gone without a dry weather race win the previous year.

Concessions were stripped from a manufacturer after it had accumulated six concession points in a season, which were determined on results: three for a win, two for a second and one for third.

Aprilia was the last manufacturer to lose concessions, doing so last year, with all manufacturers in 2023 running to the same rules.

Under the current rules framework, the only regulatory alternative for someone to have those concessions again would be for none of its riders to score a single podium in the Sunday races - something Honda and Yamaha has already achieved with Alex Rins' Americas Grand Prix victory and Fabio Quartararo's third in that race respectively.

Yamaha, which has only two bikes on the grid in 2023, sits bottom of the constructors' table, with Honda - which has four representatives - just seven points clear in fourth.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Honda team boss Alberto Puig told the media during last weekend's Dutch Grand Prix at Assen that no discussions had taken place yet about the Japanese marques potentially receiving concessions.

"This is something we have not yet discussed with Dorna, and we don't know where it will end up," he said.

"We don't have too much information yet, so I can't give a precise answer. What Honda has to do is work to improve its bike, not hope that the championship can help us do that."

While it is true that the possibility of reintroducing concessions has not yet been officially raised at the table of the Manufacturers' Association (MSMA), Motorsport.com understands that such a step is imminent, and that the issue is likely to be discussed at the British GP following the summer break.

There is no MSMA meeting scheduled before then, although it is not totally out of the question that the manufacturers could meet virtually during the summer shutdown.

Logic leads to think that Dorna will move its proposal individually before addressing the issue in the MSMA prior to an eventual approval in the Grand Prix Commission.

"We are open to talk about it, but no one has officially informed us of anything," a Ducati representative told Motorsport.com.

"What is clear is that the criteria for the re-awarding of the concessions to be decided have to be absolutely objective, not à la carte for Yamaha and Honda."

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