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Arrivals and departures: Entry list fallout

Arrivals and departures: Entry list fallout

The publication of the provisional entry lists for the 2008 season have thrown up a few surprises which had until now been kept firmly under wraps.

The publication of the provisional entry lists for the 2008 season have thrown up a few surprises which had until now been kept firmly under wraps. Most of the big changes come in the lower cylinder categories, with any riders changing teams in MotoGP having already tested with their new outfits before the end of the year.

In the premier class there has been a healthy turnover in departing veterans and arriving young blood. Leaving the World Championship are veterans Carlos Checa, Alex Barros and Makoto Tamada, with their places on the grid now occupied by 250cc stars Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Alex de Angelis.

The only other rookie for 2008 is Yamaha Tech 3's superbike champion James Toseland, who will be the British representative next season. He will be looking to avenge Britain's point-less 2007 season, in which the only competitor hailing from the United Kingdom was d'Antin Ducati stand-in Chaz Davies. The Welshman returns to the AMA championship next season.

With the departure of Checa, Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen was free to adopt the number 7 used throughout his pre-MotoGP career. He makes the switch from 71 to the plate used by mentor Barry Sheene. World Champion Casey Stoner will be adopting the number 1 plate next year, with 2006 titlist Nicky Hayden reverting to 69.

Team Roberts have yet to confirm their plans for 2008, with hopes of a change in engine supplier and a two-rider team structure.

The most notable absentee from the 250cc entry list is Shuhei Aoyama, who leaves his place in the Repsol Honda team alongside Julian Simon for pastures new. The team itself have now switched machinery to KTM, running their Spanish hopeful as the outfit's sole rider.

A Yamaha bike will return to the full-time grid courtesy of Indonesian rider Doni Tata Pradita's addition to the 250cc World Championship, and the 17 year-old will become the first regular participant from his country on the world stage. Most notable for British fans is Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty switching teams from LCR Honda to the more competitive Blusens Aprilia squad.

Debutants in 125cc include Briton Scott Redding, Spanish duo Marc Marquez and Pere Tutusaus, German Robin Lasset and Frenchman Louis Rossi, with Takaaki Nakagami representing Japan after graduating from the Red Bull MotoGP Academy.

After months of uncertainty, Stevie Bonsey has been confirmed as a new rider for the Molenaar Racing structure, leaving behind his year-long association with KTM.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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