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Satellite teams: From 'filling the grid' to title dreams

After a nine-year drought, seven satellite riders have won 13 MotoGP races over the past six seasons. While the switch from 990cc to fickle, electronic-dependent 800cc machines had killed-off the Independent victories in 2007, the losing streak then continued long after the change back to 1000cc engines for 2012. It took until the introduction of a single ECU system in 2016, combined with the gradual upgrading of satellite spec machinery by the factories (a push/pull mix of pressure from Dorna and IRTA, plus the benefit of acquiring extra track data) to return satellite riders to the top. Assen 2016 saw Jack Miller become the first non-factory winner since Toni Elias at Estoril 2006,...
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