The part about improving racing-as-spectacle has apparently worked. While 2011 saw just 17 bikes competing regularly, the preliminary 2012 lineup includes 21 machines: 12 factory prototypes and 9 CRTs running engines from Aprilia, BMW, Honda and Kawasaki. Pilots include MotoGP veterans Colin Edwards, Randy De Puniet and Alex Espargaro. But more bikes don’t necessarily mean better racing: Less powerful, less sophisticated B-team bikes will create a huge disparity in lap times, with even the best CRT riders lapping several seconds behind the factory backmarkers. It’s not a question of whether actual championship contenders will lap CRT bikes, but how many times? For better or worse, this MotoGP season will either be one race fans all over the world will want to remember, or try very hard to forget.