Valentino Rossi became the first MotoGP rider to exceed the six-engine maximum last season, as he started from the pit lane at Aragon when Ducati mechanics bolted the seventh engine of the season into his GP11.
What a difference a year makes.
Rossi and Nicky Hayden's GP12 machines may be slow, with finicky front and rear grip in the dry. But their Desmosedici engines are the most durable in MotoGP.
The machines used by Rossi, Hayden and Ducati satellite riders Hector Barbera's and Karel Abraham each have used just four of the allowed six engines this season. Of course, Hayden and Abraham's bikes both never left the garage at one race this season due to injuries to their primary riders. But Rossi and Barbera's machines have competed in every race.
Yamaha is pushing the six-engine limit the hardest among the factory teams. All four riders on Yamaha prototypes - Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow - are on their fifth engines of the season. Lorenzo lost an engine when he was submarined out of Assen by Alvaro Bautista, and Spies' M1 engine detonated in a mosquito-spraying cloud of white smoke at Indianapolis.
Honda is in solid shape on engines. The RC213V's of Casey Stoner and Stefan Bradl are on their fourth engine. Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista are on engine five, but Pedrosa hasn't yet raced his fifth powerplant.
The engine usage situation varies widely among Claiming Rules Team entries, but it appears none of the CRT riders will exceed the maximum allowance of 12 engines per season unless a rash of crashes or mechanical problems arrives.
Randy de Puniet is the most eager consumer of CRT engines, having used nine Aprilia's in his ART. Meanwhile, Speed Master has bolted just four Aprilia engines in Mattia Pasini's ART.