Everything You Need To Know About The 2017 MotoGP Season
After a breathtaking 2016 MotoGP season, we had been eagerly waiting to see what the new season holds for MotoGP fans. With Three Pre-Season tests of Valencia, Sepang and Phillip Island already done and dusted, the season is looking towards its last pre-season three day test a Qatar form March 10 onwards. This means that it is high time we talk about the MotoGP riders and the Teams we reckon will be the ones to look out for in the 2017 MotoGP season.
Riders to look out for in 2017 MotoGP Season
It is absolutely clear from the pre-season testing that the new Yamaha rider, maverick Vinales is going to be the man to beat this year at MotoGP. The way Maverick has taken up to the YZF-M1 has been a revelation. Everyone knew of the level of his talent and his stint at Suzuki showed he was more than capable, but it is his sheer pace in the pre-season that should have sent shivers down the paddock. So much has been talk around Vinales in 2017 that he is on top of everyone’s list of probable champion this year. Watch out world, Top Gun has arrived!
The reigning world champion Marc Marquez with his inhuman riding talent took his treacherous Honda RC213-V to the Championship. But, this doesn’t mean that he is going to have it any easy this year. On one side, the tests have shown that the new Honda engine is still hard to deal with and on the other hand, Marques has to deal with addition of the Vinales factor for 2017. However, this is Marc Marquez we are talking about, and when the lights go off at Losail this 26th March, he can just prove every doubt lingering on his 2017 Championship disappear.
Lorenzo has made a calculated jump t o Ducati for 2017 season. However, it is also an extremely risky move as the Ducati is known to be in-decipherable for anyone who is not called Casey Stoner historically. And then counting how the three pre-season tests have gone so far for the Spaniard, it is for sure going to be a tough season for three time MotoGP world champion. Still, no one has a will as steely as Jorge in the paddock and he has a well of incomparable talent as well, we reckon, Jorge is going to be the most interesting rider for the 2017 season.
Also Check: MOTOGP 2017 CALENDAR
Rossi has been dangerously close to winning his next championship for more than once now. He has finished on the second step for three years in a row and he is due. Needless to say, the Doctor will give everything this year to win that elusive next championship. However, his competition keeps getting tougher. His new team mate is also not going to make things easy for him as well. But knowing Rossi, he would be counting on Vinales to take the fight to Marquez, which Rossi won’t fail to capitalize on.
Moreover, Lorenzo on Ducati is still not a surely a Championship contender at present, thus Rossi can concentrate on Vinales and Marquez for at least the first part of the season. The testing times leave a lot to catch for Rossi on this regard though, but knowing he had to test most of the new parts for the M1, he should be much better when the season begins in earnest.
He finally showed his worth in 2016 by winning two races. However, it was his dry race win at Phillip Island that established his claim to be noticed for 2017 Season. With Honda giving as much support to Cal as it can (will, read will) to its satellite riders, expect the Briton to be there at the front for whole season.
The biggest surprise from the pre-season testing (apart from the blistering Vinales that is) has been the Spanish veteran, Alvaro Bautista. He has taken to the Pull&Bear Ducati GP16 like fish to water. With no serious worries to setup a new bike, Bautista has been consistently riding at top pace throughout Valencia, Sepang and Phillip Island tests. A rider to follow for Satellite team glory in 2017 we say. He might just well be the dark horse of 2017 MotoGP season.
Teams to look out for in 2017 MotoGP Season
The Italians never seize to gather attention. After the much talked about ban on winglets that has lead to fall out of sorts between Ducati and Japanese teams, Ducati has been pretty vocal about its frustration. However, that did not stop the smart people from Borgo Panigale to innovate. Enter the ‘Salad Box’ , this new addition to the GP17 has been the talk of the MotoGP circus ever since it came to light at the Sepang Test. Casey Stoner once showcased why he is still above the rest when it come to riding a MotoGP bike around a track with the GP17 testing.
Much work still remains for the Ducati to become a race contender every time out, but it is slowly reaching there. With new Aero updates said to the arriving at the last pre-season test at Qatar, all eyes will be on Ducati and how its new rider performs with it.
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By far, the best MotoGP bike in the paddock has just got better with better acceleration and a bit more power. And in the hands of Maverick Vinales, the M1 is already looking as if the championship has been booked for Movistar Yamaha. Then there is the minor fact of certain Mr. Rossi and you realize that 2017 might just be everyone else fighting for limelight as Yamaha bags the title.
Red Bull – KTM
The latest entrant to the MotoGP paddock, Red Bull-KTM is aid to be leaving no stone turned to make it big at MotoGP. The Austrian company wants to be a title contender and that too fast. With incredibly amounts of red Bull money behind KTM’s absolute genius at Motorcycle design, the Red Bull-KTM team will be the one to look out for this season.
Please also Read: 2017 KTM RC16 MOTOGP BIKE
The mighty Honda finds itself in a fix, just like past three years, every time its riders have taken the bike out for testing, they have returned with almost the same inputs always, the engine is too aggressive and they can’t put power down on the track, the wheel spins and they loose on acceleration. For 2017 MotoGP season, Honda has tested the big bang firing order in one of the new engines they brought for testing. It is being said that this engine will be green lit by the end of the Qatar test for the entire season.
With still an air of uncertainty around its engine Honda might be looking at a tough year ahead. But then they did the same for at least last three years, and marc Marquez won the championship two times out of those three. Only time will tell if Honda would be able to match Yamaha or not in 2017, but with Marquez at their side, they shouldn’t be that worried, yet.
Suzuki has been an inspiration for every new manufacturer who wants to fight in MotoGP ever since it came back to the series. Everyone knows that the Suzuki GSX-RR is the best handling MotoGP racing prototype in the paddock. With more improvements and addition of further horses, Suzuki will be in the mix at every race for sure. Then there is the rider combination of Andrea Iannone and the rookie Alex Rins that will have everyone looking at them.
Iannone specially is worthy of attention this year, since he is clearly still angry at the Ducati booting and would like to showcase why he was a better choice that Dovizioso to stay. This said, expect Iannone to be the rider who can change the shape of the 2017 MotoGP season.
Racing circuits to watch out for in the 2017 MotoGP Season
Losail International Circuit, Qatar
The first race of the season is always special and with the Qatar MotoGP being held under the floodlights, it makes it even more electrifying. Then there is also the fact that everyone is really good at Qatar, Lorenzo, Rossi, Marquez, Yamaha and Ducati, this means, we are always in a chance to get an epic first race of the season.
Circuito de Jerez, Spain
The first European race of the season is said to be the true start of the MotoGP season. With everyone back to the European land and the three fly-away races at the back of their minds, the season takes all seriousness from Jerez onwards. Winning at Jerez is thus, extremely important and the track never disappoints, never.
Autodromo del Mugello, Italy
With along straight that is among the rare places on the MotoGP calendar where a MotoGP bike can actually breathe freely, Mugello is known to give us the highest speeds ever recorded in the sport. And then there is the factor of Italian crowd and its passion for the sport. There is a reason why they say you should visit Mugello (or Misano) for a MotoGP race before Rossi retires. The atmosphere is unlike any other at Mugello, and races, always thrilling.
Phillip Island, Australia
The absolute best MotoGP race circuit is also everyone’s favourite. The racing at Phillip Island is always ecstatic and thrilling. It is a track that is the measure of a rider’s true talent more than the machinery he rides; Phillip Island is a race everyone looks up to every year.
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
A track that has been known to witness the most championship victory races, Sepang is gorgeous, it is fast and it never fails to provide breathtaking racing. With a weather that can change any moment and rain gods more than happy to give the race a downpour, Sepang round of MotoGP always remains an edge of the seat thriller.
Pictures Courtesy: MotoGP.com