The 2017 MotoGP Season so far, who will prosper!

Now that the 2017 MotoGP season is well under way and its already been an exciting one, it’s probably a good time to reflect on which riders will be in the mix this year!

After the 2016 season finished it felt like an eternity waiting for the racing to start again! So when it did, with Qatar and the spectacular night race, I was chomping at the bit and bouncing off the walls to watch a good race! This years race did not disappoint with rain delaying the start, Jorge on his new Ducati, Maverick on the Yamaha now and the new Rookies giving a few exciting surprises.

What were the key highlights… well Johann Zarco took a few people by surprise by taking the lead and opening up a massive gap! What people forget is that he is a double Moto2 champion!

The next surprise was Lorenzo’s first outing on the Ducati which was far from where he wanted it to be, I think he imagined he would be a bit closer to the front. He finished in 11th behind Redding, Rins and Folger and was lucky not to lose another place to Baz.

Alexis Espargo had a good race and came in 6th behind Marquez and Pedrosa on the new Aprilla which seems to be the exciting new entry.

All in all it was a exciting race and I’ve never been buzzing more for the Championship!

The Challengers

Who are the challengers and the rookie this year!? I am going to be completely honest here, who has a realistic chance of winning the championship?

Marc Marquez

The reigning Champion and 3 times world champion has not had a great start to this years MotoGP season with a 4th in Qatar and DNF in Argentina leaving him trailing going into Austin but obviously the King of COTA came good to make it 5 in a row! Can he win this year? I think he’s been rattled a bit by how well Maverick has taken to his new Yamaha, but I think the COTA win will give him some confidence. I’d say he finishes 1st or 2nd.

Maverick Vinales

After having a fantastic season with Suzuki last year including bringing them their first win since 2007 when Chris Vermeulen was riding for them. Nevertheless he was presented an opportunity which will surely carve the future of his career to take over Jorge Lorenzo’s M1 Yamaha. It’s been insane watching him in the pre season and indeed how he has taken this into the season winning the opening two races! He seems right at home on the M1 and provided he can put behind him the DNF at COTA he will either win the championship or finish 2nd or 3rd.

Valentino Rossi

He’s 38!!!!! I’m sorry but in my eyes he is the greatest of all time, The GOAT. I don’t think I am the only one who wants him to win that 10th title. He struggled in pre-season but seems to as always find some great form when it comes to Sunday! Leaving COTA top of the championship could not have been a better start for Rossi but he is realistic and there is a long way to go and Vinales and Marquez are stronger than ever. That’s why I am so amazed by Rossi and what he is doing! Rossi could be anywhere come end of the season he could win or be 3rd/4th

Dani Pedrosa

Dani Dani Dani… I love Dani but sadly it’s always been that saying “always the bridesmaid never the bride” in MotoGP that is, let’s not forget this guy is a 2 time 250cc Champ and one time 125cc Champ so he has it in him. The problem with Dani is he never seems to get any momentum going with wins or podiums and then he just gets unlucky and gets injured. I think it’s going to be the same this year and 4th even with Sete Gibernau in his corner it’s the best he will manage.

Jorge Lorenzo

The €20m man that Ducati think can bring the championship back…..not this year and I think it’s a stretch for next but I could be wrong and I’d love to be. Let’s be honest this bike need to be ragged, look how Stoner rode it! Lorenzo doesn’t ride that way and I’m very interested to see how he gets on in the wet as the Ducati is good but we all know Lorenzo doesn’t like riding in the wet! For Jorge this year he’s done a good job if he can finish 4th but think Cal or Dovi will pop him to that. 5th or 6th I think.

Andrea Dovizioso

Dovi is one of the strongest riders I’ve seen in MotoGP over the years and he is an absolute bastard to pass! He again has never really had a good break at the championship sadly, as I have huge respect for him. His best place he has finished in the championshipin is 3rd back in 2011 when he rode for Repsol Honda. I think it will be difficult for Dovi to win with the championship withDucati. Most of the investment is going to Lorenzo and I just think with how strong the Yamaha’s and Honda’s are. I think anything more than 4th is a push for Dovi but I’d like to see him finish above Lorenzo!

Cal Crutchlow

Grumpy man Cal Crutchlow! I love watching Cal racing he is a fantastic rider and over the last two season it been great to see a Brit up there winning races, very exciting! The only thing that annoys me about Cal is sometimes he is incredible bitter and worries to much about what other decisions are going on in the paddock. Don’t get me wrong I think Cal deserves a quality factory bike and I’d love to see him on the Repsol Honda to see what he can do, but he has got to just enjoy what he’s doing nwith LCR and the success he’s having otherwise before long that will be gone and he will regret that. Love to see Cal in the top 4 this year but I think it will be 5th/6th best.

Rookies

Johann Zarco

Well the 2 time Moto 2 Champion has stepped up! Fantastic seeing Zarco develop in MotoGP over these last 3 races he is really giving it his all and I can see a definite podium from him this year and potentially a win too. Qatar was insane and those times he was banging out were fast at the beginning of the race! He will be top rookie this year by far and also challenge the likes of Dovi and Cal in the championship.

Jonas Folger

Jonas Folger is a good solid rider he has never one a championship but was Rooikie of the year in 2009 in the 125cc class. Riding for Kalex for the last couple of years in Moto 2 he has managed 11 podiums from 54 starts with 3 wins! Looks like he is already at home on the Tech 3 Yamaha finishing in 10th 8th & 14th for the first 3 races and sitting ahead of Redding and Miller in the Championship! Be good yeah if he can finish there!

Sam Lowes

Nice to have another Brit in the Maiden class of MotoGP and on a factory bike too! Sam had a couple of good years in Moto 2 finishing in 4th and 5th position but really I think he was kicking himself he didn’t win the championship. This year Sam has a big challenge on his hands with the Aprilla and already sitting dead last in the championship after 3 races he has got a lot of work to do. Saying that Espargaro seems to have had some early success with the bike so hopefully it trickles down to Sam in Europe when we get there. Bring on Jerez!

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