My predictions for the 2017 MotoGP Championship
I have been watching MotoGP for the majority of my life. I have seen champions come and go, and witnessed some the greatest races in history. The last three MotoGP seasons have been some of the most competitive riding that I’ve seen in a long time. The 2015 MotoGP season, in my opinion, was the greatest season that I had ever witnessed. Watching Valentino Rossi almost clinch his tenth world title made me believe in the sport again. I am a huge Valentino Rossi fan. Always have been, always will be. By no means will my 2017 MotoGP predictions be bias, because I am a Rossi fan. Below are the list of riders that I believe could be the 2017 MotoGP World Champion.
Marc Marquez: The youngest MotoGP champion in history and arguably the most competitive rider in the last four seasons of MotoGP. He completely dominated the 2013 and 2014 championship and showed his strengths as a rider. In 2015, I noticed a change in Marquez. He was impatient and was riding recklessly, falling many times. He changed his tactics in 2016, in order to become champion again. He was riding smoother, faster, and much smarter than before. In pre-season testing he showed some strengths on the 2017 prototype and put down solid lap times.
Maverick Viñales: The current young gun of MotoGP. He won one race in 2016 on his underpowered Suzuki. He was extremely quick and showed a great deal of potential throughout the season, setting pole positions and getting on the podium. In 2017, he is teammates with nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi in the Yamaha garage. Viñales finally has the chance to prove his riding ability on a factory machine.
Dani Pedrosa: Arguably one of the most talented, yet unlucky riders in the MotoGP championship. The double time 250cc champion has always been a competitive and fast rider. He has over 50 wins and has been winning races in MotoGP since 2006. I believe that Dani could win the championship if he consistently wins races, gets on the podium, and does not injure himself. He has one of the best bikes on the grid, but I have noticed that sometimes it’s difficult for him to keep up over the duration of a hard race due to his smaller stature. That being said, he should never be underestimated.
Jorge Lorenzo: Super-smooth style and alongside the likes of Marquez and Rossi, one of the greatest of all times. He’s won five championships and 65 races. If he were to retire he would be inducted into the MotoGP hall of fame instantly. His strong mind and ability to win races is stronger than most. He won the championship in 2010, 2012, and 2015. He was a dream at Yamaha, but has moved over to the ferocious factory Ducati Team for the 2017 season. It seems that Lorenzo has been struggling with the Ducati in the pre-season testing. Maybe the switch to Ducati was a mistake for Lorenzo? The Italian manufacturer has improved drastically in the past few seasons, but has yet to win a championship since 2007.
Andrea Iannone: “The maniac” as he’s called. Starting his career in MotoGP for the Ducati team, the Italian has proved his strengths on the motorcycle. He’s fast, not afraid, and very aggressive. Sometimes he can be too aggressive though. The 2016 season saw a lot of promising potential wins for him, but ended badly due to mistakes and mechanical error. Iannone can win the championship if he keeps his head on his shoulders and is just patient when he’s leading the pack. I think the switch to the Suzuki team will motivate him to win, and try to improve his composure over the duration of the race.
Valentino Rossi: Probably the greatest racer the GP has ever seen, with nine world championships and 114 wins. The 38 year old continues to impress me and the rest of the world. The 2015 and 2016 seasons saw a rejuvenated Valentino. The 2015 season was the closest the Italian has come to winning a championship in a very long time. In 2016, I saw Rossi trying very hard to redeem himself after losing the championship in 2015. Rossi has been just as fast as Lorenzo and Marquez the last few years. It’s astronomical that he has been this competitive for so long. He is winning races against guys who are almost half his age. His drive to win and be the best is higher than every other rider on the grid. By no means does “The Doctor” have to continue to race at his age, but his motivation to continue is so high. He didn’t win the championship in 2016 due to mechanical errors and costly crashes, but has been runner up for the past three seasons. In pre-season testing Rossi showed impressive lap times, and potentially a better bike for the 2017 season.
Anyone can win the championship in 2017, but I believe it will be one of these six racers. If I were to put money on it, it would be Rossi. He always has something up his sleeve and I feel that he has one last hurrah before he retires.