How MotoGP™ Teams Are Stacking Up for the Qatar Season-Opener

MotoGP United States Grand Prix QuintEvents Race StartWith two official pre-season tests under MotoGP™ teams’ belt, the pressure on riders to perform well on the third and final official pre-season test is undoubtedly being felt by teams. The final pre-season test will be held in Qatar later this week from March 2-4, which is also the venue for the season-opening race on March 20.

Something that will make the MotoGP 2016 season a little more interesting is the shift from Bridgestone to Michelin tires. The premier-class motorbike sport announced the change a while ago and the first time we got a glimpse of just how significant that change is was at the pre-season testing in Sepang, Phillip Island, and shortly Qatar.

So how are the teams stacking up against each other with this new change in the balance of power? Check out the rankings from the Sepang and Phillip Island testing below.

Sepang Test – Top 10: Average ranking (3 days)

Rider

Team

Average

Standings (1st Day)

2nd Day

3rd Day

Jorge Lorenzo

Yamaha

1.3

1st Place

2nd

1st Place

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha

3.3

2nd

6th

2nd

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati

4.0

4th

1st

7th

Marc Marquez

Honda

4.7

7th

4th

3rd   

Cal Crutchlow

Honda

6.3

10th

5th

4th

Hector Barbera

Ducati

6.7

6th

3rd

11th 

Andrea Iannone

Ducati

7.0

5th

8th 

8th

Dani Pedrosa

Honda

7.0

3rd

12th

6th

Scott Redding

Ducati

8.0

8th

7th

9th

Maverick Vinales

Suzuki

10.7

11th

11th

10th

 

SepangThe Sepang pre-season test was the first (official) time riders had an opportunity to size each other up and boy did we get a glimpse of how prepared everyone is for this 2016 season. Jorge Lorenzo picked up right where he left off, dominated the opening and closing days of the first pre-season MotoGP testing.

Rossi made it a Yamaha one-two for the first and last day of testing but fell a little short on day two landing in sixth place. Regardless, it’s easy to see that the competition amongst the Yamaha teammates is going strong. The Yamaha duo battled ferociously during last year’s championship.

Phillip Island Test – Top 10: Average Ranking (3 days)

Rider

Team

Average

Standings (Day 1)

Day 2

Day 3

Maverick Vinales

Suzuki

1.7

2nd Place

1st Place

1st Place

Cal Crutchlow

Honda

4.3

5th

5th

3rd

Marc Marquez

Honda

5.0

12th

2nd

1st

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha

5.0

6th

4th

5th

Hector Barbera*

Ducati

5.0

N/A

6th

4th

Scott Redding

Ducati

8.0

4th

9th

11th

Loris Baz*

Ducati

8.5

N/A

11th

6th

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati

9.3

1st

14th  

13th

Jorge Lorenzo

Yamaha

9.3

16th

3rd

9th

Pol Espargaro

Yamaha

9.3

7th

13th

8th

*Missed Day 1

jprice cota motogpThe Phillip Island pre-season test is EXACTLY why fans of MotoGP love this sport. Riders, no matter how experienced, competed on a level playing field. We saw seasoned riders fall towards the back of the pack and novice riders use that opportunity to make their mark on the standings. Lorenzo and his Yamaha teammate Rossi dominated at Sepang, but Honda and Suzuki came back strongly to lead the timesheets at Phillip Island.

Take a look at the chart above to see just how unpredictable this season is going to be! The new Balance of Power that was released from organizers leaves little to no room for mistakes and will keep the sport VERY interesting. Rossi added, “I think that the balance between the different bikes can change from one track to another. For this reason it is important to test at three very different tracks before the start of the championship and it will be very important to have a bike that can adapt from track-to-track.”

DSCGet the MotoGP Experience

There’s one final pre-season test that will take place in Qatar, which also happens to be the location of the MotoGP season-opener. If you can’t make it all the way across the world, you CAN be part of one of the major early races that Rossi mentioned.

The third leg of the MotoGP Championship will take place at America’s beloved Circuit of The Americas™ on April 10th. And obviously you can’t miss it! Get your Official Ticket Packages to the 2016 championship through Circuit of The Americas Experiences to receive unrivaled access to the tracks most coveted seating locations, premium hospitality, celebrity driver meet-and-greets, and more!

Unlock MotoGP VIP Access in Austin!

Subscribe to Email Updates