There’s been much suspense looming over fans since the season ended last November. With fans (and teams) eager to get the 2016 MotoGP™ season started there’s one small thing that has to be covered before we can officially kick off the season.
Teams have started to unveil their line-ups for the upcoming season and many can breathe a sigh of relief. Most teams have opted to retain their driver lineups from last season, with few riders graduating from Moto2 this year, while some big names have bid adieu to the sport.
Take a look at the team breakdown for this year:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
The defending constructor’s and drivers champions Yamaha have retained its successful but controversial duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
Rossi, despite leading the championship almost throughout the season, lost the title after incurring a penalty due to clash with Marc Marquez at the penultimate round of the season.
It remains to be seen whether Rossi still has the motivation to keep delivering marvelous performances even in his mid-30s. Lorenzo, on the other hand has been getting stronger and stronger, as showcased by his numerous flawless pole to flag victories through the season. After clinching another championship, his motivation remains higher than ever and also with age on his side he might be able to outscore Rossi again.
Repsol Honda Team
Akin to Yamaha, Honda too has retained its lineup of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Even if Lorenzo can halt Rossi’s charge, the Hondas will be a serious title threat and if they can produce a reliable and quick package, remedying the problems it had last year, then surely they can cruise to the title.
Its lead rider Marc Marquez has already at an age of mere 22 established himself amongst the greatest ever in the sport. His natural talent has no match on the grid, if the bike works fine, then he can cruise to the title as he did in 2014. But one major problem which arose last year was consistency, he lost several races due to crashing while leading; Although the Honda package last year was a bit less competitive, Marquez can’t be absolved of all the blame. Nevertheless, his natural talent has no match once on the grid; if he can just sort out certain problems he faced last year, then surely he will take further strikes towards greatness.
The squad will continue with its experienced Italian line of Andrea Innone and Andrea Dovizioso.
2015 turned out to be one of the best seasons for the team since Casey Stoner left in 2010. With the team enjoying a successful pre-season testing, expectations for the upcoming season remain higher than ever.
Also, with Casey Stoner signed on as the reserve rider, the prospect of seeing him race again remains a possibility.
Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP
Like its rival manufacturers, Suzuki has too opted to retain its riders’ Aleix Esparagaro and Maverick Vinales.
The Japanese giant re-entered the MotoGP circuit just last year. Keeping that in view, it has done a commendable job till now, with few pole positions and several top 6 finishes in their first year already. The team seems on course to challenge the other manufacturers in the coming seasons. But, it seems it will be a while till it can challenge for the championship.
Aprilla Racing Team
The Italian manufacturer will continue with its line of 2011 Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl and the 2006 125cc World Champion Alvaro Bautista, with Bradl slated to be replaced by Sam Lowes come 2017.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
The team will stick to its lineup of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro for the coming season.
Between its riders, Bradley Smith especially stands out, who delivered several marvelous performances with numerous top 5 finishes, outclassing more competitive teams on several occasions. Esparagaro on the other hand, also fared well, but was a bit inconsistent through the season.
Last year’s winner of the open class entry, the Tech 3 team will look to challenge the top 3 manufacturer teams in order to move further up the MotoGP ladder.
At Avintia, Hecto Barbera will stay for another year with the team, while Loris Baz will replace Mike Di Meglio.
Octo Pramac Racing
The talented Italian Danilo Petrucci who impressed last year when he ALMOST won the British GP, has been retained by the team, while Yonny Hernandez will be replaced by Scott Redding, who joins the team from Marc VDS Racing.
Ioda Racing Project
The team has signed on Alex de Angelis as the sole rider for the team in the upcoming season.
The experienced British rider Cal Crutchlow will be the sole entrant for the team this season.
Marc VDS Racing Team
In an all new lineup, Jack Miller will join the team from Pramac Racing, while the team has also expanded to include another entry which will be occupied by Tito Rabat the former Moto2 World Champion. It is also the same team with which he won the Moto2 title a year ago.
Aspar MotoGP Team
At Aspar, Yonny Hernandez will move from Pramac Racing to replace Nicky Hayden. Eugene Laverty will stay on with the team.
Another major change for the team will be the switch from Honda to Ducati bikes, which they also previously used in 2010 and 2011.
See All the MotoGP™ Action LIVE!
Don’t miss your chance to see how the riders shape up this year! Last year’s Champion came down to inches so there is no room for errors this year. All riders know what’s on the line and the importance of making every race AND move count.
Get insider extras and VIP access available through Circuit of The Americas Experiences. With prime seating locations, hospitality access and of course, access to the Paddock Building, you are guaranteed to have the experience of a lifetime!