The world’s premier motorcycle racing World Championship, MotoGP™ is an elite competition featuring the planet’s most skilled riders in a spectacular eighteen-race series spanning thirteen countries and four continents. 18 worldwide races, 8 months of competition, with ONE Champion crowned. With four races complete, the 2017 MotoGP™ season is off to a thrilling start and this early in the season anyone could clinch the title.
Grand Prix Qatar
Kicking off the season on March 26th, racers got ready to ride under the floodlights at Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar. The start of the race was delayed due to rain earlier in the day tampering with the grip of the track. For the safety of the riders, the race was cut down to 20 laps. Johann Zarco who started the race out in first place provided promise to spectators until he took a turn for the worst when Zarco dramatically hit the floor and slid through the gravel after cutting a turn too close. Andrea Dovizioso then lead much of the race but could not hold on, which resulted in a second-place finish. Maverick Vinales wrestled with Dovizioso for the lead until Dovizioso’s front tire began to significantly degrade and quickly fell behind Vinales. Vinales took the lead in the final lap to win the race. “It’s like a dream, I couldn’t ask for more,” Vinales said in a post-race press conference.
Moto Grand Prix Argentina
Riders headed to Argentina for the second race of the season held at Termas de Rio Hondo in the northern province of Santiago del Estero. Maverick Vinales gained the lead early on after Marc Marquez took a fall when going around the second turn on the fourth lap. Marquez teammate, Dani Pedrosa took the same fall on the second turn, proving how tough this track is for riders. After these falls, it left a straight run for Valentino Rossi, Vinales teammate, to catch up to the front. Vinales held the lead for the read of the race, beating out Rossi by just over two seconds. Vinales became the first Yamaha driver since 1991 to win the opening two races. “Difficult race, very difficult race,” Vinales stated in a post-race interview.
Riders made their way to Circuit of The Americas™ in Austin, Texas to gear up for the third race on April 23rd. Defending COTA champion, Marc Marquez clinched the winning spot which he desperately needed after his crash out in Argentina. Marquez took back the top spot in the final lap, claiming a well-earned victory. “We needed this. It was an important weekend…Now we can fight for the championship,” Marquez said.
Moto Grand Prix Spain
At Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain, riders prepared for the fourth race of the season. Johann Zarco once again seemed promising to fans moving up to second place early on but eventually dropped back to third. Cal Crutchlow lost his fourth-place spot after crashing out with 22 laps to go. Once the race hit the half-way mark, it was clear the winner was going to come from Repsol Honda with Marc Marquez or Dani Pedrosa holding on to the top two spots. Marquez remained at arm’s length, struggling to fully catch up to his teammate. With a rough start to the season after switching teams, Pedrosa pulled out the win for this race, much to the delirium of the home faithful.
Despite not having won a race in 2017, Valentino Rossi sits at the top of the standings for this year's season. He placed second in both the United States and Argentina races, third place in Qatar, and tenth in Spain. While he may not have taken first place in any of the races, he's racked up points from each race, giving home 62 total points for the season. Maverick VInales, who has won two races so far this season trails by two points after not placing in the Grand Prix of The Americas.
May 21st – Helmets Grand Prix de France
June 4th – Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley
June 11th – Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya
June 25th – Motul TT Assen – Netherlands
July 2nd – GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland
August 6th – Monster Energy Grand Prix Czech Republic
August 13th – NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Pri Austria
August 27th – Octo British Grand Prix
September 10th – Gran Premio Tribul Mastercard di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini – Italy
September 24th – Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Spain
October 15th – Motul Grand Prix of Japan
October 22nd - Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
October 29th – Shel Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix
November 12th – Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana – Spain