Your MotoGP™ Rider Spotlight For 2017

Eighteen rounds. Twelve teams. Twenty-three riders. One Championship.

Start your engines folks, the new MotoGP™ season is fast approaching! With three-time world champion Marc Marquez the man to beat following his impressive showing in 2016, rider changes in the off-season are sure to make the forthcoming championship one of the most hotly-contested of recent times.

Here, we break down how each team will line up.

Aprilia Racing Team

Riders: Sam Lowes, #22 | Aleix Espargaro, #41

Spanish rider Aleix Espargaro joins the Aprilia team from Suzuki, having finished 11th in last year’s championship. Sam Lowes joins the premier class having spent last season in Moto2, where he finished 5th for Aprilia.  

Team: Ducati

Riders: Andrea Dovizioso, #04 | Jorge Lorenzo, #99

Jorge Lorenzo’s move from Movistar Yamaha to Ducati was the off-season’s biggest story. The three-time champion will look to once again get back on top. He will partner Italian Dovizioso, who is in his fifth season with the team, and had an impressive fifth place finish last year in the driver standings.

Team: OCTO Pramac Racing

Riders: Danilo Petrucci, #9 | Scott Redding, #45

Petrucci and Redding return as the starting line-up for OCTO for 2017 after the team’s pairing finished 2016 with a combined 161 points, good enough for 6th place in the constructors’ championship.

Team: Reale Esponsorama Racing (Avintia)

Riders: Hector Barbera, #8 | Loris Baz, #76

Spaniard Hector Barbera is entering his fifth year with the team, coming off a career-best 9th place finish in the drivers’ standings. Baz is retained to partner Barbera again, though the pair will look to improve on their 2016 showing.

Team: Pull & Bear Aspar Team

Riders: Karel Abraham, #76 | Alvaro Bautista, #19

Bautista leaves Aprilia Racing following two seasons to return to Aspar where he previously competed between 2006 and 2009 at 125cc and 250cc. Czech native Abraham returns to MotoGP following a one-year hiatus where he competed in the Superbike World Championship.

Team: Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

Riders: Jack Miller, #43 | Tito Rabat, #53

Returning pair of Miller and Rabat will be hoping for better fortunes in 2017 for the Belgian team, where they accounted for 87 total points and 11th place in team standings in 2016.

Team: Repsol Honda Team

Riders: Marc Marquez, #93 | Dani Pedroas, #26

The team to beat in many people’s eyes, returning champion Marc Marquez is the man everyone must catch. His teammate Dani Pedrosa, 6th in last year’s championship, will know he is better than that showing.

Team: LCR Honda

Riders: Cal Crutchlow, #35

Represented solely by Brit Cal Crutchlow, the team showed enormous potential in 2016, winning two races and two second-place finishes. But for six retirements in races, the year could have been so much different, and 2017 represents a chance to show their worth.

Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Riders: Bradley Smith, #38 | Pol Esparango, #44

Both riders leave the Tech 3 Yamaha team to join the newly-formed KTM factory team, where they are expected to be highly competitive.

Team: Team Suzuki Ecstar

Riders: Andrea Iannone, # 29 | Alex Rins, #42

Andrea Iannone leaves Ducati after four years to join the team, and is one of the best riders on the circuit. He will be joined by Alex Rins who makes his MotoGP™ debut.

Team: Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Riders: Johann Zarco, #5 | Jonas Folger, #94

A team comprising of two MotoGP™ rookies, two-time Moto2 world champion Zarco (2015 and 2016) will partner Jonas Folger on one of the most well-respected teams in the sport.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Riders: Valentino Rossi, #46 | Maverick Vinale, #25

A team made up of arguably the greatest rider of all-time in Valentino Rossi (a seven-time world champion), and one of the most exciting talents in recent times in Maverick Vinales, if anybody is going to stop Marc Marquez winning another title, they will come from this team. 

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