The old guard of the MotoGP is being forced to make way for the younger generation. Veterans like Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo dominated the sport for over a decade, but now it’s time for the likes of Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales to assume the mantle.
Marquez blew the competition away in 2016. Can he repeat his performance in 2017? We’ll find out – or start to – come March 26th when the 2017 season opens with the Gran Prix of Qatar at Losail International.
Here are the odds on who will win the 2017 title and the Constructors Championship in our 2017 MotoGP primer!
Odds to win the 2017 MotoGP title
Marc Marquez: 17/8
Since joining the MotoGP circuit in 2013, Marquez has taken the sport by storm. He’s the first to win a MotoGP championship in his rookie year since the rule changes, and has won three of the last four seasons. That’s not bad for a 23-year-old.
The Spaniard finished first in 2016 by a pretty sizable margin (49 points), already sealing the victory by the Japanese Grand Prix. There’s no doubt that Marquez and his Honda RC213V are the ones to watch coming into the 2017 season.
Maverick Vinales: 4/1
MotoGP is making way for the newcomers, and this season is shaping up as a battle between Vinales and Marquez. In just his second season in the MotoGP, Maverick managed to finish fourth in 2016. That’s a huge improvement from the 12th-place finish in his debut season. His achievement has been overshadowed by Marquez, but he bettered his point total by over 100 (from 97 to 202).
While he won’t make as big a jump this year, at just 22 years old, there’s every reason to expect more improvement and a top-three finish.
Valentino Rossi: 11/2
With nine Grand Prix World Championships to his name, Valentino Rossi is arguably the greatest motorcycle racer of all time. At 37 years old, his reign is coming to an end; he hasn’t won the title since 2009. That said, he did manage to come in second in each of the last two seasons; his sunset years may just have another shiny crown in them.
Jorge Lorenzo: 11/2
Lorenzo is a fan favorite for his aggressive style of riding. But it’s that same style that has made him a controversial figure within the sport. He’s had intense rivalries throughout his career, most notably with former teammate Rossi.
Whatever your opinion of him, you can’t deny his achievements. He’s won three MotoGP titles and, at 29 years old, remains one of the best riders in the sport.
Dani Pedrosa: 18/1
Pedrosa is possibly the best rider to never win the MotoGP championship. Riding alongside Marquez, the Repsol Honda rider is a regular top-five finisher. But despite three second-place MotoGP finishes, he’s never been able to take the top spot. Riding on the same team as Marquez probably means this won’t be his year, either.
Odds to win the 2017 Constructors Championship (most Grand Prix wins)
Honda has struck gold with Marquez, and Pedrosa is a reliable finisher for the team. If Marquez continues to dominate the sport like he has in the last four years, we’ll be seeing Honda come out on top once again.
Yamaha are looking pretty good, as well, with Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales on their side. Rossi is still a contender for the 2017 season, despite his age. And Vinales is only getting started in his career.
Ducati have some hope now with Lorenzo making the switch from Yamaha. But other than that, there’s not too much going on for the Italian maker.
Photo credit: “MotoGP” by Jerko, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.