New Challenges

Challenges

New challenges

With four world championship titles under his belt in five MotoGP seasons, Marc Márquez is unquestionably the man to beat in the premier-class category. All the more so today in that he hardly seems to have any weakness. Extraordinarily talented, the rider who sometimes tended to want too much too soon has learned the virtues of patience. An outstanding acrobat and tireless fighter, Márquez is also unshakably optimistic, which allows him to overcome any difficulty in the blink of an eye. To his more than complete range of skills must be added a Honda that is perhaps even more consistent and powerful than last year. From there to imagining the reigning world champion winning the first ten races of the season as he did in 2014 is a step that Marc refuses to take. It is true that nobody last year would have imagined that Andrea Dovizioso and his Ducati would stand up to Márquez until the very last Grand Prix. Now openly candidates for the title, the Italian and his Desmodici also confirmed during the winter tests that they have every reason to believe in their chances. But the fight for the title should not be limited to a duel between Márquez and Dovizioso. Viñales, Lorenzo, Rossi and Pedrosa also intend to have their say, as does Johann Zarco, who made a strong impression in the pre-season practice sessions. Last year, the Frenchman showed that a rookie could stand up to the leaders of the premier-class category. So Franco Morbidelli and Thomas Lüthi will do their best this season to keep close to his heels. The two Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS riders will fight it out for the Rookie of the Year title with Takaaki Nakagami, Xavier Simeon and Hafyzh Syahrin.

With the MotoGP debut of Morbidelli and Luthi, the two riders who finished last year first and second in the Moto2 World Championship, the fight for the title in the intermediate category of the Grand Prix looks very open. Fourth in 2017, Alex Márquez will start with the firm intention of taking over from his former teammate. The Spaniard will need to the upper hand over Miguel Oliveira who finished just ahead of him in the overall classification, and who also won the last three Grands Prix of the 2017 season with his KTM. Brad Binder, Oliveira's teammate, could also be a contender, as Francesco Bagnaia, who performed well during the winter test sessions, or Mattia Pasini, also in great form with his Kalex chassis. In addition to these favourites, an eye should also be kept on Moto2 rookies Joan Mir and Romano Fenati, both of whom are determined to shine from the start.

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