2018 MotoGP heats up

By William Herrera Philippine Daily Inquirer March 14,2018

MotoGP, the premier motorcycle race, is offering a more exciting grand prix than its four wheeled cousin, the F1.

Riders have consistently been on the top of their game, and with new developments, plus a new race track in place, the 19-race 2018 MotoGP season promises to be another cracker of a season.

In the past few years, MotoGP has seen numerous race winners, from the works team to the independents.

The likes of Johann Zarco, Jack Miller, and Cal Crutchlow have enjoyed the success that comes regularly for the likes of Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi, and defending champion Marc Marquez.

Smart money is on the Repsol Honda rider Marquez retaining his crown. The phenom has not wavered in testing, consistently pounding in serious lap times.

Marquez topped the time sheets at the pre-season tests in Valencia with a 1:30.033 to his credit. In second, with a 0.403 gap, is his teammate Dani Pedrosa.

With Marquez’s apparent lack of concern (on-track) for his well-being and compulsion to win everything, the five-time champion could easily grab his 6th World title this year.

2018 could also see fan favorite Valentino Rossi hang up his boots if he wins another title with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP.

Vale hinted at extending for another year after his contract expires, but the 39-year-old has been battered and bruised in his illustrious 17-year career, and father time waits for no one.

In Valencia, Vale could do no better than P4, albeit just half a second from the leaders. If Rossi fails to grab his 10th title this season, he might just have to be contented with nine.

Maverick Vinales, who just signed a two-year contract extension with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, could likewise feature in the mix. The former visitor to our shores has the skill set, machinery, plus the hunger to be the dark horse of the year.

Jorge Lorenzo could likewise throw his helmet into the ring, and fight it out with Marquez, Rossi and company.

The Ducati rider could see an inter-team battle heat up with Italian Andrea Dovizioso, and aided by the outright straight-line speed of the Ducatis, either of the pair could take the battle to the doors of Honda and Yamaha.

The 2018 MotoGP season kicks off with the night race at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar this coming weekend. Moto3 runs at 9 p.m., while Moto2 begins at 10:20 p.m., with the MotoGP racing at midnight (all Philippine time).

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