MotoGP 2014-style was meant to be bigger and better than ever before, with an unprecedented 19 races scheduled, spanning Europe and the Americas, with stop-offs in Japan, South-East Asia and Australia. One of those races – the revived Brazilian GP – is in serious doubt, however. But the rest look ready to rumble.
The run from March to November will decide the 56th MotoGP World Championship. It will determine other things besides. Most importantly it will decide the technical profile of the future, in the first year of “Open” class sub-factory production racers.
Looking forward at the end of last season, there were only three clear candidates for the title, and all Spanish.
• Double champion and now defender Jorge Lorenzo, drawing yet deeper on his reserves of precision and courage to take the complete maximum out of his Yamaha.
• Dashing new boy Marc Marquez, who slid and scintillated to a maiden championship win last year, youngest ever, and with a chance on his second Repsol Honda year to become the second-youngest as well.
• The ever-thwarted Repsol Honda stalwart Dani Pedrosa, if he finally gets a run of good luck that lasts all the way through the year.
That hinged on one proviso… that Yamaha would be able to manage further refinement to their long-standing in-line-four M1 design. By the end of last year the design was looking to be on its last legs – the price for the wider engine and the greater internal friction of the balance-shaft, against the compact perfectly balanced 90-degree V-four Honda. The sums paid are small, but up front the margins are very narrow.
To read more of the MotoGP preview in this week’s Cycle News, click here