18 Grands Prix. Four continents. 15 different countries. Are you ready for the 68th edition of the MotoGP World Championship? The season will kick off the first race in Qatar on March 20 and continue for eight months before concluding in Valencia on November 13. Let’s take a look at what we know and can expect this year.
Over 20 riders from 12 teams and five manufacturers will make up the 2016 MotoGP grid. Spain has the greatest representation with nine riders, followed by Italy with four and the United Kingdom with three. Germany, San Marino, Australia, Ireland, Colombia and France also have at least one rider. Australia boasts the youngest MotoGP rider – Jack Miller – while Valentino Rossi remains the oldest rider at the age of 37.
In the history of the MotoGP World Championship, we have seen 26 different riders hold the premier class title. In 2016, we will see three returning premier class champions: Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marcquez and Valentino Rossi. Plus, we will see 2007 and 2011 World Champion Casey Stoner return to Decati as a test rider.
Every year, every rider sets out to clinch the title. What's interesting, however, are the other records and milestones they seek to break and overcome. Among the Spanish riders, we see a high level of competition for who can achieve the highest number of premier class podiums. Dani Pedrosa leads the way with 100 premier class podiums, but Jorge Lorenzo is close behind with 97.
If you look at the overall absolute number of podiums, Lorenzo has claimed 135, behind Angel Nieto who has 139 and Pedrosa who has 141. Interestingly enough, even with one win behind Phil Read (52), Pedrosa has never won a MotoGP World Title.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi will look for his tenth crown to become the ninth oldest rider to win a Grand Prix. He will also have the chance to win at two circuits where he's never clinched a victory before: Austin and Aragon.
It's not just the riders that are battling against one another; it's the manufacturers as well. Honda and Yamaha have remained the dominant forces in the MotoGP world. Yamaha look to add to their 65 MotoGP victories, following behind Honda who have 103. Suzuki still look for their first win since 2007 and Ducati look for their first since 2010.
For the 2015 season, Yamaha proved to be the dominant force, with champion Lorenzo winning seven races and runner-up Rossi winning four. Rossi led the standings through the first round, but Lorenzo powered to the top in the Valencia finale. Now the two look to battle it out again this year for the title as they try to keep Yamaha at the front of the field.
Questions for the 2016 Season
Who will make the record books this year? Will Italy surpass Spain in terms of total premier class wins? Will Marc Marquez overtake Dani Pedrosa in MotoGP wins? Will any country lock all three steps of the podium? Guess we will have to wait and see! It's going to be one heck of a MotoGP season and certainly one for the books.
Attend a MotoGP™ Championship Race
Be a part of the experience with an Official Ticket Package through Moto Experiences! Experience the thrill and excitement of Grand Prix racing and enjoy access to the MotoGP VIP Village™ – the exclusive Corporate Hospitality Program of the MotoGP World Championship. 2016 MotoGP Championship ticket packages are now available!