Back the Brits as the MotoGP™ season gets underway!
First round of the season kicks off at Qatar
This weekend will see the first of the 17 round championship kick off under the floodlights of the 3.34 mile desert circuit at Qatar.
It was 32 years ago that Barry Sheene was the last British rider to win a premier class. Given Cal Crutchlow’s recent performance in testing, the drought could soon be over. Joining Crutchlow at Yamaha Tech 3 this year is Oxford rider Bradley Smith, who makes the step up from Moto 2 as a MotoGP™ debutant.
Another MotoGP™ debutant this year is Marq Marquez completing an all Spanish line up at Repsol Honda with Dani Pedrosa. Marquez has impressed in pre season testing although Pedrosa won’t be keen on giving points away to the 20 year old! World Champion Jorge Lorenzo is reunited with his old Yamaha team mate Valentino Rossi. Rossi will surely be out for some scalps after two years at Ducati, whilst Lorenzo will be looking to try and secure another world title. Ulsterman Michael Laverty debuts in the CRT class on the British Paul Bird Motorsport team.
Twenty year old Gloucestershire rider Scott Redding leads the Brit charge in the Moto 2 class along with Danny Kent making the step up from Moto 3 and Kyle Smith who finished second in the competitive Spanish CEV Stock Extreme Championship last year. Moto 3 sees Kent based Danny Webb and Scottish teenager John McPhee.
The race in Qatar will see the new qualifying system in the MotoGP™ Class. The top ten riders from the three practice sessions will automatically be seeded into the second qualifying session. The remaining riders will participate in the first qualifying session. The top two riders from that session will then join the top ten from practice in the second qualifying session to determine the front four rows of the grid. The remaining places on the grid will be determined by the times from the first qualifying session. A 30 minute untimed practice session will take place before the two qualifying sessions.
Qualifying for Moto3 and Moto2 will remain the same as last year with a single session.
Don't forget to book your place for the Hertz British Grand Prix (MotoGP™) - 30 Aug–01 September here at Silverstone!