Who can be winner number ten?
2016 has been a record-breaking season for Motogp, seeing an incredible nine winners take race honours in this year’s championship already. But, with one round left in this year’s season, is there a chance for a stunning tenth winner?
With all but one of the factory Hondas, Yamahas and Suzukis taking wins already this year (the Suzuki of Aleix Espargaró), it’ll take something special this weekend if we’re going to see a tenth winner – but if there’s one thing that 2016 has already shown, it’s that anything can – and will – happen…
Danilo Petrucci Best result at Valencia: 8th Best result of 2016: 7th A veritable wetweather specialist, the Italian has already proven this year that he can run at the front in the wet, leading the German race and making inroads on the lead at Assen until a mechanical problem robbed him. Extremely capable of pulling off a surprise if the heavens open.
Pol Espargaró Best result at Valencia: 6th Best result of 2016: 4th The younger of the two Espargaró brothers hasn’t yet stood on a Motogp podium in his career. However, Pol has reached the podium at Valencia twice as a 125GP rider, while working his way up through the junior ranks of the Motogp championship. Add to that a very strong season on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine, and the possibility of Pol being in the right place at the right time, and you never know… Bradley Smith Best result at Valencia: 6th Best result of 2016: 7th Recovering from injuries that threatened to end his season prematurely, Smith came away from Malaysia frustrated with his 14th-place result.
While he might be an unlikely candidate for success given a rocky start to the 2016 season, his incredible ride to second place at Misano last year is proof that anything can happen in topsyturvy flag-to-flag races.
Aleix Espargaró Best result at Valencia: 7th Best result of 2016: 4th The only one of the established factory bikes not to have won a race this year, Aleix is under some pressure to fix that before he switches to Aprilia. Marc Marquez’s tip as the most likely tenth race winner, conditions will need to be just right for the Suzuki GSX-RR, with cooler temperatures and dry conditions a must.
Scott Redding Best result at Valencia: 10th Best result of 2016: 3rd Pramac Ducati rider Redding has shown this season that if conditions are tricky he has the pace to run at the front – and the possibility of rain at the mid-november race could play into his hands. Acknowledged by some of his rivals as one of Motogp’s best wet-weather racers, a win would also reignite his hopes of beating team-mate Danilo Petrucci for the opportunity to ride a factory Ducati GP17 machine next season.