Who can be win­ner num­ber ten?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

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.

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