‘Bring on Mav vs Mar­quez’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER

What a start to the 2017 sea­son it’s been! We’re only four rounds into the se­ries and al­ready we’ve had highs and lows, drama and ex­cite­ment, and plenty to talk about as new Yamaha sen­sa­tion Mav­er­ick Viñales lines up against his old spar­ring part­ner Marc Mar­quez.

On top of that, there’s a resur­gence in form from the old hands of the pad­dock, with Dani Pe­drosa tak­ing a stun­ning race win and of course Valentino Rossi re­main­ing as ti­tle leader – but only just!

Af­ter four races, only four points now sep­a­rate the top three in the cham­pi­onship, with Rossi a mere two points ahead

of Viñales, and Mar­quez two more adrift – and with Sun­day’s win thrust­ing Pe­drosa right into the ti­tle fight for the first time in years, he’s only ten points be­hind Rossi in fourth place.

And that’s all be­fore you even start to con­sider Jorge Lorenzo’s resur­gence, as he sets out to build on his Du­cati re­turn to the podium at Jerez by tak­ing his first race win on the red bike sooner rather than later.

Yet, de­spite all that ex­cite­ment, it’s still only the build up to the main event that we’ve all been wait­ing for – a straight head-to-head duel be­tween Marc Mar­quez and Mav­er­ick Viñales. Sure, we’ve had a great start to the sea­son, but we haven’t yet had a fight to the bit­ter end for the win – in fact, only the first race of the year at Qatar has seen the lead change in the last five laps of the race, when An­drea Dovizioso briefly took the fight to Viñales.

But it’s com­ing, and as the se­ries heads back to­wards the old nar­row knife-fight cir­cuits of Europe, things are only just kick­ing off.

‘ Things are only just start­ing to kick off’ SI­MON PAT­TER­SON, MCN

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