MotoGP: A wide open campionship heading into the flyaways

Jawad Yaqub Roar Guru

By , Jawad Yaqub is a Roar Guru

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    A close finish in the MotoGP awaits (Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool)

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    Four races remain in the hunt for the 2017 MotoGP world championship and unlike twelve months ago, the race for the title is very much an open book.

    Reigning world champion Marc Márquez, following his fifth win of the season last time out at Aragon, created a small buffer of 16-points between himself and the second placed Andrea Dovizioso.

    Trailing by 28-points in third on the table, is Yamaha young gun Maverick Viñales who hasn’t won a race since the French Grand Prix in May. While mathematically still in contention with a 54-point deficit is Dani Pedrosa, who realistically is out of the picture.

    A further two points behind the Spanish Honda stalwart in fifth, is Valentino Rossi whose aspirations for a tenth title were broken along with his tibia and fibula, during a crash at his motocross ranch earlier in the month.

    2017 has been a year of inconsistencies across the board, with no one rider sustaining their assertion for great periods of time. At most, the repeat winners during the season have only strung together two consecutive victories.

    Taking each win will be a crucial aspect going into this final part of the season, particularly across the next three flyaway races, which’ll be contested in three weeks.

    Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang are all challenging entities on their own and the requirement would be for each of the top three to claim at least one win, before heading to the finale in Valencia.

    Two of the three venues there will arguably favour Ducati, who’ve had a more competitive bike across a variety of circuits in 2017 with Dovizioso at the helm. Phillip Island and Sepang will let the horsepower of the Desmosedici come to the fore, as was the case in 2016 when they were strong.

    Márquez’s current run of the form, with back-to-back wins from Misano and Aragon would likely extend to Motegi – the scene of his third premier class title win last year.

    However, despite the metronomic form that the 24-year-old Spaniard is enjoying, an error is always around the corner and this can be attested to the three DNFs against his name in 2017.

    This is when the likes of Dovizioso or Viñales will need to capitalise and in particular the latter, who needs to win races if he is to claim a maiden MotoGP championship in his debut season with Yamaha.

    Though any mistake from the Ducati and the Yamaha during the flyaways, instantly concedes the title in favour of Márquez.

    With the focus now on the top three, it would be likely that their teammates will be throwing spanners into the mix also. Pedrosa has been consistent with his podium appearances, whilst for the unbelievable Rossi after his Aragon comeback – his fitness will determine whether he can sustain a challenge for the podium.

    Could this be the year too, that Jorge Lorenzo who has not been regarded a team player throughout the duration of his premier class career, looks to aid his Ducati teammate to the Italian squad’s first title in a decade?

    Sitting seventh in the standings, the three-times MotoGP champion will no doubt be a pivotal piece in the outcome of this title race – as the Spaniard edges closer to taking his first victory on the Ducati.

    So difficult it is to pick, who will be victorious from here. Having three riders still in contention is tantalising enough, but it appears that the wait will be extended to the fall of the chequered flag in Valencia to determine 2017’s world champion.