Relive the Epic MotoGP 2016 season
The MotoGP 2016 Edition had all the ingredients of an exciting season we fans had hoped for. With Marc Marquez, Johann Zarco and Brad Binder claiming their title for MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 class well before the season ender at Valencia, the results don’t exactly reveal how fantastic the season that went past was. With so much to talk about we have made this into a 3 part series with next 2 parts focusing on Moto2, Moto3 and just concluded MotoGP test at Valencia. 2016 proved how unpredictable MotoGP is with Marc winning his 3 rd MotoGP title on the Honda RC213V – the bike on which almost everybody else struggled to bring it home. With Yamaha M1’s starting the season as hot favorites – on the back of Jorge Lorenzo winning his 3rd title in 2015, and GP 16 showing immense progress in the right direction, Marc stole the thunder by an uncanny change in his “win it or bin it” attitude. The maturity and consistency showed in this season is something that should get his rivals worrying for 2017, now that Honda is beginning to get its head around the Unified software and Michelin tyres.
Factory Yamaha’s of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi started the season well, and were the favourites to win the season. However, a mix of crashes, blown up engines and poor weather conditions saw them lose out to Honda for both rider and constructors trophy. 2016 was not just about change in the attitude of Marc Marquez, it was also the season that saw as many as 9 MotoGP winners. With Magnetti Marelli spec ECU and Michelin tyres levelling out the field, factories like Suzuki, Ducati along with satellites could pose a challenge to the dominance of factory Yamaha and Honda when the chips were in their favour . Suzuki claimed Unified software was superior to their factory code. And this allowed upcoming talent and “Alien” Maverick Vinales to give Suzuki its first MotoGP win in its just second year of return to MotoGP.
Ducati reaped the benefits of working extensively on the Magnetti Marelli ECU with its satellite teams in 2015 and were able to score 2 MotoGP wins this year, with both the Andreas scoring a win each. 2016 also marked the season, which saw satellite teams returning to winning ways. LCR Honda & Marc VDS Honda having each scored wins – courtesy Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller, ended the drought for satellite teams. The wins could not come at a much opportune time, as it also makes satellite team relevant, with them losing out to factory teams in attracting young talent and keeping sponsors interested.
The wins also sees end of concessions for Suzuki in the future with limited number of tests, engine development ban and number of engines allowed per season. Does this have an effect on their 2017 results? Well we just have to wait for 2017 to unfold to get our answers. What with Ducati successfully poaching Jorge Lorenzo from Yamaha, Suzuki lapping up The Maniac – Andrea Iannone and Maverick Vinales getting the ride he deserves on Yamaha M1.
KTM made its much anticipated debut at Valencia with its RC16 and former Moto2 rider Mika Kallio. KTM brought to MotoGP a whiff of fresh air by choosing to go with un-conventional trellis frame and WP suspensions. Expectations were high from the Austrian Manufacturer, however, their debut proved how different it was to run a full distance race compared to doing test runs. Having qualified 20th of the 22 rider field, KTM had to withdraw mid-way into the race due to sensor issues. The run should help them gather crucial data and should help Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith in turning it to a race winner.
Written by Chinmaya Kar