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Rossi odds-on to reclaim MotoGP title in 2007

Rossi odds-on to reclaim MotoGP title in 2007

The strong pre-season form and historic pedigree of five-time World Champion Valentino Rossi have led the bookmakers to name him favourite for the 2007 MotoGP championship, ahead of current title-holder Nicky Hayden, to whom he relinquished his crown in the final Grand Prix of last season in Valencia.

The strong pre-season form and historic pedigree of five-time World Champion Valentino Rossi have led the bookmakers to name him favourite for the 2007 MotoGP championship, ahead of current title-holder Nicky Hayden, to whom he relinquished his crown in the final Grand Prix of last season in Valencia.

It was Hayden's consistency that earned him the 2006 MotoGP title, winning only two races but achieving 10 podium and 16 point scoring finishes, while Rossi won five races but did not finish three - yet the Kentucky Kid is only third or fourth favourite to retain the title with most bookies.

The Doctor, third fastest in this week's first Official MotoGP Test of 2007 in Qatar and increasingly comfortable on his new 800cc ride, is an odds-on 3/4 favourite to reclaim his crown from Hayden on online bookmaker www.bwin.com. Meanwhile, odds of between 7/1 – 9/1 on Trick Daddy to retain the Championship depending on your bookmaker of choice, reflect Hayden's challenge as he recovers from shoulder surgery and adapts to the smaller RC212V.

Entering the 800cc era, Hayden's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa has been widely tipped to push Rossi hardest in 2007, as the clear second favourite to win the title, with bwin.com offering odds of 15/4 on the Spaniard. Pedrosa was in sparkling form in tests at the end of last season and topped the timesheets again on day three of this week's Official Test, demonstrating just how good he might be this season.

After his third place finish last season it is perhaps fitting that Loris Capirossi is third favourite to claim the title with many bookmakers, and there are odds of between 6/1 and 10/1 widely available to the punter. Capirex, so unfortunate to suffer such an horrific crash at the 2006 Catalan GP when he was joint leader in the overall classification, will hope that he can ride the new Desmosedici GP07 to glory and win the World Championship for the first time in his 10th season in the premier class.

Capirossi's compatriot Marco Melandri, the 2005 MotoGP runner-up and former 250cc champion, also looks a good bet to win the title at around 17/1, especially given that he won three Grands Prix in 2006 and was just 24 points behind champion Hayden in fourth place in the final standings.

Remarkably, bets on Colin Edwards were available at a highly generous 80/1 with certain bookmakers a week ago. But following his sterling performance in Qatar where he headed the timesheets on the first two days of the official test, his odds have been shortened to between 40/1 and 20/1, depending on where you look.

Meanwhile, official factory support for Casey Stoner following his Ducati move sees bookies offering 25/1 on the young Australian to take the title, while strong preseason performances to date from the Suzuki pairing of John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen has led to similar prices being offered on them both. Hopkins' odds may lengthen depending on how much the hand and foot injuries he suffered this week affect his approach to the season, which gets underway back in Qatar on March 10th.

The quick times recorded by returning Brazilian veteran Alex Barros in the recent Phillip Island test and his steady progress in Qatar mean he is tipped at around 40/1, slightly shorter odds than those being offered on Konica Minolta Honda's Shinya Nakano (mainly around 50/1).

Odds vary massively from bookie to bookie where last season's sixth placed finisher Kenny Roberts Jr is concerned, ranging from 34/1 to one generous 121/1, with opinion differing on how the former MotoGP World Champion will fare on Team KR's new Honda supported KR212V, after some slower preseason results were improved upon in Qatar.

Additional outside bets include Carlos Checa (120/1), Toni Elias (120/1) and Makoto Tamada (300/1).

For fans looking for longer odds, a flutter on Ducati satellite rider Alex Hofmann, Yamaha Tech 3's Sylvain Guintoli or either of Kawasaki's French pairing of Randy de Puniet or Olivier Jacque might appeal, with odds of up to 500/1 available in each case.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Valentino Rossi

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