MotoGP™ 2013: Facts of the year

Thursday, 4 April 2013

This year’s MotoGP™ season promises to be truly dramatic, not least as Valentino Rossi reunites with Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha Factory Racing while Marc Márquez goes head-to-head with Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda Team. But considering those as the only talking points would be a huge mistake…


 

Before getting to 2013, last season was one of ‘goodbyes’, although some will hope their absences may be more temporary than those of others. One man not expected to return anytime soon is Casey Stoner, as the champion of 2007 and 2011 has departed to spend more time with his family. Also off the grid for the time being are James Ellison, Michele Pirro, Ivan Silva and Mattia Pasini.

Those exits are accompanied by no less than eight entrances. Márquez’s debut may be the most eagerly-anticipated, but will mean little to the likes of Andrea Iannone, Bradley Smith, Lukáš Pešek, Bryan Staring or Michael Laverty. Or, for that matter, Hiroshi Aoyama and Claudio Corti who make their full-time debuts following one-off rides in Valencia at the end of last season.

The strength of this year’s grid is illustrated by the following facts:

- Nine of the riders have already won crowns in at least one of the three tiers of the World Championship, making it 23 titles in total

- No less than 16 riders on the grid have won races in at least one of the three classes

- The combined total of GP victories for this year’s permanent entry of MotoGP™ riders is 299

- For the second successive year, Colin Edwards (who turned 39 in February) is the older rider on the grid

- The youngest rider is 20-year-old Marc Márquez, who also celebrated his birthday in February after dominating last year’s Moto2™ title race

The first venue to welcome the field is Qatar’s Losail International Circuit, which is celebrating its own milestone as it hosts a MotoGP™ event for the tenth time.

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