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#QatarGP: MotoGP™ Full Race
The season kicked off under the lights in Qatar with high expectations after such an incredible end to the 2015 season. Michelin made their return as the sole tyre supplier to the championship plus there was the new spec electronics for teams and riders to adjust to as well. Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) secured pole position ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), but with less than a tenth of a second separating the front row, it was anyone’s guess what would unfold when the lights went out. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was starting from the middle of the second row, sandwiched between the two factory Ducati riders of Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). Who would take the chance to lay down an early marker to their rivals?
#ArgentinaGP: MotoGP™ Full Race
Next up was the Argentina GP, where tyre concerns saw the race reduced to 20 laps with an enforced mid-race bike change. Marquez had established himself as the man to beat during practice, with the Spaniard going to claim his first pole position of the season by almost four tenths of a second from Rossi. Lorenzo completed the front row, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) starting from fourth ahead of Dovizioso and Iannone. With the compulsory pit stop, riders did not have to worry about tyre wear or fuel consumption and could simply go out and give it their all. If that wasn’t enough drama added into the mix, it had started to rain during Warm Up as well!
#AmericasGP: MotoGP™ Full Race
After Argentina, it was time for the paddock to head north to Austin for the Americas GP. This time, there wasn’t much to separate the three title favourites Marquez, Lorenzo and Rossi as they started from the front row together. Marquez claimed his second pole of the season, but Lorenzo was just 0.069s off the pace of his rival with Rossi having seemingly ended his qualifying woes as he secured his second consecutive front row start. Could Marquez defend his 100% record in MotoGP™ on American soil?
#SpanishGP: MotoGP™ Full Race
Next the championship returned to Europe with the Spanish GP at Jerez, which in 2015 was the point when Jorge Lorenzo went on a run of four race wins in a row. This time it was Rossi’s turn to impress, as the Italian recorded his first pole position since Assen the year before. Lorenzo and Marquez would complete the front row, as once again the three favourites for the title had set themselves up for an epic battle come Sunday. Would Rossi go on to take his first win of the season? Or would Lorenzo rule in Jerez once more?
#FrenchGP: MotoGP™ Full Race
Le Mans was next on the calendar with the French GP and it was Jorge Lorenzo who would appear to be in z class above the rest of the field after qualifying saw him secure pole by 0.441s from Marquez. Iannone secured his first front row start of the season, with Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in fourth on the satellite Yamaha and Rossi on the factory bike down in seventh. Would Lorenzo run away with the race like his pace suggested? Could Marquez possibly stop him? Or would Iannone return Ducati to the top step of the podium?
#ItalianGP: MotoGP™ Full Race
The Autodromo Mugello played host to round six of the season, the Italian GP. Rossi was on fire at his home grand prix, securing pole once more, the first time the Italian had managed two pole positions or more in a season since 2009. Viñales and Iannone completed a front row split by just 0.155s as once again it looked like we were going to be in for some close racing. Marquez could only qualify in fourth, the first time he had missed out on the front row in 17 races, with Lorenzo in fifth. What happened next was quite simply stunning and went down in history as the seventh closest premier class grand prix finish ever.
#CatalanGP: MotoGP™ Full Race
The seventh and latest race of the 2016 MotoGP™ season took place in Barcelona, the Catalan GP. Here it was local rider Marquez who took his third pole position of the season in dominant fashion, 0.467s ahead of Lorenzo with his teammate Dani Pedrosa completing the front row. Rossi found himself starting from fifth, just 0.002s behind the fourth placed Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and 0.005s ahead of Viñales in sixth. Another epic race ensued, but the question on everyone’s lips was, who would come out on top in the battle of Barcelona?
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