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#HappyNewYear: 2017 Starts Now
The future is coming and it looks like this: a major reshuffle across the premier class, banned winglets, and a new manufacturer – as well as the usual, never-ending push for progress in the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship.
From 10am to 5pm local time (GMT +1), motogp.com will have live video coverage from the first testing of the 2017 season – with commentary from the MotoGP™ team of Matthew Birt and Nick Harris, and insights direct from pitlane thanks to Dylan Gray. Live Timing throughout both days will make sure you never miss a lap, and end-of-day reportage will cover every angle of the exciting start to another new era – with videos, features and analysis on motogp.com.
The key draw for most will be wearing red: Jorge Lorenzo is set to get his first taste of the 2017 Ducati on Tuesday, as the ‘Spartan’ leaves Movistar Yamaha for the Borgo Panigale factory team. Maverick Viñales is the man in to replace the outgoing 5-time World Champion alongside Valentino Rossi at Yamaha – with Andrea Iannone completing the top draw shuffle as he switches Ducati for the Team Suzuki Ecstar seat vacated by Viñales.
Graduation is also on the cards for many: reigning intermediate class Champion Johann Zarco leads those on the move up, with key 2016 Moto2™ rivals Alex Rins, Jonas Folger and Sam Lowes also all making the leap. Lowes will join former Suzuki rider Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, as Rins takes the older Espargaro brother’s place with the Hamamatsu factory.
Zarco and Folger will continue their rivalry from Moto2™ in close quarters as they move to MotoGP™, as they take over from Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. Espargaro and Smith maintain their relationship as teammates – but moving to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
After a year of testing with an impressive line-up of names, the Austrian factory line up full time in 2017 with 2013 Moto2™ World Champion Espargaro and MotoGP™ podium finisher Smith – and expectation is high. Following their first real run alongside their competition with Mika Kallio at the helm for a wildcard in the 2016 season finale, the Moto3™ frontrunners will be looking to hit the ground running in their quest to win yet more titles – this time in the premier class.
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, along with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, will also be straight back to work for the new season: more ready than ever to pick up where they left off.
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