The summer break is here, nine of the 19 races this season have been run, and the numbers speak for themselves: 10 different riders have been on the podium, like in the last three seasons, and the Lap Record has been broken at four tracks. Assen, Qatar and Mugello this season feature on the list of the closest ever – the Dutch GP at the top, a race in which there were an unreal 175 overtakes. Catch up here!
Competition is closer and closer every year, and we only have more of that to look forward to over the second half of the season. When everything is on the line is often when the best of the sport rises to the top. Last season everything went down to the wire at the season finale in Valencia and that’s been the case for three of the last five titles – since Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) the rookie took on then-reigning Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The latter half of 2013 gave us the awesome duel for glory at Silverstone, the drama-filled Australian GP that saw Marquez black flagged and the incredible final showdown as Lorenzo laid it all on the line.
2015, meanwhile, had Lorenzo as a key protagonist once again. But then it wasn’t Marquez he was fighting, it was nine-time World Champion and then-Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Valentino Rossi. And who can forget the second half of the season? The awesome Island Battle, unseen levels of drama at Sepang and then that almighty final push for the line between the two men in Valencia.
2017 also gave us some classic examples – like the duels between Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in Austria and then, like a replay in the wet, at Motegi where the Japanese GP was a race in the rain so close that it seemed the weather was a mirage. Sepang was a must-win for ‘DesmoDovi’ and that he did – but not without more drama and having to duel teammate Lorenzo.
There’s everything still to be decided in 2018 and truly, anything can happen. Will we get another final showdown in Valencia this season? More first-time winners? More records broken? Only time will tell.