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#MotoGP2017: Team-rider combinations

2017-01-24 08:40

BIG REVEAL: Jorge Lorenzo will officially be presented as Ducati's new rider. Image: YouTube

Laykin Rudoplh

Cape Town - The MotoGP season starts off at the Losail Circuit in Qatar this March.

Before the official action kicks off, the riders will have their second tests on their new bikes at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia on January 30 and at the Phillip Island Circuit in Australia on February 15. 

Here’s a look at the teams for the new season:

Honda

One of the only major teams to remain same this season is the Repsol Honda pairing of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. The pair boasts impressive rider statistics, so why not stay the same?

Reigning world champion Marc Marquez will be aiming to make it six championship wins this year, while Pedrosa, who has been with the Repsol Honda team for the past 12 years, will be looking for his first title.

The pair have 29 grand prix wins each, but Marquez has three MotoGP championships.

Yamaha

The rider with the best statistics, MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi, will once again be staying with the Yamaha team. The Italian has seven title wins, 88 GP wins, 185 podiums, 54 pole positions, and recorded the fastest lap 75 times in his illustrious MotoGP career.

WATCH: Yamaha revealed its 2017 YZR M1

This year Rossi will be joined by Maverick Vinales who previously had one season with Suzuki. Rossi will be bringing a lot more experience to the team than Vinales - who has had only one gp win and four podium appearances in MotoGP.

Ducati 

The Ducati team said goodbye to one of their Andrea’s this year and opted to keep Andrea Dovizioso, instead of Andrea Iannone. Dovizioso has been at Ducati for the past five years and will this year be joined by triple world champion Jorge Lorenzo. The 2015 MotoGP champ has had 39 pole positions, 107 podiums, 44 Grand Prix wins and recorded the fastest lap 28 in the premier class.

WATCH: Ducati and Lorenzo presents their 2017 MotoGP challenger

Dovizioso has yet to win a MotoGP championship title but recorded his second GP win in wet conditions at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia last year.

Suzuki

The Suzuki team unveiled two new riders this year - Andrea Iannone pairs up with Moto2 third-place finisher Alex Rins. Iannone successfully won his first GP at the Red Bull Ring in Austria last year before injury forced him to lose points close to the end of the season. Rins has had 12 GP victories, 40 podiums, 17 pole positions and recorded the fastest lap 12 times in both Moto2 and Moto3.

New riders, new manufacturers

KTM Factory Racing

This year MotoGP gets a new manufacturer with the KTM Factory Racing team. In their maiden premier class season, the team have recruited Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro as their riders this year. 

Yamaha Tech 3

Two riders coming from Moto2 will be joining the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team this year. Two-time Moto2 champion Johann Zarco will be paired with the 2016 seventh place Moto2 finisher, Jonas Folger.

Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team

Jack Miller and Tito Rabat will both be staying in the Marc VDS team this season. Miller won his maiden Grand Prix at the red-flagged Assen GP in dreadful wet conditions in the Netherlands.

LCR Honda

2016 was a good year for Cal Crutchlow and his Honda. The Brit has an impressive profile for an independent rider, boasting two GP wins, 12 podiums, three pole positions and recorded the fastest lap four times.

Aprilia Gresini

Alex Lowes and Aleix Espargaro are paired as the new Aprilia team for 2017. The older Espargaro brother, Aleix, comes from Suzuki where he spent two years and Lowes comes from Monster Yamaha Tech 3. 

Pramac Ducati

Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci will both be staying with Ducati this year. The pair finished in positions 14 and 15 in the 2016 MotoGP season. 

Avintia Ducati

The Avintia Ducati will remain unchanged with Hector Barbera and Loris Baz. The team mates finished 10 positions apart in 2016, with Barbera in 10th position and Baz in 20th. 

Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati

2016 riders Eugene Laverty and Yonny Hernadez will be replaced by Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham in the Aspar Ducati team.

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