With nine races run and the riders of the 2017 MotoGP championship laid up on the beach for their month-long summer break, we’ve finally had a brief truce in what has so far been the fiercest start to a Grand Prix championship season that we’ve ever seen, with no less that five riders going into the second half of the season vying for the title.
Five winners, ten podium finishers and four riders separated by only ten points at the top of the championship standings after nine races mean that statistically it is the closest title race in the premiere class’s 68-year history.
With that in mind, we look at the contenders so far and chart just how well they’ve managed their first halves of 2017.
- Championship position: 2nd
- Points: 124
- Wins: 3
- Podiums: 4
Boy wonder in pre-season testing, Maverick Viñales showed he was more than a one-trick pony when the season got underway properly by taking wins in the first two races of the year – and looked set to be on for an easy run to title glory in 2017. But, as MotoGP tends to do, the young Spaniard has been brought right down to reality in recent rounds.
Struggling with the Movistar Yamaha in hot temperatures, his home races were a disaster, as was a big mistake in Assen and some rather unspectacular wet performances. He’s shown some chinks in his armour, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can respond to it with more determination.
We know he’s tough and we know that he’s always up for a scrap – but it’s still to be seen how he manages when the pressure of fighting for a world title is on his still very young shoulders.
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