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: 3rd
- Points: 123
- Wins: 2
- Podiums: 3
You’d have gotten very good bookies odds on Andrea Dovizioso being a double MotoGP race winner at the start of the season, but the loyal Ducati rider put together two stunning performances at Mugello and Barcelona to double his win tally in only a a week – and to establish himself as a dark horse for the title in the process.
He’s adamant that he’s not yet ready to be there week in and week out though, despite Ducati continuing to improve their Desmosedici machine at an impressive rate of knots. They’ve still got issues, mainly the mid-corner steering issue he’s been moaning about for years now, but under the genius of Gigi Dall’Igna, those issues seem to be getting a little bit less of a problem ever single weekend for Dovi and teammate Lorenzo.
And here’s the thing about the topsy-turvy world of MotoGP in 2017 – you no longer need to be winning races every weekend to be in with a shout for the title. One of the smartest riders on the grid, there’s no one who knows how to bide their time quite like Dovi, and that’s a strength that could well put him in the mix in nine races’ time.
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