First challenge for favourite Marquez at the opening race of MotoGP 2018 in Qatar

by M.C. – photo: @marcmarquez93 | The world is eagerly waiting for the start of the most spectacular motorbike racing competition in the world, the MotoGP 2018, with the first race of the season just around the corner. The Qatari Grand Prix will take place this coming Sunday evening, the 18 of March, at the Losail circuit in Doha. Not only GP, but also Moto 2 and Moto3 will have their big launch at Losail marking the end of all uncertainties, pre-season tests and unresolved expectations. The time has come to demonstrate the power of the bikes and the skill of their pilots and to turn the enthusiasm into results. It is the time of MOTOGP.

As we wait to see how the season unfolds, the pre-season of this 2018 edition has left a unanimous feeling in the air: Marc Marquez is the number one favourite and it would be a surprise if results show otherwise. The number 93 from Repsol Honda has everything on his side to succeed: a bike which has proven its good working order in all tests, the experience of having competed in 90 MotoGP Grand Prix, the confidence of being the defending champion, his own skill as a pilot and his motivation to continue to break records at 25 years of age and adding a fifth MotoGP title to his collection. 

There are a number of strong rivals however, that will try to steal the title, or at least make things a bit more difficult, for the smiley Spanish pilot: 

  • Andrea Dovizioso (Ita/Ducati) – 31 years old – Sub-champion in 2017 – He was then the only pilot to fight the title to Marquez. Only time will tell if he still is a candidate for victory.
  • Jorge Lorenzo (Esp/Ducati) – 30 years old – Three times MotoGP champion – After a year getting used to his new Ducati this should be the season he takes off. As the world champion himself said, winning is for him a need, an obsession.
  • Dani/Pedrosa (Esp/Honda) – 32 years of age – Team-mate of the all-mighty Marquez, Pedrosa has never been ruled-out as a candidate to the world title but for one reason or another (falls, injuries), he has never been able to prove himself. He has been one of the best at the pre-season. Is this finally his year?
  • Maverick Viñales (Esp/Yamaha) – 23 years old – It is a mystery how this young Spaniard is going to perform after a not so good pre-season tests. Last year he won three of the first five Grand Prix of the season only to flatten out as the months went by. Let’s see what he can do this year.
  • Valentino Rossi (Ita/Yamaha) – 39 years old – Six times MotoGP champion – After having renewed his contract for a further two years (he will be competing until 2020), Il Dottore will try to perpetuate his legend by achieving a seventh MotoGP title (which he hasn’t done since 2009). You can never cross him out of the candidates list. 
  • Johann Zarco (Fra/Yamaha) – 27 years old – It might be too early to consider him as the next world champion but after his brilliant debut last year when he achieved several podiums and as the best rookie of the line-up, he is a likely winner of at least some of the Grand Prix.

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