2019 Malaysian GP (MotoGP) – Preview

The margin won’t say so, but the 2019 Australian Grand Prix was one of the best races of the year, with plenty of battles at the front of the field before it became a battle between Marc Márquez and Maverick Viñales, with Márquez shadowing Viñales for a number of laps until the final lap, when Márquez made his move, passing Viñales on the Gardner Straight/into the Doohan Corner (Turn One).

Viñales tried all he could to overtake Márquez, but crashed out on the final lap entering the braking zone of Turn 10, throwing away a certain podium, and Márquez went onto claim his third win at Phillip Island, his 11th for the season, and the 55th of his premier class career, overtaking Mick Doohan into third on the all-time premier class winners list.

However, there is still plenty on the line for not only Márquez, but also the rest of his rivals as we head into the penultimate round, the 2019 Malaysian Grand Prix, Round 18 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (375 points) leads the championship for the Repsol Honda Team by 135 points over Andrea Dovizioso (240 points) from Mission Winnow Ducati after winning in Australia, and despite having the world championship well and truly wrapped up, Márquez still has plenty to play for, including equalling his win tally from 2014 of 13, as well as the record for the most points in a premier class season, Márquez currently just eight points away from Jorge Lorenzo’s record of 383 points that was set back in 2010, and the biggest world championship winning margin, with the Spaniard’s lead just 12 points away from Valentino Rossi’s record winning margin of 147 points set back in 2005 when the great Italian was at the peak of his powers.

Meanwhile, Dovizioso has secured second in the championship for the third-straight season in what has been a difficult season overall with two races remaining.

Behind the Top Two though, it is a giant battle for third in the standings between Álex Rins (183 points) from Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, Viñales (176 points) from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Danilo Petrucci (169 points) from Mission Winnow Ducati, and Fabio Quartararo (163 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT.

However, the only rider to finish the 2019 Australian Grand Prix from these four riders was Rins, who finished in a lowly ninth after another disappointing qualifying session, qualifying 12th in a performance symptomatic of his season, and his performance over one lap is something that must be addressed if he is to ever challenge for a MotoGP World Championship.

Behind those four, Valentino Rossi (153 points) from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Jack Miller (141 points) from Alma Pramac Racing, and Cal Crutchlow (133 points) from LCR Honda are still in the hunt for third in the championship, but it will be a tall order for those three to challenge the four ahead of them in the standings for third.

However, the performances of Crutchlow in finishing second, and Miller in finishing in third at Phillip Island were simply magnificent, and they will be hoping to take this form into the final two races of 2019.

Behind them, Franco Morbidelli (105 points) closes out the Top 10 for Petronas Yamaha SRT.

In terms of the Teams’ Championship, the Repsol Honda Team (408 points) are somehow, thanks largely to the performances of Márquez, just a single point behind Mission Winnow Ducati (409 points) heading into the final two races as Honda look to win the Riders’, Constructors’, and Teams’ championships.

So, who is going to win the 2019 Malaysian Grand Prix?

There is only one rider that you could tip with confidence, supreme confidence, to win this weekend, and is probably in his best form since the first 10 races of 2014. It has got to be Marc Márquez to claim his sixth-straight race victory, and win the Malaysian Grand Prix for just the third time in the premier class.

2019 Australian GP (MotoGP) – Preview

It was another well-managed race by Marc Márquez at Motegi to claim the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, and in the process helped Honda to their fourth-consecutive Constructors’ Championship, their eighth in nine seasons, and their 25th overall in the premier class.

However, with Márquez just 33 points behind the record for most points scored in a season, a record incidentally held by his current teammate Jorge Lorenzo (383 points), which was set back in 2010, and the Teams’ Championship very much up for grabs for the Repsol Honda Team, and Mission Winnow Ducati, there is still a lot to play for as the grid heads to Australia, and to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, Round 17 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (350 points) leads by 119 points for the Repsol Honda Team over Andrea Dovizioso (231 points) from Mission Winnow Ducati, who looks as if he has got second in the championship under complete control, and can officially secure second in the standings for the third-straight season if he can not be outscored by Álex Rins and Maverick Viñales by five points or more, by Danilo Petrucci by 12 points or more, and by Fabio Quartararo by 18 points or more.

Behind the Top Two in the standings, there is a four-way battle developing for third in the championship between Rins, Viñales, Petrucci, and Quartararo.

Rins (176 points) is third in the world championship for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, level on points with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider Viñales (176 points), but ahead of Viñales on the basis of having two wins to the lone race victory that Viñales had at Assen.

Petrucci (169 points) is fifth in the championship for Mission Winnow Ducati after a seventh-straight finish outside of the Top Five, while the rapidly-rising Quartararo (163 points) is sixth in the standings for Petronas Yamaha SRT after a second-straight podium finish, his fourth in six races, including three in his last four.

Valentino Rossi (145 points) is seventh in the world championship for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP after suffering his fourth Did Not Finish (DNF) result of the season, the most DNF results he has had in a season in the premier class, with Jack Miller (125 points) in eighth for Alma Pramac Racing, Cal Crutchlow (113 points) in ninth for LCR Honda, and Franco Morbidelli (100 points) completing the Top 10 in the championship for Petronas Yamaha SRT.

As far as the Teams’ Championship is concerned, the Repsol Honda Team (383 points) is remarkably 17 points behind Mission Winnow Ducati (400 points) with three races remaining in a battle which will surely go down to the final race in Valencia.

So, who is going to win the 2019 Australian Grand Prix?

On paper, Phillip Island should suit Marc Márquez perfectly, but has only won twice at Phillip Island in the premier class, and despite the fact it should suit him, the track characteristics of Phillip Island tend to bring the grid closer together, and make it such a tight fight.

Outside of Márquez, the rider that is deserving of a race victory in 2019 is Fabio Quartararo, especially after claiming the Rookie of the Year award last weekend in Motegi, and if Márquez isn’t the one to claim victory this weekend, I think Quartararo will claim his first premier class race victory.

2019 Japanese GP (MotoGP) – Preview

Marc Márquez claimed his sixth MotoGP World Championship, and his eighth across all classes after winning the 2019 Thailand Grand Prix over Fabio Quartararo in what was a thrilling race at the Buriram International Circuit, and is now only behind Valentino Rossi (seven) and Giacomo Agostini (eight) in terms of premier class world championships.

Márquez also has the opportunity now (during the last four races) to not only equal the amount of race victories he had back in 2014 of 13, if he wins all of the remaining four races, but also to surpass the points-scoring tally of Jorge Lorenzo back in 2010 (383 points) for most points scored in a premier class season.

However, despite the dominance of Márquez this season, the grid remains as competitive as ever as we head into the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi, Round 16 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (325 points) leads the championship for the Repsol Honda Team by an unassailable 110 points over Mission Winnow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (215 points) heading into Honda’s home race, while Dovizioso’s aim now after being knocked out of the title race will be to secure second in the world championship for the third-straight season, and barring any disaster, should be able to do this.

Behind the Top Two in the championship, there is a massive five-way battle for third in the standings with Álex Rins (167 points) from Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, Maverick Viñales (163 points) from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci (162 points), Viñales’ teammate Valentino Rossi (145 points), and Quartararo (143 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT are within 24 points of each other as we head into the final four races of the season!

Jack Miller (119 points) has slipped away from the battle for third for Alma Pramac Racing after his bike stopped running on the grid in Thailand, causing him to start from the pit-lane, but managed to fight his way back through the field to finish in 14th, while Cal Crutchlow (102 points), and Franco Morbidelli (90 points) complete the Top 10 in the standings for LCR Honda and Petronas Yamaha SRT respectively.

So, who is going to win the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix?

Marc Márquez is searching for his fourth-straight win, which would be the first time he has done this since winning the opening 10 races of 2014, and it will be remarkably just the third time since he joined the premier class back in 2013 that he has won four races in a row should he win this weeekend in Motegi.

The biggest danger for Márquez, other than the opposition, may well be himself, because when he has secured the world championship in the premier class before the final race of the season (2014, 2016, 2018), he has crashed or had issues in the following race, which was on all three occasions the Australian Grand Prix, that have forced him to retire from those races early.

However, you get the strong sense that Márquez is as strong a rider mentally than he ever has been, and given some of the things he could achieve in the rest of 2019, it would be wise to continue the approach that he has been using throughout this year so far.

It has been a remarkable season from Márquez, especially given the intense struggles of the other Honda riders, with Cal Crutchlow the highest-placed Honda rider in the standings (other than Márquez) in ninth, Takaaki Nakagami in 12th, and Jorge Lorenzo in a truly embarrassing 19th in the championship, and to make things worse for Lorenzo, he hasn’t finished a race inside the Top 10 in over a year!

Honda will hope the form of Márquez will continue, and that the other three will improve during the last four races of 2019. However, it is more likely that the current form trend will continue, and given that, I think Márquez will make it four wins in a row this weekend, and claim a third MotoGP victory in Japan, and his fifth across all classes.

2019 Thailand GP (MotoGP) – Preview

It was a completely dominant performance at Motorland Aragón from Marc Márquez to claim his 78th race victory across all classes, his 52nd in the premier class, and his eighth for the season to give himself the perfect opportunity to claim his sixth MotoGP World Championship, and his eighth across all classes as the grid heads to the Buriram International Circuit for the 2019 Thailand Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (300 points) leads the championship for the Repsol Honda Team by 98 points over Mission Winnow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (202 points) after dominating the Aragon Grand Prix, winning by a very comfortable 4.836 seconds over Dovizioso to make a sixth premier class world championship seemingly just a mere formality, if not in Thailand, certainly at the next round at Motegi in Japan.

For Márquez to claim the championship this weekend in Thailand, he must finish ahead of Dovizioso by two points, which means if Márquez is inside the Top Four, and ahead of Dovizioso, he will win his fourth-straight world championship. However, if Márquez is fifth or lower, Dovizioso must finish two spots (or more) behind Márquez for the Spaniard to claim the championship this weekend.

However, if Márquez suffers a retirement, or finishes outside the point-scoring positions, the championship battle will continue onto the Japanese Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.

Behind the Top Two in the world championship, there is a great battle developing for third in the standings between Álex Rins (156 points) from Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, Danilo Petrucci (155 points) from Mission Winnow Ducati, and the two Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders in Maverick Viñales (147 points) and Valentino Rossi (137 points), while Fabio Quartararo (123 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT, and Jack Miller (117 points) from Alma Pramac Racing remain outside chances of claiming third-place in the championship after relatively strong results at Motorland Aragón, with Miller claiming his third podium of 2019, and Quartararo finishing in fifth.

Both Rins and Petrucci struggled at Aragon, finishing ninth and 12th respectively, with Rossi also being below par in eighth, while Viñales is the form rider at the moment when you take out the Top Two in the world championship with four-consecutive Top Five finishes.

Cal Crutchlow (98 points) is ninth in the championship for LCR Honda after finishing the Aragon Grand Prix in sixth, while Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Franco Morbidelli (80 points) remains in 10th position in the standings despite being taken out of the Aragon Grand Prix by Rins after Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaró (77 points) was ruled out of the race due to a broken wrist.

So, who is going to win the 2019 Thailand Grand Prix?

It is sure to be a tight battle between about eight or nine riders you sense this weekend when it comes to the race, but you feel like the one to beat is Marc Márquez, and I feel he will claim his sixth premier class world championship this weekend, but he won’t have it all his own way.

2019 Aragon GP (MotoGP) – Preview

It was an absorbing battle at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli between Fabio Quartararo and Marc Márquez, Quartararo leading for most of the race, Márquez stalking the young 20 year old from France until the final lap, taking the lead at Turn One, and managing to fight of the challenges from Quartararo to take a magnificent seventh race victory of the season at the 2019 San Marino Grand Prix, moving past Mike Hailwood in the record books for most wins across all classes, and move ever closer to a sixth MotoGP World Championship, and an eighth across all classes.

So, can anyone offer a consistent challenge to the great Spaniard? We will find out this weekend at Motorland Aragón at the 2019 Aragon Grand Prix, Round 14 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (275 points) leads by 93 points (the same as his bike number) for the Repsol Honda Team over Mission Winnow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (182 points) with six races remaining.

Although he cannot win the championship this weekend at home in Spain at Aragon, a place he has won at five time across all classes, including four times in the premier class, including in each of the last three years, Márquez can move towards an opportunity of securing the world championship at the next round in Thailand with a typically strong result this weekend.

Márquez has finished on the podium in 27 of his last 32 races, including inside the Top Two in 18 of his last 21 races. While for Dovizioso, the challenge for him will be to attempt to secure second in the championship for the third-straight season.

Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci (151 points) re-took third position in the world championship, despite finishing a disappointing 10th in Misano, from Team SUZUKI ECSTAR rider Álex Rins (149 points), who crashed out of the San Marino Grand Prix after enduring a difficult race.

They will both be challenged for third-place in the championship by the two Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders in Maverick Viñales (134 points) and Valentino Rossi (129 points) who finished third and fourth in Misano, as well as by Quartararo (112 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT, who looks to be the rider that can challenge Márquez for the world championship in the next two to three years, if not sooner.

Jack Miller (101 points) is eighth in the championship for Alma Pramac Racing after finishing ninth in Misano, while Cal Crutchlow (88 points) from LCR Honda and Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli (80 points) complete the Top 10 in the standings, with the latter finishing an impressive fifth in the San Marino Grand Prix, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaró (77 points) is just behind them after finishing a remarkable seventh at Misano.

So, who is going to win the 2019 Aragon Grand Prix?

The obvious one to beat is Marc Márquez, and I think he will win at Motorland Aragón for the fourth-straight year, but who will join him on the podium is a difficult question to answer as I think Ducati, Yamaha, and Suzuki should be relatively strong, but I get the feeling it will be another duel between Márquez and Fabio Quartararo, with Andrea Dovizioso, Jack Miller, Maverick Viñales, Valentino Rossi, and Álex Rins thrown into the mix for the final spot on the podium.

2019 San Marino GP (MotoGP) – Preview

A couple of weeks ago, it was a thrilling British Grand Prix, with Álex Rins shadowing Marc Márquez for the vast majority of the race, until basically the final corner, and with Márquez unable to hold a tight line through the final corner, Rins was able to move through on the inside to claim an exhilarating victory, the second of his premier class career, and for the second race in a row, Márquez was beaten in a last lap duel!

However, the British Grand Prix was marred by a big accident on the opening lap involving Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Dovizioso, which has meant that the championship hopes of Dovizioso have virtually evaporated, but there is still a lot to race for as the grid heads to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the 2019 San Marino Grand Prix, Round 13 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (250 points) leads the championship for the Repsol Honda Team by 78 points over Mission Winnow Ducati rider Dovizioso (172 points) after the events of the British Grand Prix, while Rins (149 points) moves up into third for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR after his second MotoGP race win, and is ahead of Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci (145 points), who had another underwhelming performance, finishing in a disappointing seventh.

Behind the Top Four in the world championship, we find the two Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders in Maverick Viñales (118 points) and Valentino Rossi (116 points), who have continued their resurgent form at Silverstone, finishing third and fourth respectively, backing up fifth and fourth-place results at the Austrian Grand Prix, and you feel that they could be strong contenders this weekend at Misano.

The two factory Yamaha riders have pulled away from Australian Jack Miller (94 points) for Alma Pramac Racing, who has jumped into seventh in the championship after finishing eighth at Silverstone ahead of Quartararo (92 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT, who is just ahead of Cal Crutchlow (88 points) from LCR Honda, while Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli (69 points) completes the Top 10, just ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaró (68 points), and Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (62 points).

So, who is going to win the 2019 San Marino Grand Prix?

Even though he has been beaten in the last two races, you feel that Marc Márquez is the favourite to win this weekend, but he will face a strong challenge from both Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi, along with both Álex Rins and Andrea Dovizioso if he is 100 percent fit, while you sense that Fabio Quartararo could be due for a first race victory in MotoGP.

However, I think Márquez will return to the top step of the podium for the seventh time in 2019, and for the third time in the premier class at Misano, and the sixth time across all classes to move ahead of Mike Hailwood into outright fourth for most race victories across all classes.

2019 British GP (MotoGP) – Preview

What a race in Austria! What a duel between Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Márquez! A duel that went all the way to the final corner, and it was the Italian who got past the great Spaniard at the final corner to grab a memorable victory, his 14th in the premier class, to keep Ducati’s undefeated run at the Red Bull Ring alive!

However, can Dovizioso back up and defeat Márquez for a second race in a row? We will find out as MotoGP heads back to Great Britain, the spiritual home of motorsport and grand prix motorcycle racing, and to Silverstone for the 2019 British Grand Prix, Round 12 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (230 points) for the Repsol Honda Team had his sizeable championship lead cut to 58 points by Dovizioso (172 points) from Mission Winnow Ducati, but you feel like the Spaniard has got this world championship under complete control, and hasn’t gone two races in a row without a race victory in 2019, so you think he is the man to beat at Silverstone.

As for Dovizioso, he needs to win again if he is to keep his slim championship hopes alive, and given the characteristics of Silverstone, it should be a great chance for Dovizioso to claim just his third win of 2019.

Danilo Petrucci (136 points) is still in third in the world championship for Mission Winnow Ducati despite finishing a disappointing ninth in Austria, and is set to come under pressure from Álex Rins (124 points), who finished sixth for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, as well as the two Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders in Valentino Rossi (103 points) and Maverick Viñales (102 points) after stronger fourth and fifth-place results at the Red Bull Ring.

Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Fabio Quartararo (92 points) has overtaken both Jack Miller (86 points) from Alma Pramac Racing and Cal Crutchlow (78 points) from LCR Honda after finishing a brilliant third in Austria, capitalising on the crashes of both Miller and Crutchlow.

Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (62 points) is just inside the Top 10, and is ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaró (61 points), and Franco Morbidelli (58 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT in the standings.

So, who is going to win the 2019 British Grand Prix?

Last year, the British Grand Prix was cancelled due to dangerously wet conditions, but the weather is set to be fine all this weekend at Silverstone, with the temperatures hovering around the mid-to-high 20s (degrees Celsius), and if that is the case, you would expect a duel between Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso, although you wouldn’t be surprised if others do challenge the two leading men in the championship for a fair portion of the race, and if others can challenge, it will be a race to remember!