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.

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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!

2019 Austrian GP (MotoGP) – Preview

The MotoGP grid returned from their mid-season break, along with the same story that has dominated this season so far, the dominance of Marc Márquez!

Márquez not only grabbed his 50th premier class victory, his sixth race victory of the season in the Czech Republic, being the only rider so far in 2019 to have more than one win to his name, but before that, Márquez in changeable conditions took a remarkable 58th premier class pole position to equal the record held by Mick Doohan!

So, the question about whether anyone can challenge or stop Márquez will be the main storyline, along with whether Márquez can break Doohan’s pole position record in the premier class as we head into the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Round 11 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Márquez (210 points) leads the championship by 63 points for the Repsol Honda Team over Mission Winnow Ducati Andrea Dovizioso (147 points), and even Dovizioso, along with the rest of the grid, is wondering how are they going to get on terms with the five-time MotoGP World Champion, despite finishing second in Brno.

It is one thing doing it at one venue every few rounds, like what could happen this week at the Red Bull Ring, with Ducati being a strong chance of challenging Márquez, it is another thing doing every round, and right now, no one else on the MotoGP grid can match what the great Spaniard is doing!

Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci (129 points) is third in the world championship, losing ground to his teammate in battle for second in the championship after a disappointing eighth-placed finish at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, while Team SUZUKI ECSTAR rider Álex Rins (114 points) maintained his challenge for third in the standings despite finishing fourth.

Behind the Top Four in the world championship, we have the two Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders in Maverick Viñales (91 points) and Valentino Rossi (90 points) after finishing sixth and 10th respectively in Brno.

As a team right now, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP should be embarassed about where they are right now, and with the exception of the single race victory by Viñales in Assen, they haven’t looked genuinely close to winning a race in 2019 on merit, and right now are being challenged by Jack Miller (86 points) from Alma Pramac Racing after finishing a brilliant third in the Czech Republic from second on the grid.

If he continues this kind of form for the rest of 2019, Miller will finish ahead of both factory Yamaha riders in the championship!

Cal Crutchlow (78 points) is eighth in the world championship for LCR Honda after finishing fifth behind Márquez, Dovizioso, Miller, and Rins, and is in a close battle for this position in the standings with Petronas Yamaha SRT rookie Fabio Quartararo (76 points), who finished two places behind the British rider in seventh, while Pol Espargaró (61 points) completes the Top 10 in the championship for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, ahead of Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (57 points), and Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli (52 points).

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

This race should suit Ducati because of the long straights, the hard-braking sections at the end of the long straights, and the general point-and-squirt nature of the Red Bull Ring. However, Marc Márquez was right there with the Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo last year, like he was with the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in 2017, and with Honda taking a big step forward with their bike in 2019 in regards to straight-line performance, Márquez has to be the man to beat at every circuit for the rest of 2019!

2019 Czech Republic GP (MotoGP) – Preview

The mid-season break is over, and Marc Márquez returns from his mid-season break with a firm stranglehold on the 2019 MotoGP World Championship after claiming his seventh-straight premier class victory at the Sachsenring, and his 10th-straight across all classes at the German venue.

So, with 10 races remaining in the season, can anyone prevent Márquez from winning his sixth MotoGP World Championship, and his eighth across all classes?

The answer will be revealed at Round 10 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship at the Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic.

Márquez (185 points) leads the championship for the Repsol Honda Team by 58 points over Mission Winnow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (127 points) after his fifth race win of the season in Germany, and is in imperious form in 2019, having finished inside the Top Two in every race so far with the exception of crashing out of the lead at the Circuit of the Americas.

Meanwhile, Dovizioso has been struggling to keep up with the great Spaniard, having failed to finish on the podium in each of the last three races, and is in desperate need of a second race victory in 2019 this weekend at a circuit which should suit the Ducati, having won at the Brno Circuit last year in a thrilling race with then-teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Márquez.

Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci (121 points) is third in the world championship, despite having not been on the podium in the last two races, while Team SUZUKI ECSTAR rider Álex Rins (101 points) is in fourth position in the standings despite crashing out of the last two races, which of course came after finishes the previous 16 completed races (not including the 2018 British Grand Prix).

However, a resurgent force is coming in the form of Maverick Viñales (85 points) from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP after winning in Assen, and finishing in second at the Sachsenring after a difficult opening seven races of 2019, where he only achieved one podium, and had three retirements. In my opinion, Viñales is one of the few riders when he is at his best and has the bike underneath him that can give Márquez a difficult time, and I believe he has at least another victory or two in him during the last 10 races of this season.

However, things are heading downhill for Valentino Rossi (80 points) after three retirements leading into the Sachsenring, where the seven-time premier class world champion only finished in eighth, 19.110 seconds behind Márquez, and you feel like the end might be nigh, maybe not in terms of his career, but in terms of high-level competitiveness for Rossi, and it is going to be interesting to see whether Rossi can turn his form around to prove that he is still capable of challenging for podiums and race wins on a consistent basis.

Behind the Top Six in the world championship, there is a strong three-way battle for seventh in the standings between Jack Miller (70 points) from Alma Pramac Racing, Fabio Quartararo (67 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT, and Cal Crutchlow (67 points) from LCR Honda, while there is also a three-way fight for 10th in the championship between Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaró (56 points), Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli (52 points), and Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (50 points).

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

This should be a strong circuit for Ducati, and Andrea Dovizioso should be very hard to beat, along with Danilo Petrucci, and to a lesser extent Jack Miller. However, you cannot discount Marc Márquez from the fight for the race win, and given that he is won twice at the Brno Circuit in the premier class, and three times across all classes, you feel that he can triumph over the Ducati riders, and if he does, he will take one big step towards winning a fourth-straight world championship!