Now that the calendar has flipped, the 2016 MotoGP World Championship is inching ever closer. According to Oddschecker , the usual suspects are atop the list of favorites to win the championship in 2016.
Each of the last three seasons, it’s been the same quartet of top-four finishers and those are the racers with the best odds. The list is topped by 2013 and 2014 champion Marc Marquez at 5/4 with his Spanish compatriot and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo close behind at 9/4. Six-time Italian champion Valentino Rossi has the third-best odds at 6/1 with Spaniard Dani Pedrosa rounding out the top four at 15/2.
Rossi finished in second just five points behind Lorenzo last season. His starting position for the final race at Valencia was the subject of much debate, as he was forced to start from the back of the grid and play catch-up as a result of a dust-up with Marquez in the Malaysian Grand Prix. T he question now is what will happen the next time the pair are fighting one another for positioning. Will they pick up where they left off at Turn 14 in Sepang or start this season with a clean slate? Rossi won all six of his MotoGP World Championships in an eight-year stretch but hasn’t won a title since 2009. After winning his first two titles Marquez placed third in 2015, a healthy distance behind Lorenzo and Rossi.
Lorenzo, now a three-time champion, ended up the beneficiary of the feud but has long since proved himself as one of the top racers on the circuit. Lorenzo has finished in the top two every year but one since 2009, a third place finish two years ago. The champion prepares to defend his crown with a new helmet this season, having split with HJC Helmets following multiple issues in 2015. He recently signed with French manufacturer Shark.
Pedrosa has been perhaps one of the most consistent racers over the past decade. He’s finished in the top five every season since 2006, including second place finishes in 2007, 2010 and 2012. Last season he finished No. 4 for the second year in a row.
The 18-round season opens in Doha on March 20 at the Qatar Grand Prix and runs through Nov. 13 in Valencia. The season will see the return of the Austrian Grand Prix after a 19-year absence. Indianapolis will no longer host, and the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, will be the lone race in the U.S.