The level of the drivers – Will be the 2017 MotoGP season the most spectacular Championship ever? A phrase that we say, repeats and write steadily at the start of the season. “This World Championship will be nicer than the last and worst of next.” Carmelo Ezpeleta likes to repeat each time to emphasize how Dorna work to continuously improve the quality of MotoGP. But is it always the truth?
We can remember that in 2016 there had been nine different winners. Marquez, Lorenzo, Rossi, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Crutchlow, Iannone, Vinales and Miller. With four different brands (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Ducati). Difficult, therefore, that they can repeat something like that. But, of course, the level of the drivers is very high. So, we can remember the period of Americans and Australians. Roberts, Spencer, Lawson, Rainey, Schwantz, Gardner and Doohan. The most beautiful period ever. But the champions of today are no less strong.
The level of the drivers: LIVIO SUPPO, TEAM PRINCIPAL HRC
“Over the past ten years, there have always been many strong riders. In 2006 Stoner and Pedrosa arrived in MotoGP. Then, Lorenzo in 2008 and Marquez in 2013. Drivers that have been added to those that already there were. Yes, it’s comparable to the period of US pilots, but with more riders who can win.”
MAIO MEREGALLI, YAMAHA
“It’s always difficult to make such comparisons, considering the different motorcycles. The 500 Americans were harder, but it is true that there are now so many strong riders and each brand has at least one “top riders”. Although I do not think there will be nine winners as happened in 2016.”
DAVIDE BRIVIO, SUZUKI
“It’s certainly true that it is a good time. I’d say it’s a passing phase, with the “old” (Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa) that continue to go strong. Then, young people like Marquez, Vinales, Iannone and other very competitive arrived in MotoGP. There are at least 6-7 riders who can win a GP. It was not so in the past. When there were Americans, they were not so much to play a success. In addition, in 2017 created situations that make it even more interesting. Lorenzo in Ducati, Vinales in Yamaha alongside Rossi, Iannone with Suzuki.”
GIGI DALL’IGNA, DUCATI CORSE
“It’s a period comparable, if not better than that of the Americans. The 500 were more “ignorant”, but if one wants to win the 1000 of today are no less challenging. It is a different difficulty. With these bikes, with all the parameters that a pilot must be able to check, you have to be more refined.”
PIERO TARAMASSO, MICHELIN
“I remember the period of the Americans. But I say that today the level of the drivers is comparable or even higher. Because there is a lot more technical competitiveness. The bikes are closer together. For us it is better. Not only for the show. As manufacturers of tires, we have more information from champions fast and competitive.”