British MotoGP championship standings Join the conversation on Twitter using #FinanceNext
Last year Mugello was a horror show for British riders competing in the first major pre-season testing event. At the very least, enough events will take place in total to ensure at least the highest standard of competitive racing is possible, and no doubt this will be the case at a circuit that, prior to reopening to the general public in 2015, had already hosted French MotoGP.
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But the stakes will be much higher this time around after Mugello’s restoration to the MotoGP calendar, and, as such, more expectations will be raised.
Marek Marquez, who won three races at Mugello in 2016, started only two of them in 2017, despite starting well with second place in the sixth practice session before retiring with a mechanical problem. He is also currently placed third in the championship, 33 points behind Valentino Rossi.
Giuseppe Martinelli has started all eight races in 2017 from pole position. The Italian has had to suffer some great laps in difficult conditions but he has finished the races he has started. At the head of the table, Martinelli is 31 points ahead of the big-budget riders in Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales. That gap is not insurmountable, but it is two victories to the 22.
Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa has been in scintillating form in 2017 but is just six points ahead of last year’s third-placed rider Danilo Petrucci. The same manufacturer helmets were used in 2017, with Honda being the dominant force in MotoGP.
There are a number of Honda riders in the top 10 this year, a not uncommon occurrence for that manufacturer in an era of virtual parity. They have four riders in the top 10, with Valentino Rossi, the Italian great who will celebrate his 40th birthday on the night of the British GP, occupying eighth spot.