With testing underway in Qatar and the first Grand Prix of the 2018 MotoGP season just around the corner, we are beginning to get a picture of how the season could pan out. Marc Marquez is obviously favourite to secure his fifth World Championship in just five seasons, but the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso will feel that they can get much closer this year.
Marquez still very much the man to beat
Marquez has been set at odds-on with all major bookmakers, with William Hill putting the Spanish rider in at 5/6. While that may seem a little short for a title-winning season, you only have to look at Marquez’ record over the last five years to see the bookmakers’ reasoning. He has signed on to Honda for another two years, with the rider and team seemingly a perfect fit. Remarkably, he is still just 25-years-old – how many more World Championships can he win?
Jorge Lorenzo is the next favourite in the betting odds, widely available at 6/1. While Marquez and Honda seem to be a match made in heaven, Lorenzo’s tenure at Ducati has not gone so well. Last season was the first without a Grand Prix win or pole in his ten-year MotoGP career. Three podium finishes could also be looked at as a paltry return for one of the best riders in the business. Indeed, those odds look a little short for the man who finished 7th in last year’s standings.
Vinales embodies hunger of young Spanish stars
Maverick Vinales is placed just behind Lorenzo at odds of 13/2. The 23-year-old came firing out of the blocks last season, winning in Qatar and Argentina before having a “strange crash” and failing to finish in the Grand Prix of the Americas. That opened the door for Marquez to land his first win of the season and get back in the championship hunt. In saying that, Vinales could well be the value bet of the new season. So, check out the updated 2018 UK betting offers and promotions for free bets to use on the young Spaniard.
Dovizioso was the surprise package last season, trebling his previous tally of two Grand Prix wins. It took him a while to get going, but he had a stunning win in his native Italy and ran Marquez close after that. He is given odds of 15/2 for this year’s World Championship and could be a smart each-way bet if your bookmaker gives three or more places.
Rossi could still challenge the top spots
This will be Valentino Rossi’s 17th season in MotoGP, with the legendary Italian claiming that it could be his penultimate one. Despite not winning the title since 2009, he is still incredibly consistent. Much work still needs to be done by Yamaha for Rossi to truly compete. At 10/1, He will join the likes of Dani Pedrosa (16/1), Johann Zarco (20/1) and Andrea Iannone (40/1) as the dark horses for the championship, but you would expect at least one Grand Prix victory for the evergreen Rossi along the way.