MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Nine MotoGP winners – will it ever happen again?
Maybe not, because this season’s thrillingly unpredictable racing has much to do with the moment of transformation in MotoGP’s technical environment
Nine different winners in one season – something that’s never happened before in a championship that started shortly after the end of the Second World War. Amazing stuff.
But do the historic successes of Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Jack Miller, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales prove that we are now in a new era of enjoyably chaotic MotoGP racing that will continue for the foreseeable future?
In recent seasons MotoGP rights-holder Dorna has worked hard to create unmissable racing via new technical regulations that give every rider pretty much the same chance of winning, with similar-spec motorcycles plus the same tyres and electronics.
This year, for the first time, the rules require manufacturers to lease factory-spec bikes to independent teams. It’s also the first season with Michelin control tyres and the first with unified rider-aids software. Hence four different factories (Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha) winning races and independent-team riders taking three victories (two for LCR and one for Marc VDS), the first time that’s happened since 2005, when several independent teams ran riot with satellite versions of Honda’s dominant RC211V, which was a better bike than most of the factory machines.
There’s no doubt that the premier-class grid is closer than it’s ever been since 1949, but that’s only one reason behind this never-before-seen unpredictability.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.