The 2016 Moto Grand Prix is the 68th World Championship season of FIM Road Racing. The season officially kicks off in Qatar on March 18th with the defending World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo, and many others at the Losail International Circuit.

Rossi vs. Marquez

MotoGP fans who kept up with the 2015 season know that Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez, two competitors who once had a friendly relationship, came to spectacular blows.

Now, heading into the 2016 season, fans are wondering how these two will face-off when they meet on the track. Will we see a repeat of what took place in Sepang, Malaysia, on Turn 14? Or will the two competitors let bygones be bygones?

What Will Happen With Casey Stoner?

Retired double world champion Casey Stoner has been surrounded by one very important rumor: his MotoGP revival. Rumor has it that Stoner will be splitting from Honda and is planning to take on a test rider and undertake ambassador duties for Ducati.

Stoner’s contract as a test rider with Honda expires at the end of 2015. In 2016, it remains to be seen whether he’ll sign on with Ducati as a test rider.

The Future of Honda’s Engine

Honda had some pretty serious engine problems in 2015, which made 2015 a difficult season for Honda riders.

In the 2015 pre-season tests which took place in Sepang, Malaysia, Honda’s engines were found to be too aggressive, leading to problems for many riders.

In the words of Shuhei Nakamoto, “This was our biggest mistake for this year”.

With other manufacturers like Yamaha making better bikes, Honda must make improvements to its 2016 model. The benefit of having the engine issues identified in advance should help Honda come out with a better engine in 2016.


Redding’s Future with Ducati

The Englishman Scott Redding didn’t have the best year on his Marc VDS Honda. Honda had problems with its engines in 2015 and this contributed to many riders such as Redding having a bad season.

Redding has now switched to a new Pramac Ducati, on which he even led the final private test of the year held in Jerez.

In 2016, Redding and Ducati both look poised to succeed. The new technical changes made to the MotoGP are favorable to Ducati due to its longstanding prior commitment to the Michelin test progamme as well as the contributions it made to the Open Class ECU. 

What Does Suzuki Have in Store?

2016 looks like it’ll be a great year for Suzuki, a company which made a strong return to the MotoGP in 2015.

Here are some of the reasons why Suzuki may make the biggest gain in relative performance out of any of the other manufacturers out there.

  • GSX-RR model to receive a seamless shift gearbox – In the upcoming season, this Suzuki machine, the only factory machine of its kind not to have this technology, will be fitted with a seamless shift gearbox. The biggest weakness of this model was its acceleration capabilities, and this will partially address that issue. In addition, Suzuki plans to make a number of engine upgrades in 2016 for what they are calling a ‘complete new bike’.
  • No more electronic disadvantages – In previous years, Suzuki was severely disadvantaged in terms of electronics when stacked up to other companies such as Honda and Ducati. However, with the technical changes being made in 2016, namely, a new single ECU, Suzuki will not be put in such a position.
  • The most competitive machine of the year – Ducati having passed out of technical concessions is a huge advantage for Suzuki because it may make their machine the most competitive one. Suzuki will be able to benefit from additional testing, extra engine changes, and in-season engine development.
  • Great lineup – The Suzuki lineup which features the likes of Vinales, indicate that the company could do very well in the upcoming year.

Big Technical Changes

2016 is going to see one of the biggest changes made to the MotoGP technical rules since 2012, when the switch from 800 cc to 1000cc engines was made. This year, a new single ECU system will be introduced and Michelin will be the new exclusive tyre supplier for the MotoGP, replacing Bridgestone.

The transition to a single ECU system for all riders in 2016 will make the sport easier to manage and explain.

The 2016 MotoGP season has a lot in store for fans, riders, and motorcycle manufacturers alike. Big changes to the technical aspects of the sport, as well as engine modifications could have major affects on the sport. Who will hold onto their spots and scores? Which riders will be triumphant in the 2016 MotoGP season? Catch every event to find out all and more on MotoGP 2016.