14 September 2011
Name your dream 2012 MotoGP grid
For a bit of fun, we've compiled a 'dream grid' for MotoGP 2012 - not with the rider line-ups we expect to see, but the rider line-ups we would like to see...
The MotoGP grid is set to change in 2012, with new teams arriving and some existing teams possibly scaling back.
With many teams yet to confirm their plans, we've stuck with the present teams and bikes for our 'dream' list.
The real 2012 grid to date, is shown at the end...
After a stunning 2011 season, keeping Casey Stoner on a Repsol Honda is a no brainer, but who to pair him with? Ben Spies also has a 'rear wheel' riding style and should gel well with what is expected to be one of the most powerful 1000cc bikes, the RC213V. Off track, Spies has a similar 'no-nonsense' character to Stoner and a healthy respect already exists between the pair. We think they'd make great team-mates.
The third Repsol seat looks set to disappear at the end of this year, but had it remained - and if the 'no rookies in a factory team rule' was removed - our dream choice would have been to put Marc Marquez on it. Marquez is exciting, fast, fearless and on stunning form in his first Moto2 season. Repsol would also be delighted to run a young Spanish rider.
Jorge Lorenzo may face a tough task to retain his MotoGP title this year, but he has well and truly stepped out of former team-mate Valentino Rossi's shadow. Lorenzo's results have made him Yamaha's undisputed top rider this year and we'd like to see that relationship continue next year (as it will).
Putting fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa alongside Lorenzo might seem a controversial move, but the pair have a similar, smooth, riding style and the inevitable friction between them could spur them both on. It would also settle the question of which is the better rider, a debate that has been ongoing since the start of their GP careers.
The dream Valentino Rossi/Ducati partnership may not be working at the moment, but the struggles of 2011 would make success all the more sweeter in 2012. In our view, Rossi needs to stay (which he will) and prove he can win on the Desmosedici. Otherwise, it will forever be known as the bike that beat him.
Marco Simoncelli is wild, hairy and Italian - a perfect match for the Ducati! Simoncelli's aggressive riding style is not too far removed from that of Casey Stoner, the only rider to 'click' with the 800cc Ducati. Rossi and Simoncelli are already friends.
We think Cal Crutchlow's mental strength and self belief would see him push the Suzuki hard from the first lap to last and he could excel in a one-rider team, where all aspects of the bike can be tailored to suit his requirements.
Crutchlow is especially strong in qualifying, which is an area many at Suzuki feel has prevented the GSV-R from showing its true potential in recent years. The Englishman would also be able to communicate well with British-based team.
Tech 3 Yamaha:
Early tests of the 1000cc Yamaha look promising and we'd like to see Nicky Hayden back on a 'conventional' MotoGP bike that he can just get on and ride. The switch to 1000cc should suit the last 990cc champion and, like fellow American Colin Edwards, we think he would work well with the Tech 3 team.
Tagged as: Yamaha , Ducati , Casey Stoner , Andrea Dovizioso , Dani Pedrosa , Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Nicky Hayden , Marco Simoncelli , Colin Edwards , Ben Spies , moto2 , Alvaro Bautista , Cal Crutchlow , Marco Melandri
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