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What would be your dream MotoGP 2012 grid?

14 September 2011

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...

Repsol Honda:
Who:
Casey Stoner
Ben Spies
Marc Marquez

Why:
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.

Factory Yamaha:
Who:
Jorge Lorenzo
Dani Pedrosa

Why:
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.

Ducati Marlboro:
Who:
Valentino Rossi
Marco Simoncelli

Why:
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.

Rizla Suzuki:
Who:
Cal Crutchlow
Why:
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:
Who:
Nicky Hayden
Marco Melandri

Why:
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.

Marco Melandri may have bad memories from the end of his Tech 3 career, but the Italian has proven his worth in WSBK this season and - like Hayden - suits big horsepower bikes. The Italian was title runner-up in the 990cc MotoGP era and, character wise, would be a good team-mate for Hayden.

Gresini Honda:
Who:
Andrea Dovizioso
Stefan Bradl

Why:
We feel that dropping from the factory to a satellite Honda team (as looks set to happen) isn't the end of the world for Andrea Dovizioso, who rarely gets the credit he deserves at present. The talented Italian proved in 250 and his first MotoGP season that he has the mental strength to push hard and pull out good results even when his equipment is not the best. He could thrive in an underdog role.

Stefan Bradl is currently leading the Moto2 championship and deserves a shot at MotoGP. Gresini and Honda would be the perfect introduction, while German fans would finally have a home rider to support once again.

LCR Honda:
Who:
Jonathan Rea
Why:
Jonathan Rea has excelled in just about every championship he's raced in and deserves a chance in MotoGP - especially in the Superbike-sized 1000cc era - and after staying loyal to Honda for many years. We think he'd be a good match for Lucio Cecchinello's team, which introduced Casey Stoner to MotoGP.

Pramac Ducati:
Who:
Andrea Iannone
Colin Edwards

Why:
Andrea Iannone is an exciting young Italian, which would be good for both Ducati and Pramac. He also has the speed to succeed in MotoGP, where 'Crazy Joe' would be sure to ruffle some feathers.

Colin Edwards loves a technical challenge. Could his vast knowledge, experience and consistent speed finally help sort out the Ducati? Edwards worked well developing the M1 alongside Valentino Rossi during the Yamaha years and Rossi would surely value his input.

Aspar Ducati:
Who:
Alvaro Bautista
Why:
We'd like to reunite the rider/team combination that was so successful in 125 and 250cc racing, although it's difficult to predict if Bautista's style would suit the Ducati.

Cardion AB Ducati:
Who:
Karel Abraham
Why:
Karel Abraham has had a decent debut year and being dropped from his father's team for another rider just wouldn't seem right!

So what do you reckon? Do our thoughts tally with yours, or would you shift the grid around rather more? Have your say about who you would place where in our comments section by clicking on the link below…

Confirmed 2012 MotoGP grid to date:
Repsol Honda:
Casey Stoner
Dani Pedrosa
Factory Yamaha:
Jorge Lorenzo
Ben Spies
Ducati Marlboro:
Valentino Rossi
Nicky Hayden
Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
Cal Crutchlow
Forward Racing:
Colin Edwards

End


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