No fairytale ending
The 2015 MotoGP championship battle had more twists and turns than a Hollywood script, but there would be no fairytale ending.

Fans hoped the title would be settled by a fitting duel between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, to rival the likes of the legendary 2002 WSBK showdown between Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss.

Instead the Yamaha team-mates rarely crossed paths during the closing rounds as the championship chase descended into an ugly spiral of polemics, accusations, penalties and appeals.

Marco Melandri
A 250cc world champion, five-time MotoGP race winner and title runner-up in both MotoGP and WSBK, Marco Melandri's return was widely welcomed - but apparently not by the man himself.

The Italian could barely have looked more miserable during his eight races for the new Factory Aprilia team, which he split from after Assen, having failed to score a single point.

The 2015 RC213V
Last year's Honda RC213V won 14 of 18 races, including the opening ten in a row for reigning double champion Marc Marquez.

But the 2015 version seemed in trouble from the first post-season test at Valencia. The problem was then compounded when efforts to tame the aggressive engine character were given a false green light during the Sepang tests, leaving Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa with a nasty surprise when they arrived for the final test in Qatar.

By then it was too late to make modifications to the engine before the opening race. And with engine development banned during the season, Honda was forced to try and soothe the issue via a range of chassis, electronic and exhaust changes.

Improvements were made, and Honda would win a respectable seven races, but their title hopes were effectively over by mid-season.

Forward Racing turmoil
It's been a long time since a MotoGP team was unable to attend an event for financial reasons, but that was the situation Forward Racing found itself in after the arrest of team principal Giovanni Cuzari for tax related issues.

Lead rider Stefan Bradl didn't hang around to see what would happen next, promptly switching to Aprilia.

Fortunately, Forward's Indianapolis absence was to be a one-off and the team returned for Brno and the remainder of the season. The turmoil no doubt contributed in the squad scrapping its MotoGP project for 2016, but they will remain in the Moto2 category and start a new partnership with MV Agusta in WSBK and WSS.

De Angelis injuries
In a season of fortunately few injuries, there was one major scare: Alex de Angelis suffered numerous head and upper body injuries when he struck an unprotected barrier on Saturday at Motegi.

The Ioda rider spent a worrying two weeks in intensive care, but is now on the road to recovery and plans to be back on the grid in 2016.

Indianapolis out
It looks like MotoGP won't be returning to Indianapolis next season, the event having been officially dropped from the calendar, although recent rumours suggest it could make a surprise return should the Brno authorities not get their act together.

The twisty infield circuit used for MotoGP at Indianapolis was never going to threaten the likes of Phillip Island, but as a venue the mighty IMS certainly added prestige to the series while crowd figures were respectable.

It is therefore a shame that the venue looks to have been lost, especially given the recent efforts to resurface the track, which solved the biggest bugbear for the riders.

 

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