2017 is already shaping up to be a drama-filled year. Team changes, new teammates, and scores left to settle are only the beginning, the MotoGP Yamaha duo have been open about their targets this season.
It shouldn’t really come as a shock. Marc Marquez has been a tour-de-force for several years in MotoGP now, shattering world record after world record. And after last season’s title win, it’s obvious that Rossi and Co. have a new threat to address. Yet close behind Marquez lurks another threat, recent Yamaha defector Jorge Lorenzo.
— Jorge Lorenzo (@lorenzo99) January 21, 2017
Lorenzo and Rossi’s tumultuous history was a capstone of internal Yamaha relations over the past couple of years. Now, with a new teammate, Rossi is in a position to either repeat the past or seize the future. His new teammate, Mavercik Vinales has humbly stated that although he will ride for the title, he would prefer nothing but a healthy atmosphere and cooperation from his idol and mentor:
“”For the moment, the relationship is the same. We have a lot of respect between us and I hope it can continue… because when I was a kid he was my idol – and still he is. If we lose respect, it will be no good, for myself. Not just about the media or something like this, but because I saw him like an idol, and I hope we can get respect along our career from teammates.”
– Maverick Vinales
Vinales had heads turning back at the Sepang test when he laid down scorcher after scorcher of a lap, yet knowing that he holds such admiration for Rossi does beg the question: if Vinales could beat Rossi – would he? Or would he simply hold down the fort for his teammate to help?
With the amount of hot-headed racers vying for first, it’s anyone’s guess. Hot damn 2017 you’re gonna be a good one.