MotoGP Betting: Spaniards set to dominate the 2013 season


Trent Burton is struggling to split Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP Championship betting ahead of this weekend's opening race in Qatar, as he explains in his season preview...

After one of the busiest off seasons in some time, this week sees the start of the 2013 MotoGP season. There's a lot to be excited about even if, in truth, the championship will probably fall to a battle between two.


Usually we start a season with one, maybe two, big changes. This year the stocking's stuffed. Technically speaking, the CRT bikes now have a 'control' electronics package available to them which should help bridge the gap slightly to the factory bikes.  But the big changes are at the front.


Casey Stoner, arguably the most naturally gifted rider of his generation, has gone, off racing V8 Supercars in Australia for the foreseeable future. His spot at Repsol Honda has been taken by new kid on he block, Marc Marquez, who has been unbelievably impressive in testing, alongside Dani Pedrosa.


Valentino Rossi is hoping to put the embarrassing disaster that was his two year stint at Ducati behind him as he returns to Yamaha to partner reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo. Andrea Dovizioso has left Yamaha to take Rossi's Ducati and in turn his seat has been taken by Brit Bradley Smith making Tech 3 an all-British affair with Cal Crutchlow next-door.


And it's all change at Pramac Ducati too with the arrival of rookie Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies from Yamaha.


But the more things change, the more they stay the same.


A quick look at Betfair's exchange market for the title will tell you just as much. Lorenzo and Pedrosa are evenly matched at 3.0 though there is room for a little movement on Lorenzo's price.


Marquez is a champion of the future, for sure, but will most likely need a full season under his belt to make a serious title challenge. I expect him to win races, but I also expect him to throw it at the scenery a couple of times until he gets fully comfortable on the big bikes.


As for Rossi, he should win a handful of races which will delight his many fans but I think Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and even Marquez and Crutchlow have passed the Italian in the pecking order now and it'll take a minor miracle for him to win another title.


Britain's best hope is of course Crutchlow but for mine he's facing a challenging year.


Undoubtedly even quicker than he was last year when he scored two podiums, it'll be an uphill battle on the satellite Yamaha that is essentially unchanged from last year. On a better bike, Cal would easily be winning multiple races this year instead he'll be aiming to be a consistent podium man. He'll be desperate to try and finish ahead of Rossi as much as possible to try and secure that factory Yamaha seat in two years.


In years past you'd pick a race winner from just three guys - Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner - but it's more open now. Stoner's gone but you have to factor in Marquez, Rossi and, if circumstances prevail, Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl, alongside.


However, as far as the title is concerned, it really is nigh on impossible to split Lorenzo and Pedrosa right now.


Pedrosa knows this might be his last real shot at a title before Marquez becomes Honda's number one man but he does start the season with a niggling neck injury. The Honda, early on, looks to be a slight step ahead of the Yamaha as well which should give Dani a small edge in the first few rounds.


However, Lorenzo has been exceptionally consistent in testing, and with his arch rival - dare we say nemesis - back in the garage opposite he's got extra incentive.  He doesn't just want to beat Rossi this year, he wants to rub his nose in it.


The safest but wisest betting play might be to back both Spaniards at this early stage as I really can't see anyone else challenging them. If you do just want the one punt, all things considered, the heart says Pedrosa at long last but the head is screaming Lorenzo.


All in all we're set for a great year when things kick off this weekend under the lights in Qatar.


(Source: Betfair)




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