Aragon MotoGP Predictions
Aragon Grand Prix
The 2017 MotoGP Championship is well and truly going down to the wire this season. Five of the world's top riders are still in contention to take out the main prize, and a win at Aragon will go a long way to setting up a championship win. And let's not forget the manufacturers' standings - Ducati, Yamaha and Honda are all in with a big chance, making the next couple of months essential viewing for MotoGP fans.
The biggest talking point is of course the top of the riders' standings - Spaniard Marc Marquez and Italian Andrea Dovizioso are locked at the summit with 199 points. Marquez's retirement in the British MotoGP turned the standings upside down as all three of his nearest rivals made the podium, however his return to the winner's circle in San Marino means that we are in for one of the closest finishes in history.
Aragon is one of the more recent additions to the MotoGP calendar and is now the fourth race to be held in Spain alongside the Valencia, Catalan and Spanish events. The event has been won by Spanish drivers for the last five years; Australian star Casey Stoner is the only man from another country to win the event, doing so in the 2010 and 2011 meets.
Stoner's two victories have been matched by both Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez in recent years, with the latter of the Spanish drivers winning the 2016 edition. Marquez won ahead of Lorenzo in second, and the pair will no doubt we two of the favourites to finish on the podium this year. Below are some of the highlights from an entertaining 2016 Aragon MotoGP.
2016 Aragon Spain MotoGP Highlights
Aragon Podium Finish
Marc Marquez is favoured to win his fifth race of the season at Aragon, and is at incredibly short odds to finish on the podium at -1000. However, he starts from fifth on the grid after a less than ideal qualifying effort, and one only needs to look back to the British MotoGP to see how it can all end in tears for the championship favourite. Unless you are looking to parlay this bet you would be best to leave this one alone as the risk does not match the reward here.
Maverick Vinales appears next on the list at -450 and appears to be the biggest threat to Marquez in this race. As stated above, Spaniards have been incredibly successful at the event over the course of its short history, and Vinales is actually our pick to top the podium. If he wins, he will heap some serious pressure on the Championship leaders and could even overtake them if they fail to join him in the top-three.
In terms of the podium finish market, Vinales is still a little too short to be considered unless you are looking at a big money bet, although we also believe he is as close to a sure thing as you're likely to see this season. He starts the race from pole position and will be tough to catch if he gets out to an early lead.
The Main Contenders
Incredibly, there are four drivers all priced between +125 and +200 to make it onto the podium and there is little to split them. The best option here is another Spaniard in Jorge Lorenzo who is priced at +150. He will be hot on the heels of his compatriot from the start and should be strong enough to hold off his nearest rivals to hit the podium. And just like Vinales, he is still a chance in the championship if he can manage a victory..
It's not often that you see a joint-championship leader priced at +150 to make the podium, but that's exactly what we have here with Andrea Dovizioso at very tempting odds for the podium finish market. The Italian has been riding well, placing in the top three for the last three consecutive races, and is good enough to do it again. The only issue here is that he starts from seventh on the grid, but we've seen plenty of occasions this season where that has not been a problem.
Dani Pedrosa is priced at identical odds to Dovizioso and is another who is tough to rule out of contention. In fact, there's an outside yet reasonable chance that he could join Vinales and Lorenzo in an all-Spanish podium; remarkably, this has happened three times already this season. Don't worry about his 14th place finish in his San Marino outing, he has made seven podiums this year and could well make it an even eight.
Lastly, Italian veteran Valentino Rossi appears at +200 on the list of contenders and it is great to see him fit and racing after missing the San Marino MotoGP due to injury. He will start from third on the grid and will shadow the other names on this list, however we don't see him being good enough to finish on the podium, a feat he has only achieved five times this year.
We are going to boldly predict a 1-2-3 Spanish podium in this race, meaning that your best options for the above market are undoubtedly Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. While both appearing on the podium is unlikely due to the extremely high chance of both Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales finishing in the top-three, they certainly present tempting options. Go for Lorenzo at +150 and start planning how you're going to spend the cash.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with our selection or would you go with one of the outsiders? Make sure you join the conversation on Facebook and have your say.
You can catch all the action on Sunday September 24th. Don't miss a moment!
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