The start of the 2021 MotoGP season is still a little over 3 weeks away, with the first race set for March 28th, but the riders will get their first taste of action this coming week. All the riders for the 2021 season, minus those who are injured, will be at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar for the Official Test session, which will run for 7 days, starting on Friday, March 5. It has been a busy offseason, with several riders switching teams, so let’s take a look at some of the bigger moves before we get on to the rest of the season and you can be all set to make your bets against their MotoGP odds.
MotoGP Betting Preview for the 2021 Season
2020 was a strange year in MotoGP, and not just because of the pandemic. One of the weirdest things, besides the messed-up schedule, was not having multiple time champion Marc Marquez on the track due to injury. Fans hoping to see him back in action this year are going to need to wait a while longer, as he will miss the Official Test and the start of the season as he continues to rehab. Pol Espargaro will hold down the fort for the Repsol Honda Team until Marquez returns.
In other team change news, Valentino Rossi joins Franco Morbidelli at Petronas Yamaha SRT as a replacement for Fabio Quartararo, who moves to Monster Energy Yamaha alongside Maverick Vinales, which should be a formidable partnership.
The Grand Prix of Qatar
As mentioned earlier, the first race of the season will be the Grand Prix of Qatar, which will go on March 28th at the Losail International Circuit. Last season, the Moto2 and Moto3 races were completed before the season was postponed prior to the start of the MotoGP season, so it will be good to see this great race back on the schedule for 2021.
It was Andrea Dovizioso who won the last two races in Qatar, but given that he has stepped away from MotoGP for now, although there are rumors that he might come back to fill in for Marc Marquez, we will have a new winner this year. Maverick Vinales won a few years back and reigning champion Joan Mir won this race at the Moto3 level, so they both might be worth a look. The Official Test at this track might well help us pick out a potential winner of the Grand Prix, so be sure to keep an eye on testing, as it might just provide some valuable insights.
Favorites to Win the 2021 MotoGP Championship
As is the case with just about every sport, it is the defending champion who generally starts the new season as the favorite. That is the case here, with Joan Mir, who won it all in just his second season in MotoGP, in as the early favorite to repeat. It says a lot about the legend that is Marc Marquez that he is among the favorites despite his 2021 season still being in jeopardy. We should know more about his immediate future later this month. Fabio Quartararo saw his lead at the top disappear last season after a disappointing second half, but he is a rider that still needs to be considered a championship threat.