With the 2015 MotoGP season starting at Qatar's Losail track this weekend, FSA looks at some of the main talking points that may come up throughout the year.
Can Marquez make it three in three?
The main question on everyone's mind is whether or not Marc Marquez can win a third consecutive Premier Class title, a feat no other Spaniard has managed. Valentino Rossi did it more than a decade when he won his fifth successive title in 2005 – and before that Mick Doohan (five in a row) and Wayne Rainey (three in a row). After dominating the previous two seasons, the 22-year-old is without a doubt the most feared rider since Rossi in his heyday and his Repsol Honda is arguably the fastest on the grid as well. He will be difficult to beat.
How competitive will Ducati be?
Marquez might believe that outside of himself and his team-mate Dani Pedrosa, the Yamahas of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo will be their nearest challengers. But after finishing the final pre-season test at the Losail track that will host the season opener this weekend in first and third place (Marquez finished in second place behind Andrea Dovizioso but ahead of Andrea Iannone), that without using the soft Open class rear tyre, the Italian manufacturer could be the one to threaten the status quo in 2015.
Does Rossi have another title in him?
After a couple of disappointing seasons with Ducati at the start of the decade – finishing in seventh and sixth places respectively – the Italian returned to Yamaha in 2013. A fourth place finish was followed up by a runner-up position behind Marquez last year, which raised the question of whether or not 'The Doctor' can go one better in 2015. The overriding feeling is, probably not, but if anyone on the grid can challenge Marquez then Rossi is surely the most likely candidate. With a bit of fortune, it would be foolish to write him off completely at this stage…
What to make of Suzuki and Aprilia?
The Japanese manufacturer returns to the sport for the first time since 2011, when it withdrew due to the need to reduce costs amid the global economic downturn. The Davide Brivio-led team will compete on the newly developed GSX-RR MotoGP machine and will hope that the pair of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales can build on a solid if unremarkable pre-season showing. Big things are expected of Viñales, the 20-year-old who won the 2013 Moto3 Championship and has been labeled the 'new Marc Marquez'. If he proves to be anything near as good as the rider he is compared to, Suzuki may have played a blinder in recruiting him.
Aprilia were only expected to enter the sport next year but after growing disillusioned with new WSBK regulations, the Japanese manufacturers decided to bite the bullet and enter this year already. The times Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri produced in testing suggests this season will be one of development for Aprilia, although some points finishes should be on the cards.
Can Miller cut the mustard?
The 20-year-old Jack Miller is the latest in the line of youngsters to be brought into the sport, after finishing as the runner-up in the Moto3 Championship last year, missing out on the title by two points to Marquez's younger brother Alex. His deal with CWM LCR Honda MotoGP makes him the first rider to be promoted into the Premier Class from the lowest Grand Prix since Leon Haslam in 2001. Big things are expected of the Aussie youngster, but whether the jump up to a 1000cc bike was made too soon remains to be seen.
Which aspect of the 2015 MotoGP season are you looking forward to most? Please use the comments section below to let us know…