The 2017 MotoGP season is at the starting line


With the evocative race in Qatar, the 2017 MotoGP season kicks off with eight Ducati motorcycles competing, entrusted not only to the official team but also to Pramac Racing, Avintia Racing and Aspar Team.

After the three pre-season events that made it possible to finalise the bike's 2017 configuration, the Ducati Team arrives at Losail with high expectations. Both Dovizioso and Lorenzo have carried out early-season test rides, seeking to determine the basic configuration with which to face the season, and testing the new aerodynamic configuration of the headlight fairing, useful for compensating for the lack of the much reviled fins. Losail has always been a friendly track for Ducati, so everything is in place for a good start to the season for the men in red.

Pramac Racing, on the other hand, has continued its work of adapting to the new bikes seeing as for the season that is about to begin Danilo Petrucci will be using the latest version while Scott Redding will use the 2016 version. The tests have shown that, for the moment, Redding has been the fastest in the adaptation phase, but both riders of the team from Siena can aspire to great results during the season.

Unfortunately Avintia Racing has had to deal with a season that began with a few too many problems. In fact, Hector Barbera was injured during training and had to sit out the final tests. He will be back on the track in Qatar, but the injury could affect his performance. In contrast, Loris Baz had a rather positive start to the season given that the times that he was able to deliver on this year's bike were significantly faster than those achieved last season.

The Aspar Team is beginning a season of change, with two new riders - Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham - and an updated version of the Desmosedici GP. Abraham is returning to MotoGP after a year of Superbike, and for the Czech rider it is a return to Ducati after his previous experience with the bike in 2011-2012.Keep an eye on Alvaro Bautista, who during the tests proved to be very fast and, more important, very consistent. For the Spaniard it is the chance to ride a motorcycle that can finally make the most of his talent, which took him to victory in the 125cc class in 2006, and has already made it possible for him to continuously reach the MotoGP podium during the year of his debut.

The first race of the year and an evening schedule provide for a unique weekend of racing: Competition starts on Thursday with a single session (FP1) scheduled for 5:55 pm. Two sessions are scheduled for Friday, with FP2 at 4:00 pm and FP3 closing out the day at 6:55 pm. Saturday will see FP4 at 5:55 pm, while the final line-up will be definitively determined by the sessions held at 6:35 pm (Q1) and 7:00 pm (Q2).Motorcycles will be on the track for the year's first Sunday of competition at 4:00 pm for the warm-up, while the race itself starts at 8:00 pm. (All times are CET)

All Ducatisti can follow the live updates from the track and post comments on the races with us on Twitter and on our official Facebook and Instagram: don't forget to use the hashtag #forzaducati and read all the news and updated results on the Ducati Corse App and in the Racing Ducati section.