With the 2017 MotoGP world championship looming large, and the opening round in Qatar on March 26 drawing ever closer, lets have a look at some of the race bike livery and riders for this year. 2016 saw the MotoGP title wrapped up in Motegi, Japan, by Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda, three rounds before the end of the season.

Coming into 2017, the usual game of rider musical chairs has been played, with some established riders switching teams, and others moving up the ranks from Moto2. Chief among these is Jorge Lorenzo’s move to Ducati, walking away from a nine-year tenure with Yamaha.

This perhaps comes as no surprise, considering the rumoured acrimonious relationship the Spaniard had with fan favourite Italian Valentino Rossi, who remains at Yamaha. Rossi had, last year, come out to say that he was being teamed-up against by the Spaniards in MotoGP, notably Lorenzo and Marquez. Lorenzo’s spot is taken by Maverick Vinales, who moves over from Suzuki Ecstar.

Newcomers to the top flight are Alex Rins, who joins Suzuki, and Sam Lowes, making his MotoGP debut with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. 2016 Moto2 champion Johann Zarco joins Monster Yamaha Tech 3, partnering Jonas Folger, another first-timer in the top rank.

MotoGP rookie team KTM, with the all-new RC16 race machine, has Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro in the stable, both of whom left Tech 3 Yamaha. Coming back to MotoGP is Karel Abraham, who rejoins Aspar Team after a season in World Superbikes (WSBK).

Dropping out from MotoGP are Stefan Bradl and Eugene Laverty, both of whom move to WSBK for 2017, while Yonny Hernandez is relegated to Moto2, after being left without a ride for this season. Andrea Iannone has moved to Suzuki, leaving Andrea Dovizioso to partner Lorenzo in the Ducati team.

Ducati remains the prominent presence on the grid, with one factory and three satellite teams. The Ducati Desmosedici GP17 will be used by both the factory team and a single unit by Octo Pramac Yakhnich, ridden by Danilo Petrucci, while Reale Esponsorama Racing and Pull & Bear Aspar Racing use a mix of Desmosedici GP16s and GP15s.

Honda has three teams in the MotoGP, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS and LCR Honda complementing the Repsol Honda Team. Riding the RC213V, Repsol Honda’s campaign will be driven by Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

For Yamaha, Rossi will be its superstar for 2017, riding for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP with the YZR-M1, while satellite team Tech 3 Yamaha backs-up the first team. Suzuki and Aprilia each have a single team on this year’s grid, with Team Suzuki Ecstar and the GSX-RR and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini with the RS-GP, respectively.

Rookie team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will be campaigning the RC16, which we had a close look at during winter testing in Sepang recently. So, there you have it, the key figures and teams for the 2017 MotoGP championship.

Who do you think will win? Will the Spaniards gang up against Rossi? Will Marquez start whining? Will Pedrosa finally get both feet on the ground? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions, below.

GALLERY: 2017 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16

GALLERY: 2017 Ducati Desmosedici GP17
GALLERY: 2017 Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1
GALLERY: 2017 Team Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR
2017 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini RS-GP
GALLERY: 2017 Repsol Honda Racing RC213V