MotoGP 2016 will be as close as Moto2 - Ducati's Andrea Iannone

The prospect of a tight MotoGP season in 2016 reminds Ducati factory rider Andrea Iannone of the competition in Moto2

MotoGP 2016 will be as close as Moto2 - Ducati's Andrea Iannone

While Yamaha and Honda riders have won the last 92 races between them - a streak going back to late-2010 - the order could be shaken up this year.

Why MotoGP doesn't need Stoner in 2016

A switch to Michelin tyres and a control ECU coincides with off-season gains by Ducati and Suzuki, while satellite riders have also performed strongly during pre-season testing.

"This year, the situation reminds me a little bit of the Moto2 class," Iannone, who won eight Moto2 races across three seasons, said.

"Every rider is really close, the gap is really close, and everybody is really fast, also the satellite teams, not always [just] the factory teams.

"This is better for everybody, for the championship but, for sure, for the riders it is more difficult."

Marquez: Factory aces could fall down the order

While other top riders agreed that the off-season changes were significant and could mix things up, Valentino Rossi led a consensus that it was too early to tell, on the eve of this weekend's Qatar Grand Prix.

"It's difficult to say. We have to wait until the first races," Rossi said.

"On paper, the new tyres and especially the new electronics can bring the level of more bikes and more riders together.

"If this happens, it means that it can be a championship that is better than last year.

"In the test, this was the case, because five or six riders are very strong.

"But we have to wait until the first race, or the first three of four races."

Practice at Losail International circuit begins on Thursday night, ahead of Sunday's MotoGP season opener.

Follow qualifying for the Qatar GP and Sunday's race on Autosport Race Centre Live this weekend

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MotoGP 2016 doesn't need Stoner

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Jorge Lorenzo leads Valentino Rossi in first Qatar GP practice

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