You have waited four months for this moment. All your fears and expectations may not be fully answered but there will be a real indication of what lies ahead in the next 20 races. Have riders, teams and organisers made the correct decisions? The Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar under the Lusail floodlights this weekend may be just the start, but many questions will be answered.

The biggest of them all. Can Marc Marquez become the oldest premier class World Champion in the MotoGP™ era? Six premier titles in 10 seasons and now the switch from Honda to Ducati. Even Valentino Rossi’s defection to Yamaha from Honda in 2004 didn’t create the same headlines, although Marquez will enjoy reading them as he embarks on his voyage of discovery. Rossi won that opening Grand Prix in South Africa and went on to retain the World title. It can be done Marc.

Spanish Moto2™ World Champion Pedro Acosta lines up for his premier class debut. Pressure is already mounting after some impressive testing performances on the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3. Can the Spanish teenager emulate Marquez by adding the MotoGP™ crown to his Moto3™ and Moto2™ titles in his first season? Could he match Jarno Saarinen and Max Biaggi by winning on his premier class debut? Neither of them went on to win the World title for very different reasons but Marquez won on his second premier class appearance en route to the World title

Can double World Champion Pecco Bagnaia join a very exclusive club only nine riders have won three successive premier class titles. His Ducati Lenovo teammate Enea Bastanini faces the season with real hope after an injury-hit debut season with the team, crashing in the opening round last year. I remember Barry Sheene returning to race at the opening round in the 1983 South African Grand Prix. Six months after he had 28 screws and two plates fitted to his shattered legs, following his Silverstone practice crash. The double 500cc World Champion finished tenth on his return in South Africa.

It’s not only riders and teams who have watched that opening round with trepidation after making some big decisions. The opening round at Suzuka in Japan 2002 represented the biggest change before and since. The switch to the four-stroke era arrived. Could the 500cc two-strokes remain competitive against the 990 cc four-strokes? I thought they could at certain circuits, but my theory disappeared in a flurry of sound and speed. Valentino Rossi led the revolution with victory on the RCV 211V Honda. The only two-stroke threat came at the Sachsenring, but Olivier Jacque and Alex Barros crashed out while leading.

In 1987 the riders faced a very new challenge again in the opening round at Suzuka. Clutch starts at last replaced the old push starts in all classes. For 38 years riders had to push start their machines to fire up their engines to begin a Grand Prix. Some sat side saddle, cocking their leg onto the footrest once the engine fired into life. Others just pushed and pushed, jumping into the saddle when they had enough speed to interest the engine. As you can imagine it was a change well received by everybody.

It all began on a dry bright morning on June 13, 1949, when the 350cc riders lined up on the Glencrutchery Road on the Isle of Man. A world ravished by the horrendous effects of a World War that had ended four years earlier was ready to celebrate, embrace and enjoy bringing some much-needed light to a dark place. The very first race of a World Championship that celebrates its 75th birthday this season.

Nothing has changed in three-quarters of a century. The wait is still worth it.