MotoGP: Projected 2019 Final Team Standings

© Bruce Allen

As with everything else this time of year, trying to keep a few balls in the air, we bring you one of these lame predictions, this one for the final steam standings in November. These predictions are SWAGS—sophisticated wild-ass guesses—and are clearly subject to debate. Too bad so few of you are reading this stuff anymore. Anyway, here we go.

Screenshot (191)

  1. Repsol Honda Team—Bet the house. Lock of the week. Marquez will almost certainly take the title, and Lorenzo could easily end up with 200 points himself. Lorenzo needs to avoid another series of injuries.
  2. Winning Minnow Factory Ducati Team—Dovizioso, at or near the top of his game, and a very hungry Danilo Petrucci will keep the team title close. It appears the latest iteration of Gigi’s handiwork is up to the task. If I could get some decent odds I’d take this bet, especially if Petrux gets the bit in his teeth, wins a race early, and decides he has a shot at Marquez, too.
  3. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP—The torch has been passed in the Yamaha factory garage, with Maverick Vinales the early favorite to take the intra-team title away from the GOAT. The bike does not appear to be sufficiently improved over last year’s vintage to make a title possible, but both riders are podium threats each time out.
  4. Team Suzuki Ecstar—a rapidly improving machine, one proven fast mover in Alex Rins, another on the way wearing #36, Joan Mir. This is a team that was crying to be slotted third, but I fear Mir may have a bit of a steep learning curve, having been riding 250cc bikes only two years ago. If Rins had six more horsepower under him he could give Marquez a go.
  5. Alma Pramac Racing—The volatile Jack Miller and New Kid in Town Pecco Bagnaia will qualify the hell out of their Desmos but will be too up and down to compete seriously. Each is podium worthy. Miller has something to prove on the 2019 bike. Bagnaia appears to be the second coming of JLorenzo. Bagnaia could be the #1 rider on this team by the end of the season.
  6. LCR Honda—Takaa Nakagami has shown some surprising signs of life at Jerez last fall and again at Sepang last week. One is convinced there has to be more to this guy than simply being a Countryman. He needs to be in the points pretty much every time out and appears able of doing so. Cal Crutchlow, alas, is taking over for Pedrosa as the Titanium Man, setting off airport security alarms all over the world. His ankle will never be right, he’s compensating like crazy around it, and is unlikely to improve upon a disappointing 2018.
  7. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing—Johann Zarco and Pol Espargaro versus the world. Espargaro was raving in print recently about the amazing boost in power the 2019 engine was putting out as he and the other three KTM bikes finished 17th, 18th, 19th and 23rd at Sepang. Who’s afraid of the big bad Austrian wolf?
  8. Petronas Yamaha SRT—Franco Morbidelli and teenager Fabio Quartararo will front for the new satellite Yamaha team. I assume Morbidelli gets a 2019 bike and the Frenchman a 2018. Everything is new for this team, and it will take awhile to gel and become a top satellite team. Points will be somewhat hard to come by this year. But better days ahead.
  9. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini—Fausto Gresini has managed to retain better riders, but the bike is not improving quickly. With Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso has two fast guys who often fail to finish races, for any of a dozen different reasons. As Gresini thanks God for a factory team, the results are going to continue to disappoint. So it goes in the lower tranches of MotoGP.
  10. Real Avintia Racing—Second-hand Ducatis in the hands of career underachiever Tito Rabat and career attorney/rich kid/rider Karel Abraham, who is pleasantly surprised whenever he finishes in the points. This is a team that needs to sell itself to Suzuki, hire some fast movers from Moto2 to ride for them, and close down the third wheel of the Ducati MotoGP program. No fun spinning wrenches on Sunday morning knowing, at the end of the day, the garage will be a smoking ruin.
  11. KTM Tech 3 Racing—Having tired of the relationship with Yamaha after a decade or so Herve Poncharal took his marbles to KTM, where he will be working with riders Miguel Oliveira, a rookie just called up from Moto2, and Malaysian Countryman Hafizh Syahrin, the luckiest of lucky riders. Oliveira has been riding for KTM for several years but is having a bit of trouble adjusting to the 1000cc bike. Syahrin, career-wise, has been okay in the rain and not so much in the dry, and is also having trouble transitioning from Yamaha M1 to the KTM. Long row to hoe on this team in 2019.

* * *

There you have it. We’ll hold onto the original for after the season is over and see who has the last laugh.

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10 Responses to “MotoGP: Projected 2019 Final Team Standings”

  1. Old MOron Says:

    Hey Brucey, you keep saying that the torch has been passed within Yamaha’s factory team. Why? Is it because Vinny is faster than Vale in the preseason?

    This has always been the case. But when the points are tallied at the end of the season, Vale has always finished ahead of Vinnie. So why are you singing your torch song?

    Of course if you predict the same thing every year (as you have), you will eventually be right. The torch has to be passed at some point. But I would expect an analyst of your caliber to do some actual analysis, not just play the percentages.

    • Bruce Allen Says:

      An analyst of my caliber is lucky to be able to string together a simple declarative sentence. YOU’RE the analyst, with reams of facts and figures at your disposal. I’m just trying to get by on cleverly-worded conjecture and, of course, my good looks. 🙂

      • Old MOron Says:

        Well, you’re going to be right on of these years, but I hope it isn’t this one.

        On a related note, I posted “Klaatu Brucey nikto” on MO. I got an upvote from some guy who turns out to be a Trump nutter. On the one hand, I don’t want to associate with people like that. On the other hand, if he supports Klaatu Brucey nikto, well, welcome to the family!

      • JCo Says:

        Good thing you’re a handsome man.

  2. Old MOron Says:

    Boy, talk about empty corp-speak: https://www.missionwinnow.com/pmi/what-is-mission-winnow-all-about.html

  3. JCo Says:

    This year is Ducati’s best chance at winning. Everything. They’re going to try hard for the triple crown. I’m thinking they’ve got a decent chance. The one to beat is Marquez and he’s not 100%. If history is an indicator then JLo is going to give him a hard time too. Just by being in the way. Petrux is looking like a team player. I don’t think he’ll mind letting Dovi go first most of the time. He’ll probably get a win at some point. I expect Miller and Bagnaia to run a strong defense for the factory bikes too, intentional or not.

  4. Dale Mensch Says:

    I don’t have any defensible evidence but I agree that Maverick seems to pulling ahead of the GOAT. I could see Rins (if not the team) finishing ahead of the Yamahas. I hope KTM does better than expected. I’m probably just voting for the nameplates in my garage though. (sorry if this is a dupe- browser is acting funny)

  5. Vrooom Says:

    Still reading you Bruce. Always appreciate your insight. I run a little fantasy league among friends, you make me appear knowledgeable. I pray the season isn’t over before it started. The Ducati’s do look fast, don’t think Lorenzo will get 200 points, but he might end up in the top 5. Keep it up, thanks!

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