MotoGP: A Little Cherry Picking

© Bruce Allen

Today we examine the possibility that in early 2017 Maverick Vinales inspired what some pundits refer to as irrational exuberance concerning his immediate future in MotoGP. With three wins in his first five starts on the factory Yamaha, he was suddenly seen as a legitimate challenger to the ongoing dominance of Marc Marquez in the premier class.

Um, no. Not yet anyway. Probably not ever.

Just because I can, I took away Maverick’s three wins in early 2017, which netted him a points haul of 155 for the rest of the season. I then removed the points earned by a number of top riders in those same rounds. Then, I added each rider’s point total from 2018. The results?

Rider Comparison 2017 2018 Totals

Now Maverick’s admission that he doesn’t really enjoy mixing it up with those other savage riders at the start of the race when his tires are cold and his tank is full. He would prefer to wait until the last eight laps before making his move. From ninth position. Compare this to Jorge Lorenzo’s last season with Ducati, in which he was the champion of the first ten laps. One of the Motorcycle.com readers posted a great spoof of Jorge arguing with his crew chief about his plan to win the championship, by winning the first half of each race, etc., etc. Had to be there. But Vinales has, for most of the past two years, chosen the way less traveled. Once crowned the future king of MotoGP, he is now barely holding on to his Alien membership card, though he is current on his dues.

 

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2 Responses to “MotoGP: A Little Cherry Picking”

  1. Old MOron Says:

    So is Vinny going to be regarded as the new Marco Melandri? When things are going his way, he can beat anybody. The rest of the time he’s “mentally fragile”.

    Oh well, I see Alex Rins up there in the points tally. Perhaps he will finish what Vinny started. I wonder if Vinny wishes he’d stayed with Suzuki – like the entire world wanted him to do.

  2. Starmag Says:

    Interesting thought and graph. Val and Mav are a real odd couple. The first starts poor and finishes well, the second does the opposite.

    I wish you had Disqus Bruce. Much easier, plus upvotes to reward interesting and insightful comments. (I know they are owned by big data and analytics company Zeta Global, so commenters can be sure they will be marketed to and their comments saved to be used against them ( Karel Abraham sux! ) far into the future).

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