Crunching The Numbers: How Likely Is Marc Marquez To Win The 2021 MotoGP Title?

Can Marc Márquez win the championship this year? Has he left his return too late to catch up? How fast will he be on his return to MotoGP at Portimão? The answer to all of these burning questions is "we don't know", but that doesn't stop us from asking them. And from trying to make our best guess at what might have happened by the end of the year.

The best place to start to answer these questions is the past. We don't know how Marc Márquez will perform in the future, but we do know what he has done in the past. And by examining his past results, we can extrapolate in the hope of getting a glimpse of the future.

You also need something to compare Márquez' performance against. So I have taken the points scored by Marc Márquez in every season he has competed in MotoGP – 2013-2019, as crashing out of one race in 2020 is not particularly instructive – and calculated the average points per race, and what that would work out to if he were to score that average over the 17 races which (provisionally, at least) remain of the 2021 season. Points have been averaged for each of his seven seasons in MotoGP, as well as over his entire career.


To put that into perspective, I have also done the same for Andrea Dovizioso's 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons, the Italian's best years in MotoGP, where he finished second on the Ducati behind Marc Márquez. I have used Joan Mir's stats from his championship winning season in 2020. I have added in the scores of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi for 2015, the two riders who finished ahead of Márquez that season.

I have also extrapolated the results of the two opening races of 2021, and added those in for good measure. That is certainly a stretch, given the nature of the Qatar circuit and opening rounds. But it can be a useful yardstick for what Márquez will have to aim for.

Starting off with the average points for each season, it is astonishing just how strong Márquez has been in the seven full seasons he has competed in MotoGP. In his 128 MotoGP starts, Márquez has amassed a grand total of 2275 points, an average of 17.8 points per race. Put another way, Marc Márquez' average finishing position is better than third.

Rider Season Races Champ pos Points Avg points
Marc Márquez 2019 19 1 420 22.1
Marc Márquez 2014 18 1 362 20.1
Jorge Lorenzo 2013 17 2 330 19.4
Marc Márquez 2013 18 1 334 18.6
Jorge Lorenzo 2015 18 1 330 18.3
Valentino Rossi 2015 18 2 325 18.1
Marc Márquez 2018 18 1 321 17.8
Marc Márquez 2013-2020 128   2275 17.8
Marc Márquez 2017 18 1 298 16.6
Marc Márquez 2016 18 1 298 16.6
Valentino Rossi 2014 18 2 295 16.4
Andrea Dovizioso 2017 18 2 261 14.5
Andrea Dovizioso 2019 19 2 269 14.2
Andrea Dovizioso 2018 18 2 245 13.6
Marc Márquez 2015 18 3 242 13.4
Joan Mir 2020 14 1 171 12.2
Marc Márquez 2020 1   0 0

In terms of points averages for the seasons he has raced, Márquez has three of the four best average points per race, with only Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 getting close. Notably, that was Márquez' rookie season, in which he just beat Lorenzo to the championship by just four points. The only other riders in the top ten averages are Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in 2015, who fought for the title in the year Márquez missed out.

What happens if you add in the average points scores from the first two races in 2021 and assume they will continue for the rest of the season? Apart from the fact that this is an entirely unreasonable assumption – Qatar is a strange track, the riders and teams had 11 days in total at the Losail circuit, and conditions were such that neither the KTMs nor the Hondas really had a front tire which suited their bikes – it still adds some interesting context.

In this theoretical case, Marc Márquez' 2019 and 2014 seasons still have the highest average points scored, with 22.1 and 20.1 respectively, but Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco comes in third, the Frenchman having scored two second places at Qatar, and now leading the championship. Two second places is 40 points, for an average of 20 points per race.

Jorge Lorenzo has the fourth highest average from his 2013 season in this scenario, the Spaniard scoring a higher average than Márquez that year, but losing out on total points after missing the Sachsenring race due to breaking his collarbone for the second race in succession. Unlike at Assen two weeks' previously, Lorenzo chose not to fly to Barcelona to have surgery to fix his collarbone and come back and try to race. The zero points form that race were canceled out by Márquez' disqualification from the Phillip Island round, when the Repsol Honda rider's team failed to bring him in for a compulsory pit stop to change tires after the Australian circuit had been resurfaced, and Bridgestone found the tires it had brought were unable to cope with the stresses of the much faster circuit.

Rider Season Races Champ pos Points Avg points
Marc Márquez 2019 19 1 420 22.1
Marc Márquez 2014 18 1 362 20.1
Johann Zarco 2021 2 1 40 20.0
Jorge Lorenzo 2013 17 2 330 19.4
Marc Márquez 2013 18 1 334 18.6
Jorge Lorenzo 2015 18 1 330 18.3
Valentino Rossi 2015 18 2 325 18.1
Fabio Quartararo 2021 2 2 36 18.0
Maverick Viñales 2021 2 3 36 18.0
Marc Márquez 2018 18 1 321 17.8
Marc Márquez 2013-2020 128   2275 17.8
Marc Márquez 2017 18 1 298 16.6
Marc Márquez 2016 18 1 298 16.6
Valentino Rossi 2014 18 2 295 16.4
Andrea Dovizioso 2017 18 2 261 14.5
Andrea Dovizioso 2019 19 2 269 14.2
Andrea Dovizioso 2018 18 2 245 13.6
Marc Márquez 2015 18 3 242 13.4
Francesco Bagnaia 2021 2 4 26 13.0
Joan Mir 2020 14 1 171 12.2
Alex Rins 2021 2 5 23 11.5
Joan Mir 2021 2 6 22 11.0
Marc Márquez 2020 1   0 0

Behind Marc Márquez' 2013 season follows the 2015 averages for Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Only then do we get to two more averages from 2021, Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo both having scored an average of 18 points from the first two races. Those 18 points are only a fraction more than Marc Márquez' points average from his 2018 season, as well as his average points haul from every one of the 128 MotoGP races the Repsol Honda rider has competed in.

You have to look a long way down the rankings before you get to the next rider score from 2021. Past the rest of Marc Márquez' season averages, as well as Valentino Rossi's average points haul from 2014, when he finished runner up to Márquez. In 19th overall sits Pecco Bagnaia, who has an average of 13 points from two races. Behind Bagnaia is Joan Mir's average from his championship winning 2020 season, which he won with a mere 12.2 points per race on average.

What if we plug all these numbers into a formula to calculate a predicted (and I use that term very lightly indeed) final points tally for the 2021 season? If we take the average of points scored so far, and multiply those by the total of 19 races scheduled for 2021 (if all goes ahead as planned of course) for the riders who have raced so far this year, and then take the average points for Marc Márquez and the other high-scoring riders from previous years, and multiply those by 17 (the races remaining in 2021), we get a slightly different picture.

Rider Season Champ pos 2021 Points Avg points Theoretical score
Johann Zarco 2021 1 40 20.0 380.0
Marc Márquez 2019 1 0 22.1 375.8
Fabio Quartararo 2021 2 36 18.0 342.0
Maverick Viñales 2021 3 36 18.0 342.0
Marc Márquez 2014 1 0 20.1 341.9
Jorge Lorenzo 2013 2 0 19.4 330.0
Marc Márquez 2013 1 0 18.6 315.4
Jorge Lorenzo 2015 1 0 18.3 311.7
Valentino Rossi 2015 2 0 18.1 306.9
Marc Márquez 2018 1 0 17.8 303.2
Marc Márquez 2013-2020   0 17.8 302.1
Marc Márquez 2017 1 0 16.6 281.4
Marc Márquez 2016 1 0 16.6 281.4
Valentino Rossi 2014 2 0 16.4 278.6
Francesco Bagnaia 2021 4 26 13.0 247.0
Andrea Dovizioso 2017 2 0 14.5 246.5
Andrea Dovizioso 2019 2 0 14.2 240.7
Andrea Dovizioso 2018 2 0 13.6 231.4
Joan Mir 2020 1 22 12.2 229.6
Marc Márquez 2015 3 0 13.4 228.6
Alex Rins 2021 5 23 11.5 218.5
Joan Mir 2021 6 22 11.0 209.0

On this basis, Johann Zarco would be champion, with a total of 380 points. Whether the Pramac Ducati rider can maintain his form such that he finishes second in every race for the rest of the year (or at least averages 20 points over the remaining 17 races) is a very big question, especially given the breadth and strength of the MotoGP field.

Looking behind Zarco, we start to get a sense of what Marc Márquez might be capable of in 2021. If he can match his 2019 average – another tough ask, given that extraordinary season and the fact he is just coming back from a year away from racing – then he would score 376 points. Most years, that would be more than enough to win the title.

If Márquez were to match his 2014 points average – the year in which he won 13 races – then he would end 2021 with a total of 342 points. That is almost identical to the projected scores for the Monster Energy Yamaha duo of Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo. In a normal year, the Yamaha riders' average of 18 points per race might be just enough to win a title: the champion's average points haul per race over the past 20 seasons has been 19.1 points.

Only six times previously has the champion averaged 18 points or fewer per race: Valentino Rossi in 2009, Marc Márquez in the three season from 2016-2018, Nicky Hayden's epic 2006 title, and Joan Mir's thrilling 2020 season.

Taking Marc Márquez' career points average of 17.8 points per race for the remaining 17 races would see the Repsol Honda rider end the season with 302 points. That could possibly be enough for the Spaniard to take the title: it was more than his own points totals in 2016 and 2017, and more than Nicky Hayden's total of 252 points from 17 races, which was enough to secure the title in 2006.

Crystal balls

Is any of this meaningful? There are so many confounding factors that it makes predicting how 2021 will play out pretty much impossible. For a start, there is the fact that the 2021 MotoGP field is tighter than it has ever been before, as witnessed by the fact that the second Qatar race produced the closest top 15 in history, with less than 9 seconds between winner Fabio Quartararo and Miguel Oliveira in 15th.

If 14th place finisher Stefan Bradl had been one tenth a second faster per lap, he would have crossed the line in seventh, 4.3 seconds behind Quartararo, and ahead of Joan Mir. If sixth place Pecco Bagnaia had been a tenth faster per lap, he would have finished second, 0.4 seconds behind Quartararo. If Maverick Viñales had been a tenth a lap faster, he would have won the race just ahead of his Yamaha teammate, rather than crossing the line in fifth.

Then there's the fact that the first two races are totally unrepresentative. Neither the Hondas nor the KTMs performed up to expectations, as the soft front tire was too soft for them to be competitive, and the weird conditions in Qatar meant they didn't have a full and proper understanding of the medium front.

Jack Miller had a shocking couple of races, the first one because of an issue with his rear tire, the second after a clash with Joan Mir. The reigning champion never really found his feet in Qatar, though he had a strong first race, and a tire issue in the second. Surprise star of 2020 Franco Morbidelli had a disastrous first race, lost all his confidence in his setup, then went back to a setup from the beginning of 2020 in search of some confidence in his bike.

Then there's the wildcards: is the Aprilia really that much better, and can Aleix Espargaro establish himself at the front? How strong will Pol Espargaro be on the Repsol Honda? Is Jorge Martin's performance at the second race in Qatar a harbinger of an exceptional rookie season in 2021, or just a fluke due to circumstances? All of these factors will have a major influence on the points distribution, and suggest that scoring points consistently has never been more difficult.

The great unknown

Finally, of course, there is the big question itself. Just how good is Marc Márquez? How much speed has he lost in his year away from racing? Will the fear of crashing affect him, either in terms of outright speed, or being a little more gun-shy in battle? Will he hold a little in reserve, or will he be just as fierce and fearless as he was in the past? Can he get on with the 2021 Honda RC213V, and the 2021 Michelins, which are so very close to the 2020 Michelins which spat him off at Jerez?

This is the great unknown, and we can only speculate. But after this weekend, we may have the first glimpse of where Marc Márquez and the rest of the MotoGP field stands, and a slightly better idea of how the season might play out.

Finally, more for fun and the sake of completeness than anything else, I have included the average points per season for every MotoGP/500cc champion since 2001, as well as for the most successful season for Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, and Valentino Rossi. The figures here are almost impossible to compare; they span four different types of motorcycle (500cc two strokes, 990cc four strokes, 800cc four strokes, and 1000cc four strokes) as well as untold changes to the technical and sporting regulations which have closed the field up enormously. But they do give an overview of who has dominated in which eras.

Rank Rider Season Races Champ pos Points Avg points
1 Valentino Rossi 2003 16 1 357 22.3
2 Valentino Rossi 2002 16 1 355 22.2
3 Marc Márquez 2019 19 1 420 22.1
4 Valentino Rossi 2005 17 1 367 21.6
5 Jorge Lorenzo 2010 18 1 383 21.3
6 Valentino Rossi 2008 18 1 373 20.7
7 Casey Stoner 2011 17 1 350 20.6
8 Casey Stoner 2007 18 1 367 20.4
9 Valentino Rossi 2001 16 1 325 20.3
10 Marc Márquez 2014 18 1 362 20.1
11 Jorge Lorenzo 2012 18 1 350 19.4
12 Jorge Lorenzo 2013 17 2 330 19.4
13 Valentino Rossi 2004 16 1 304 19.0
14 Marc Márquez 2013 18 1 334 18.6
15 Jorge Lorenzo 2015 18 1 330 18.3
16 Valentino Rossi 2015 18 2 325 18.1
17 Valentino Rossi 2009 17 1 306 18.0
18 Marc Márquez 2018 18 1 321 17.8
19 Jorge Lorenzo 2011 15 2 260 17.3
20 Casey Stoner 2012 15 3 254 16.9
21 Valentino Rossi 2010 14 3 233 16.6
22 Marc Márquez 2016 18 1 298 16.6
23 Marc Márquez 2017 18 1 298 16.6
24 Valentino Rossi 2014 18 2 295 16.4
25 Casey Stoner 2009 14 4 220 15.7
26 Casey Stoner 2008 18 2 280 15.6
27 Jorge Lorenzo 2009 17 2 261 15.4
28 Nicky Hayden 2006 17 1 252 14.8
29 Jorge Lorenzo 2014 18 3 263 14.6
30 Valentino Rossi 2006 17 2 247 14.5
31 Andrea Dovizioso 2017 18 2 261 14.5
32 Andrea Dovizioso 2019 19 2 269 14.2
33 Valentino Rossi 2016 18 2 249 13.8
34 Andrea Dovizioso 2018 18 2 245 13.6
35 Marc Márquez 2015 18 3 242 13.4
36 Valentino Rossi 2007 18 3 241 13.4
37 Valentino Rossi 2013 18 4 237 13.2
38 Valentino Rossi 2000 16 2 209 13.1
39 Jorge Lorenzo 2016 18 3 233 12.9
40 Casey Stoner 2010 18 4 225 12.5
41 Valentino Rossi 2017 17 5 208 12.2
42 Joan Mir 2020 14 1 171 12.2
43 Jorge Lorenzo 2008 17 4 190 11.2
44 Valentino Rossi 2018 18 3 198 11.0

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To be unreasonable on the unreasonable...if you took the riders score from the first two races as is...then take the average points haul from these two races as a proxy for finishing positions but included Mr Marquez in that order with his average, used this fantasy (and highly dodgy) finishing order to adjust the other riders average which would then be multiplied by the remaining 17 races. The idea being that once MM is in the race other riders will score less.

The fun never ends.

The last table, the usual suspects. 46 entries in a table dominated by number 46.

Thanks David

Very impressive article.  I am new to the site. 

Author is some kind of number-crunching-maniac yet can also spell & write.  Did I mention I'm impressed?

Welcome to the community, and to the best coverage of the best sport. Enjoy!

Motomatters is my most visited site pretty much.  David Emmett is like, the reference point for independent MotoGP journalism.  Now some years on and the motomatters contributors have evolved and the content is greater and more.  Check out the Paddock Pass Podcast for a fantastic podcast supplement to the great written word content here.   

Factory Ducati's couldn't win in Qatar.  Reigning World Champion can't get on the podium and has Thriller Miller inside his head.  And the Yamahas split the Wins, and show they will still have rear tire problems unless managed.

Yes it was only two races.  But it was two very dissectable races.

Marc will be leading this champion by mid season and everyone else should be very afraid right now.

I'm thinking Mr. Emmett has too much time on his hands. Let's watch a few races first!

is trying to make a living by getting us to read stuff he writes.  And this was another great example of that, food for thought is what it is, stirring the pot, etc. 

Honestly, I think his raw speed makes it impossible to argue against his chances and I think that is data is certainly suggestive of a very good chance. For me though the question is his mental approach. Last year it did seem a lot like he had lost any sense of patience, and was just too desperate to dominate the results in a shortened season. If he can hold himself back just a teenie bit I think he might well be dominant by season's end.

Marquez's Speed + Consistency is unmatched by the current lineup, if he shows up at 80% and can rise to 90-95% of his previou self i dont think he will have a problem securing the title

Sure he can ein it. I don't think he'll struggle mentally and he'll podium in his second race back. And I actually think he's got a mental edge over all of them! I reckon every rider feels a little dread he's back and they all know that the only rider to probably podium each rescue will be Marc. The Honda will a good bike for him once he's back into his groove.

And that last table is so construed! Particularly re Rossi. His name shows up a lot but!, his last title was more than 10 years ago, he had marginally higher averages helped by shorter seasons. The current champ by a long shot is Marc bar none. 

The anal-lytical mind has repeated several times, "Ahh...but what about his arm?" But I'm wary of this voice.

So many times Marquez' body has defied the laws of physics that it should know better by now. Marquez highsided over the bars a couple years ago during a practice session and landed on his tailbone at 100 mph or some ungodly speed. While watching him gimp his way through the pebbles while being supported by a couple of cornerworkers the mind quipped, "That's it. He is surely done for the weekend now." I think he got second place in the race.

I wasn't surprised when Marquez tried to race at Andalucía last year, nor would it be surprising if he got a top five, finished on the podium or even won the race on Sunday.

If he does win, he should replace his name on his leathers with the word "Miracle."

What will be interesting will be whether MM93 will have a steady race to ease himself back into the championship or the red mist descends and he feels he has to win at all costs. Portimao is not a track where he has actual race experience. 

The thing is, well, it's Marquez.  Expect the unexpected.  Marc is not done pulling off unreal stunts in the world of MotoGP - taking the title this year after what he's been through..... sounds par for the course.

I estimate he's lost a half second -- putting him only three quarters of a second ahead of everyone else now.

.....the one he got hurt.....he made the rest of the riders look like they were on M2 bikes! You think THEY'VE forgotten that?

I enjoyed that excercize a lot. Very creative. Two things struck me the most. First, we forget how dominant Rossi was in his first 8 seasons in MotoGP. Looking at his points haul he stomped the field very much like Marquez has in his first 7.1 seasons. After 2009, Rossi tailed off steadily, dropping off the cliff after 2015. It makes me wonder if Marquez will do something similar. Second, on the bottom chart, we are missing Dani Pedrosa's 2nd place in 2012 with 332 points and 18.4 avg. I would guess there are more missing seasons from Dani. Anyway, thanks for generating those statistics! 

Brilliant work David.

Three things occur to my

1. Rossi was God

2 Marquez is the new God

3 injuries didn't stop Rossi. Father time did. I expect the same with MM.

PS I miss Casey!

" Lies , damned lies and statistics "

or - if you don't have the small print then the numbers can mean almost nothing , witness many of Agostini's championship where if he didn't fall off or have the bike break there was no other bike in the field that was in anyway competetive to the MV-Agusta he was riding . Ago was the best - aside from Hailwood - in that era but he had a huge advantage that history ( and statistics ) tend to overlook .






Can we just take a moment to reflect on the utter brilliance of Marc's 2019 season?

In a super-competitive field which in his absence since has seen the closest season ever with so many people in contention, he averaged 22.1 points/race...and without his surprise fall from the lead at a circuit where he is completely dominant he'd have had 445 points from 19 races. He would have AVERAGED 23.4 points/race without that in 2019.

The bike, and the tyres? Most comments are focussing on MM but I'm not sure the package won't require him to take risks he's no longer capable of taking. 

Simply, before The Marc was in 1st, NO ONE was in 2nd, and there was a battle for 3rd. Now, once nominally fit, he will just be 1st with that battle behind being for 2nd. 

The field has gotten closer tip to tail (hooray!). Lots of different front pack riders and bikes. Several bikes have taken steps forward recently and the last few seasons. None though are an overdog. Same for riders. Yamaha? We think is back from the gutter. Ducati? Bike and riders look on the rise. Suzuki still there strong, but NIT an overdog by any measure. KTM? Most improved award, unique program medal, and wonderful. But still moving from mid pack to front. 

The Honda? Last year came back into the window of normal rideability limits. It is better. The tires? 2020 and 2021 clearly favor the Yamaha and Suzuki. But this year the V4's have them more sorted. 

This year is the one someone has a chance to race The Marc. A) it will be BEAUTIFUL. B) if you don't have Marc in your top 5 for the title you are living in Koo Koo land. Top 3 and you are making sense. Top rider? Arguable, but legitimately. Really! 

2022 brings a new Michelin front tire that will even out the F/R bias better for all bikes. Moreso the V4's. The Marc? Betting the house he is back at the pointy end by mid season THIS year, and all this talk is memory. We need to see that next step, something more, from a bike and rider combo, for 2022.

Right now? Title? Quarty, M.Marquez, Mir, Zarco are my top 4 in order today. Subject to change. 

Personal note. Crashed out of a race, finally a really big fast one that put me out for a long time. Tried to come back 9 mo's later. I was WAY slower, the riders that were behind me had improved a step. I couldn't keep up w them. I felt like a crash waiting to happen. Realistically thought it would take a crash to get back to the pace. The big impact the previous one had on my life, head injury in particular, just outweighed racing. A teammate had almost been killed. Another young one HAD at a National Moto3 event. Reckoned with all of this in my head while out in FP2. "No way. This is nuts, and not that fun. Retiring, and right now." Decided to push and get one good fast lap in for old times sake. Came in, made a for sale sign, put it and the bike near pit lane. First guy looking at it bought everything less than an hour later.

Club racers are NOT pros, the further up the food chain the farther out the plank they go. And can recover SO quickly! Marc is not...normal. He CAN'T not push. Which, oddly, was his Achilles heel as we all knew. This dice roll was coming. Now, betcha that has been tempered and is actually an improvement. Goodbye "save reel" hello longevity and consistency. Will his head be wrong? No. Just, no. If you think he isn't a 2021 Title Favorite I would say yours is mate!


Cheers, enjoy the show

Is this a trick question? Towards humor and it insight? I like it!

I own a VW Diesel wagon. Boring useful Transpo. And a 2014 Triumph Daytona 675R modified a bit. A horrible odd Buell 1125R modified custom, w the Rotax, getting rid of it when done w the build. An Italian scooter. Another scooter. And a Dodge campervan. 

Is this like a palm reading? (My name also Dave, seems we took over for the Bob's and Joe's eh?)


Feel free to do a top 3 2021 MotoGP Title pick, I will do same. Friendly bet, like making a comment post praising the winner's riders here at season's end? (I am tired of not getting bottles of wine, or sending Tshirts etc). Anyone is welcome btw! I can note them for future reference.

Motoshrink 1) Marquez 2) Quartararo 3) Mir

P.S. evidenced over time that hero worship/"fanboy" minimized by me and the vast majority of those in the Motomatters community. A few English/Irish folks may give too much attention and credit to their riders (even Steve and Adam). We don't seem to have too many Italians or Spaniards doing tribal stuff on the site. Was 2015 a putting? Yep. Had to send Brian right up there above us a Tech Spec Tshirt. Why? I bet on Rossi to beat Morbidelli for season points in 2020. Did I see the bike going shite? No. Did I make an error gamble on the two riders? Yes. Was it fun? Yes! Hero worship? Looked more like a judgement call, his was just better (GREAT CALL BRIAN! Morbidelli was a brilliant standout! And, now might not be btw?). Same now that Vale is sunsetting, and should call it done soon. 

Geat close racing, "riders' tracks," people being real/good hearted, satellite wins, gifted skilled riders, Scotland, and the Moto2 Triple engine, knowledge of the whole grid of riders and bikes, and accurate predictions? Could argue worship. I would say fan/deeply appreciate. Have a go? Respect assured, win or lose. This isn't etc. 

Bonus Q Mr Booth...what do you think will be Rossi's post riding team status? What bikes? What team structure? My heart is Suzuki 2nd Team. Head says merges VR46 INTO Factory Yamaha, would betcha. For sure no on running Ducatis. Gresini is going to be the Aprilia Jr Team. Who the hell knows re Suzuki, we better lower expectations. Have a crystal ball? 

1: Marquez

2: Bagnaia

3: Martin

That's going to hurt later i know it but so be it.


(Feel free to approach others or repost Wavey. Optimally we get people ASAP, or if we get them late early entries get a final update option - my bet is on a good Yamaha that has NOT been evidenced much yet for example, and obviously you and I just banked on unseen The Marc, since we are smart rather than fan boy of course).


Lets have it !

I wouldn't be waiting until race x to be making any predictions. The whole point is that it is a complete shot in the dark which makes sense after the Qatar rounds. Winning this guessing game will carry near zero kudos and it will be more entertaining to see how wrong we all are.

I picked MM to win simply because he is always there or thereabouts. Good grip, low grip, flag to flag, tyres made of granite, tyres made of putty he's there. Jerez 1 last year the Honda did not look a happy bike but performance wise MM was in the leading group and that's the difference which has won him these titles. The DNF's in 2015 killed his championship but he was there. Where 'there' is, is significantly higher than where Mir was last year. Last year Mir was always 'there' but not the same place. Races put a cap on how well you can do, you cannot be 1st AAA or 1st+ ...yet MM has completed more absolute murder jobs in recent years than other riders. Marcs performance is as variable as any other rider on any other bike but when you keep banging your head against the top step there is a different perspective on consistency. Mir/Suzuki is more consistent, deviation is lower but also, average is lower. I actually do not like many things about MM's racing, i think he's a bit of a git and i don't care if that's what 'all champions are like', no excuses ! However, i also acknowledge, while maintaining my saintly demeanor, that memory is selective but I've always been a good boy.

Race fit or gets tired, has issues with pushing like Jerez 1 because he doesn't want to get hurt or not...if the arm can....he will.

As for 2nd and 3rd reasoning...just why the hell not ? (i never win on the horses)

1. MM93

2. Rins

3. Zarco

A shot in the dark. And, yes, Frankie seems to be on the downside...I wonder if Yamaha are less than keen on him beating their new bikes so soundly. Methinks he won't be getting updates like he needs. Cheers!

1) as the author noted, Qatar is a poor indicator of future performance and always has been. Quatararo and Vinales doing well means nothing. So choices are best made after portimao

2) Marquez should be a top three but we'll know more nexct Sunday.

3) Then elimiate who we know will not in any world be in the top 3. that includes Rossi, Petrucci, Marini, Olivera, Nakagami, Salvadori Lekuona, Alex Marquez, Binder, Bastianini, A Esparago. Now eliminate P Esparago becasue with only an 11 point advantage over Marquez on a bike Marquez is the only one can make work, he's going to get overtaken in two races. Bagnaia isn't a winner and Vinales will always have an excuse for not winning. He's just not cut out for pressure. So now they're gone.I love J Martin, but he's a rookie who will eventiually win the title but not in a 99-like 1st attempt.

So what you're left with is Rins and Mir, Zarrco and Miller, and Quatararro. I think Fabio is is in the same boat as Vinales, far too fragile. 

That leaves the two Suzukis and the Dukes of Miller and Zarco. I don't think Miller has got what it takes to win so now we're down to Marquez, the two Suzukis and the crazy Frenchman. I'll bet on exactly who next Sunday.


Interesting analysis. I want to wait until after Jerez. (I've been thinking Morbidelli...)

Ok. I'll take a stab at it. I'm going with the three strongest heads in my opinion. Morbidelli, Mir and Marquez. I'll pick the order after Jerez. Morbidelli/Forcada is a force, Mir/Suzuki is proven and Marquez/HRC record says it all.

I like Zarco for top Ducati at the end of the season. There's too much everybody-knows-what in the factory squad. 

Quartararo is emotional and Vinales has a rude awakening coming. I mean that literally. Newborns don't allow the parents to sleep for at least a year. The squad has to calm him down in the box when things don't go as planned and the wife/partner calms him down at home. His words if memory is accurate. Well...the wife/partner will be doing double duty. That's tiring even with normal sleep patterns.


Interesting how Rins seems to be missing from people's predictions, exceptions aside. More often and more on the pointy side compared to stablemate Mir, and if not for riding injured 2020 might have outperformed. Stronger in overtaking vs Mir, but more error prone too. Dark horse for me :-).

Marc because he is the Marc. Don't necessarily like the person but his abilities... no one comes close. Feast for the eye. Let's hope no further injury, and please no one-track shenanigans either. Just the alien, sharp Marc. Should gradually settle back in better-than-everyone-else mode once kilometers get made. Might trade places with Rins :-)

Morbidelli still has it. Will come good on 'his' tracks. This weekend will prove if that is indeed so. Keeping fingers crossed, personal favourite of mine :-). Will do battle with Quartararo for third but win like in 2020, more consistent.

Numbers 3-4-5 etc. very very hard to predict. Ducati have a great shot at Manu championship. Zarco may come good, he is multiple WC after all. Remember how he ruled, for that matter remember how Pecco ruled? May come good, may not. Miller less so, too inconsistently at the top and perhaps not wise or humble enough. Thinks a lot of himself, more than his results speak for. Year of reckoning for those three!

Mir, Vinales, good for 4, just a little less stable than their teammates in my regard, not based on any statistics :-).

So there you have it, 1-2 for Rins/Marc, 3 for Yamaha/Mir/Zarco.


  1. Rins
  2. M. Marquez
  3. Morbidelli

Check, mild Marc/Suzuki and strong Blue vote from Mr Holcomb. Zarco on the new Duc is a great pick! Hoping we are right about the 2021 Yamaha. Grip at Portimao is pretty high. Might be a bit until we get to see low grip slip?

I like that..  on the Aprilia presumably..   I was imagining him today close to lap record at teh test..

I was feeling optimistic about the test!

OK if I sub in Jack? Not sure about him either at the moment..


I would like to see Mir winning (again) to confirm that 2020 was not just lucky, and Martin winning to make the impossible (just for the excitement) and Zarco winning because I hate to see time flying and leaving people's unfulfilled promises behind.

But for a realistic (laugh)  bet I say :

1. Mir

2. Dovi (if he stikes a deal with Aprilia) or else, Morbidelli

3. Quartararo


I think MM absolutely can win the championship, if only because there isn't one consistent contender who can challenge him everywhere. I don't think MM will necessarily have to be back at his absolute best, either. 300pts will probably be more than enough to win the championship this year. 

Ok. I'll go with Morbidelli, Mir and Marquez. This choice moves somewhat away from what I want. I like how Viñales expressed himself after his win in Qatar 1. In fact, I like how all riders express themselves in the podium post race presser. They are spent after giving their all in the race and they are happy. There's a lot of joy and it's infectious. But it is true what David has said many times, championships are won by how a rider does on their bad days. And we can't seem to get away from ourselves on our bad days. That's when it helps to have a strong constitutional mindset. Morbidelli seems to have made peace with his past. Mir has made a couple of questionable moves since gaining the 2020 crown and has had time to reflect on how he's repeating his rookie campaign. He'll settle down. And Marquez' only true challenger is himself (and to a lesser extent HRC's design philosophy and development path of the RC213V). Last year Marquez' nemesis bit him. It may be all that stands in his way from winning the championship this year. 

And Dovi instead of Marquez if he strikes a deal with Aprilia and is on the grid in Portimão. He has one of the strongest heads in Motogp. Helped him survive the tough love environment of the red pit box.

Zarco for top Ducati at the end of the season.

Martin for the win at Austria. 

And I also predict that inline fours will take a majority of podiums relative to their presence on the grid (27%  I4s to 73% V4s).


At a red hot Jerez 2020 in a season that could end at at anytime a desperate Marquez made a humongous effort to get back into contention. The combination of heat and intensity of effort dealt out an unusually high amount of punishment to his Michelin tyres. Such a scenario must be considered rare and there is the possibility that the Marquez who returns is a smidge more measured and mature.

While statistics provide a good basis for discussion I prefer idioms. We'd all agree that before the crash Marquez could beat them with one arm tied behind his back. I reckon he still can if he can use his head as well as his heart.


Has learned from the mistake and will return slightly more mature and measured.... I'd say they are in big trouble. He was unbelievably consistent in 2019, but we saw he still was willing to risk it all in 2020. If he takes a 2nd or 3rd now in a hypothetical repeat of Jerez 2020.... Well he'll be dangerous certainly 

Hmm, I like this! 

I'll go Zarco for first, because he'll be consistent, high spec bike, and he's got a willing rear gunner in Jorge Martin, at least in the first half of the season.

MM for second, because realistically it will take him a little time to get into the groove. I feel his last race, Jerez1, was one of the best rides ever by anyone, or make it the best! Despite the crash! To come back like this was a show of utter domination!

Third is Quarty. Because he'll have settled, race more with his head, and will a little more control over his emotions. LATE CHANGE!!! Forgot Rins! He'll be third! 

Quatararo won't crumble as much as Vinales who won't implode as much as he has in the past. I think they have both realised they need to keep a level head, Quatararo more than Vinales due to taking on a therapist over winter.

Miller might win a race but he's too inconsistant to do much else. Bagnia will have a great season and will beat Miller.

Zarco to beat Martin.

Mir to beat Rins if his head down't crumble.

Morbidelli to beat Rossi

Binder to beat Olivera

Marquez to beat Pol Espargaro who will crash his brains out in the 1/2 half of the season

Nakagami to beat Alex Marquez

Aleix Espargaro to beat Salvadori

Petrucci to beat Lecuona

So my top 3, Marquez, Rins, Zarco      Oi, stop laughing at the back!

Way too early in the season, but Marc Marquez to win the championship. I can't afford to bet against The Marc.

Rins to score more points than Mir, if Alex can settle for second AND not crash out of the lead. J.M.36 may crumble.

Zarco to fight for the championship all the way. I would like to see JZ5 get through the season without any collisions with other riders. Is this asking too much? If Johann can stay out of trouble he will be in the hunt all the way. Pramac may be the best Ducati team. Seems like Paolo Campinoti is a better boss to work for than Gigi d.

My premature picks Marc Marquez, Rins & Zarco. May have the order wrong.

What I'd like to see; Jorge Martin and Jack Miller win for Ducati. JackAssen to win at Phillip island(if it happens this year). J.M.89 to win in Spain.

Edit What I'd REALLY like to see; Johann Zarco wins!

Johann Zarco wins his first MotoGp race! The philosopher has worked hard. Had some big ups & downs! J.Z. has worked hard and improved his riding and his head. Good luck to him, Ducati's best hope since Casey Stoner! As you were.

Would love to see Valentino win again. Or at least a very good result. Morbidelli will be the Yamaha rider with the most points at the end of the year, like 2020, not enough points to win the chip.

I will send you a bottle of Aussie vino Motoshrink. Win, loose or drawn shrink I think you deserve at good red. Shiraz? A bottle of something good from my valley. Plus a South Australian red, Clare valley or Barossa?

Is it fp1 yet? the season starts at Jerez, Portimao will be special. We will see.


Got it Ape! And, as usual, you are a (huge bearded moto zipping) gem. If you beat me on this, you get a bottle of my local Pinot Noir (pacific NW USA). I would LOVE a Shiraz, those are nice. So are you. 

My heart says Zarco.

My soul says Morbidelli.

My head says Marquez.

So my top three at the end of this season is

1 Quartararo

2 Rins

3 Vinales

Qatar is such a poor predictor of the season. And MM is of course the wild card. He could dominate, or he could crash again and never be the same. I have no idea. But I feel that FQ is growing up (but not too much...), and can pull it off. Rins if healthy, and a regular Q2 participant, should not be underestimated. Vinales has the raw speed and, I believe, will no longer be trying to juggle all the setup factors in his head thanks to Cal.

Can't wait to see this play out!

Optimistic to have Mav and Fabulous both in your top three St. Stephen. How to choke, Maverick has known it all the time, Quarty is learning it these days. Go with your heart and soul St. Stephen. It is so close......but nobody knows. Mystery man Marc Marquez. Qatar quite queer, questions not answered. Dovi "Unemployed".

More tea leaves to ponder post Portimao.

It’s brilliant fun to look back and project past performance forward, but riders change, as do bikes and tyres. And it seems to me highly questionable - no, improbable - that a rider who fell off frequently before a lengthy lay off due to a potentially career ending injury, is going to return the same rider. Frankly, I’m dreading his next big crash just as I did when Ben Spies came back to ride for Ducati. So, responding to ‘shrink’s challenge, but recognising I’m not in his or Apical’s league when it comes to these matters, or probably anyone else’s likely to join the debate, my top three prediction is based on three factors. Best bike, best bike and rider combination and rider age. In my opinion, the Ducati is the best bike. And at 26, Jack, despite, his disappointing start to the season, the rider best placed to fight his way to the championship. And not only stand up to the Marquez challenge but push back where necessary. Jack is the oldest rider I give a chance of winning the title to. Arbitrary, I know, and this means discounting Zarco, but David has previously shown how MotoGP has progressively become a young man’s sport. While I’m at it, a young Marquez returning from injury isn’t the same as Marquez aged 28, and I’d discount him for the title on age grounds even if he hadn’t been injured, top three at best. I’m ducking in anticipation of the flack as I write this, btw. I place Pecco Bagnaia in second place, young, blindingly quick, looking confident having made a strong start to the season - the second best bike and rider combination.  I place Quarteraro on the Yamaha in third, slightly ahead of Maverick. At long last the bike seems to have a motor with some go in it and the factory seems to have stopped shooting itself (and it’s riders) in the foot. Ducking again, I discount Suzuki. It’s a fine bike of course and has two fine riders but - again, I stress in my opinion - the team won the championship last season primarily due to the hopeless tactics other teams employed against them, coupled with technical incompetence in the case of Yamaha. Finally, since I’ve already burned my bridges, I hope Dovi is still good friends with Danilo because I anticipate he will be riding round in convoy with the KTM if he joins Aprilia. Race craft can’t make up for lack of pace. But then I don’t think he will. 




I honestly haven't got a clue, at this stage, who'll take the title this year, but I do think Jack Miller is one very hungry, determined chap, appearing slightly more so than most others (MM excepted) and he has a good bike on which to press his cause. As with last year, I think one of the greatest challenges for all of them will be having enough consistency. A 10 or 12 points difference from race to race means you're depending on the failure of others rather than your own success. It may well be that we again have a champion that hasn't necessarily dominated across the season, but has generally been there or thereabouts and done just enough to earn the silverware. Marquez senior is still, for me, the only top 5 rider in the field who, parking the injury for now, is both currently at his peak and a proven dominator. Of course the impact of the injury and lay-off is as yet unknown but I'd be more surprised if he faded than shone again. These guys are extraordinarily driven and there's little point comparing them to most of us.

So, reluctantly, right now I'd probably say MM and any of four, five or six contenders for runners up. Even though I was hoping that by now there would be several young guns who would be making the outcome much more uncertain.

But respected elder, you've chosen but one. And it is a Ducati rider noneless. Regardless of feelings, that doesn't suffice for the "top 3 in Championship" matter at hand. Might you just pop out two more? Like belching the alphabet, but only needing B and C? Reasonable, no?

P.S. it may not matter, because I have Jack battling for 5th. 

Can I not defer this a little while.... September okay?

Well, if I must;

Some logic first. The factories had to grin and bear being out-performed by satellites last year but that won’t be allowed to happen two years running, they’ll make sure of that. Why pay top dollar to factory team staff if the country cousins can do it better, on a smaller budget? So, jobs and reputations are at stake, (I’m not talking about riders) and the teams hold the best cards (or should I say parts and data). Frankie looks like he knows this already and my guess is that this year will be the end of Vale’s relationship with Yamaha (and he’ll never know, now, whether it was just age or the bike – though he’s smart enough to have a pretty good idea).

So that whittles it down to Vinales, Quarty, Miller, Bagnaia, Rins and Mir. Everyone else may have a good weekend but no silverware come season end. Six left… that’s not helped much. Take out Bagnaia as he’s still a relative novice. Then drop Mav because, if he was going to be stellar he’d have done so by now. Four left…. dum dee dum dee dum…. I don’t know why but I just don’t think Suzuki are going to get away with it this year. It’s clearly a really, really good bike, but remains eminently beatable by pretty much all of the others, and neither pilot has ever struck me as a real, hard-nosed cage fighter, which I think you need to be in a pack this close. So there you have it; Jack and Fabio and I’ll go out on a limb and say;

  1. MM
  2. FQ
  3. JM

Why have I gone for Fabio 2nd over Jack? Simples - he's faster.

I willing to bet a C note that he'll be back, fast as ever, but it'll take a few races to get his 'feel' back. I say this simply because he's 'different'....mentally. No one expected Doohan to return after his leg injury, but..... Don't you see the similiarity's between MM and Mick? He'll be back....probably leading the WC by mid season.

One difference between Doohan's return from injury and Marquez', besides their respective ages when injured, is that Doohan returned before he went on a championship winning spree and Marquez is returning after his incredible run of titles. Doohan may have felt a need to prove himself a champion, while Marquez may end up trying to live up to past achievements.

Marquez said his first goal is to have fun on the bike. And he's downplaying expectations by stating the muscular strength of his arm is not at 100%. Is he sandbagging? We'll know in a few days time.

Ah, you are correct. Memory fail. Been happening more frequently as the years click on by. So much to remember. Would like to add some RAM to the supersaturated grey matter, but don't know how.

Apparently you just need to get vaccinated. Hasn't worked for me though, I've had both does and still can't remember what day it is most of the time.

I'm not one to bet, simply because I'd be skint as a result. I like routing for the underdog and that doesn't often pay dividends. However as there is no money involved, this time, my top 3 wish/prediction is:

1. Zarco

2. Morbidelli

3. Martin

Can you just imagine the season we would have in store, if that were the result at the end?