The current points system used in the MotoGP was introduced in 1993, and is the sixth different system seen since the championship began in 1949. Only in the inaugural year was points given to just the top five riders, with 1 extra point for the rider who made the fastest lap. From 1950 to 1968 only the top six scored points, then the top 10 from 1969 to 1987, the top fifteen from 1988 to 1991, and then the top 10 again during the 1992 season.
What are we getting at? If it often said that the current points system does not reward the winner enough while giving points to too many riders. If we look at the maths, with 5 points more (25 to 20), the winner scores 25% more points than the second-place riders. A little or a lot? We need a comparison and so we've taken the points system used in Formula 1 as our example.
With the cars, the guy crossing the line first takes 25 points (like the bikes) while second-place only scores 18, compared to the 20 of our bike riders. The winner therefore scores 39% more points than the guy finishing immediately behind him. Another difference not to be underestimated is that in F1 only the top ten score points, and not the top 15.
With some time on our hands ahead of the final championship phase, we wanted to see what would happen to the standings if we applied the Formula 1 system to Marquez and friends' results, summarising our findings in the table below.
Firstly, there wouldn't be any major changes in the standings, with the top 5 remaining the same. All would have significantly less points though. The man who'd suffer least is Marquez for the simple fact that he's scored the most race wins (5) and, when he's finished the race, he's only been off the podium on 2 occasions, the places most affected by this change of system.
This would make a difference to Dovizioso, who would lose 18 points as a result compared to Marquez's -10. Even worse for the Yamaha pair, with Vinales losing 20 points and Rossi 22. Up until now, it seems like the F1 system rewards the race winner above all, but the surprise comes with Pedrosa. Dani, despite having only won one races, would lose 16 points, less than everyone except Marquez. he would make up 2 points to Dovi, 4 to Vinales and gain 6 on Rossi.
The points difference between riders would increase. Marc would be 24 points ahead of Andrea, almost a race, 8 more than his current advantage and the same applies to Maverick who would be at -38, Dani at -60 and Rossi at -68.
In the end, it seems clear that both systems are very similar and don't lead to any dramatic changes, but from an uncertainty standpoint the MotoGP system seems to work better. Just something to pass the time but interesting anyway if a change is ever considered in the future.