Marc Marquez's crash and injury at Jerez has certainly upset the applecart for this 2020 MotoGP season. Come on, be honest, who would have bet on an incident like the one that happened last Sunday to #93? Probably no one. Instead, an unexpected twist, with a high-side causing a fractured humerus and Marc will now miss the GP of Andalusia, scheduled for next Sunday.
According to the news of the last few hours, Marc's goal will be to try and return to Brno in August, missing only the second round of Jerez. With #93 temporarily out of action, his rivals are fully aware that they will have to capitalize on the situation.
So the questions beg: which rider will be the favourite for this world championship and how can he beat Magic Marc when he returns?
In recent seasons Marquez's chief rival has been Andrea Dovizioso, so much so that he has always finished second in the world championship standings. The last three years have demonstrated that the man from Forlì seems to be the only one capable of bothering the Spaniard and so our analysis starts with him. What does Andrea Dovizioso have to do to win the world title?
Before going into details, a few months ago we had played a sort of World Fantasy League (you can see the results at the bottom). Taking into consideration the tracks on which the 2020 Championship will take place, we made a sort of final classification of this 2020 considering the results achieved by the riders on their respective circuits last season.
Here is the ranking that would have emerged if this had been confirmed in 2020: 1. Marquez 315 points; 2. Dovizioso 202; 3. Quartararo 171; 4. Vinales 138; 5. Rins 128; 6. Rossi 125; 7. Miller 118; 8. Petrucci 88; 9. Morbidelli 61; 10. Crutchlow 54; etc.
As can be seen, starting from Jerez if Marc Marquez had replicated the same results as last season, he would have won the title by 113 points over Andrea Dovizioso.
Our analysis, however, was immediately debunked, since Marc scored no points last Sunday and will score the same next Sunday, therefore from 315 points his advantage drops to 265. Dovizioso instead, who last year finished fourth at Jerez and third this year, would find himself with six more points, or 208, if he confirms the result of seven days before on the weekend.
Let’s consider that the challenge between Marquez and Dovizioso starts again from Brno. If both were to confirm their performances of the past season in 2020, Marc would win the title by 50 points over Dovi, that is 315 to 265 as we said. So let's go back to our initial question: how can Dovizioso win this title?
We can start by saying that in the comparison with Quartararo and Vinales, the man from Forlì is undoubtedly the most consistent. It is a pity that last year he finished sixth at Misano and fourth at Valencia. To these results should be added the crash at Barcelona caused by Jorge Lorenzo.
Historically, the Barcelona track has confirmed Ducati's potential, so much so that Dovizioso won in 2017, while in 2018 he crashed when he was fighting for the podium. We are of the opinion that one year ago, without the setback caused by Jorge, Dovi and the Rossa would have comfortably been on the podium. If this result were confirmed again this year, simply by finishing third, Dovizioso would find himself with 16 more points and his gap from Marquez (winner last year in Catalunya) would drop to 34.
Then there is Misano, a track where he finished sixth last year, because he was in crisis with the tyres, while in 2018 he won just ahead of Marquez. If Andrea were to reach the podium twice in the double round at San Marino, even the lowest step, he would whittle away a further 12 points, seeing his gap drop to 22.
Finally Valencia, a track that has never given Ducati and Dovi much satisfaction, fourth last year, on the ground in 2017 when he was fighting for the title. He did well at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in 2018, where he was the protagonist of a memorable triumph in the wet.
If Andrea were to reach the podium also on this occasion, maybe a third place, he would gain another six points on #93, thus seeing the gap drop to 16. Unfortunately, however, that would not be enough, because if Marc confirmed all the results of the past season, he would still be Champion by 16 points.
So how can Dovizioso do it? Let’s try and give an answer. Andrea will have to win in Brno, as he did two years ago in that final sprint with Lorenzo and Marquez. In case of victory he would gain five points on Marc and at the same time #93 would have five less, so that the gap between the two would drop to only 6 points. Then another success will be needed and this will be up to Andrea to decide where, if on a track like Barcelona, where Ducati won in 2017 and 2018 or at Misano. With a victory Andrea and the Rossa would be World Champions by four points over Marc Marquez.
It’s easy to say, a little more complicated to do, for Dovi and also for Marc.
Below we have summarized our projections in a table. We took the top 10 in the 2019 World Championship and repeated the same results as last year following the current calendar (including double races). Logically from this mirror the two races at Jerez, where Marc will score no points, are missing.
However, if the riders were to duplicate last season's results in a photocopy, Marquez would still come out on top, and by a wide margin.