A more uncertain World Championship with the "discard" rule

From 1949 to 1976, some of the worst results were discarded from total points. This gave priority to speed rather than regulations. With an increase in the number of GPs,  this rule is making coming back.

The MotoGP arrives at Motegi with the championship title already awarded to Marc Marquez who, with 9 wins, five second places, and a zero caused by the crash in Austin, dominated it by winning with a 110 points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.

Fortunately, there are other reasons of interest that will keep the fans glued to the TV during the Japan-Australia-Malaysia triptych, but there is no doubt that it would have been better if the final races were disputed with the title still at stake.

But with 19 Grands Prix, and the anticipation of two more on the way, this becomes increasingly difficult, especially if a rider combines speed with perseverance.

In fact, accidents always weigh on the total score and, in some cases, they're not attributable to the rider involved. When it comes to the Ducati rider, his two zeros in the standings, in Barcelona and Silverstone, were caused by others. Even if we can object and say that, starting as far ahead as possible, therefore, with better qualifications, the risks connected to when a rider starts the race are greatly reduced.

The fact is that, for some time now, regulations are fundamental, if not equally, important as speed.

In the past, the "discard" rule was in force and not all the GPs were counted

This is why, until 1976, there was a different scoring policy that allowed us to discard some of the worst results before adding up the total.

In 1976, just 6 Grand Prizes were counted out of a total of 9. The previous year, they were 6 out of 10 races. In 1973, 7 Grand Prixs were counted out of 12 raced, and so on.

This system was chosen to actually reward the fastest rider, excluding mechanical breakdowns or falls. Everyone thought a pure victory should have been privileged. Obviously, this is a system like any other, but there is no doubt that today, with the proliferation of the number of Grand Prixs, it would not be wrong to rethink this system, which would not actually change the result, but would avoid, or at least postpone, the anticipated outcome of the world championship.

If it had been applied to the championship in question, with 2 discarded races out of 19, for example, Marquez would have had to discard the zero from Austin and a second place, finding himself with a total of 305 (325-20), while Dovizioso, discarding his two falls, would have the same total, 215. With a 90-point gap, the world championship would, therefore, still be open four races from the conclusion, with 100 points at stake.

Obviously, the situation would be even more open if there were 3 discarded races out of 19 Grand Prixs because Marquez would have to discard another second place, 20 points, while Dovi would have to discard the 10 points of his 6th place in Misano. So, today, less than four races from the end, he would still be behind, but at -80 points.

And this would probably mean keeping the league open at least until the Australian GP.

The strongest would still win, but the wait for the consecration of the new world champion would continue until Phillip Island, instead of Thailand.

After all, the "discard" policy had once been in effect from 1949 to 1976, and without causing any damages.

Those who are against this system protest that identifying the situation at the top of the championship is less immediate. We don't understand why, since it's always a question of performing a mathematical operation, which is currently simple addition and, in the past, it was addition and subtraction. Elementary school stuff.

A simple reflection, while casting an eye on the past.


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