After 5 Grands Prix Bagnaia and Bezzecchi are separated by just one point, 94 for Pecco against 93 for Marco. That’s not much of a difference seeing as every weekend there are 37 points up for grabs (we talked about it HERE), but it applies to everyone. What is often forgotten is that with the change of format and the introduction of sprint races, there has been an epochal change in the MotoGP rules and the riders still have to get used to it.
First of all, qualifying is now worth double, because it decides the grid positions for the two races, then the ways of interpreting them must be different and no one has yet figured out how to do it best. It’s not us that says that, but the numbers, which you can find below.
Bagnaia was right last Sunday when he said that he is "lucky that there are sprint races". If he's still leading the standings, he owes it to the points on Saturday. Considering the fact that there are only half the points, the world champion has been the best performer in the short race. With two victories and 4 podiums to his name, he has picked up 44 points against 50 on Sunday (coming from two victories). His start to the season has been strange, with 3 crashes in 5 races, and those numbers show that Pecco has wasted so many opportunities. Without the sprint race he would be 2nd in the championship and 26 points behind Bezzecchi.
It's actually Marco who has been the best on Sunday, with two victories and 3 podiums. He too has lacked a pinch of consistency, but above all the points on Saturday to overtake Pecco. Apart from the sprint in Argentina, where he got on the podium, the VR46 rider has never looked good in the short race, picking up just 17 points, less than a fifth of the total. From this point of view, he has paid for his results in qualifying, in fact at Termas de Rio Hondo, the only GP in which he qualified on the front row, he picked up his only podium on Saturday.
Binder and Martin are the exact opposite. A bit like Pecco, Brad and Jorge have almost scored more in the sprint than in the long race: 38 points out of 81 for the South African, 36 out of 80 for the Spaniard. Both are very fast on the flying lap, can be explosive and get off to a good start: all qualities that are needed in the sprint, only to lose their way over the distance.
The opposite of Zarco, who throughout his career (since his Moto2 days) has had tyre management as his strong point. In fact, on Saturday Johann has taken home just 8 points in 5 races, while on Sunday he has been on the podium twice and his tally rises to 58. Something similar can also be said for Maverick Vinales (12 points in sprints, 37 in normal races ) who has always suffered in the early laps, in addition to the fact that the Aprilia has some problems in getting off the line.
Luca Marini is more in line in the two races: 38 points on Sunday and 16 on Saturday, therefore just under half, in line with the halved score. Like him also Miller and in fact both can count on a podium both in the sprint and in the long race.
On the other hand, we can say without fear of being contradicted that Quartararo absolutely does not dig the short race. But we should make a note: perhaps more than him, it is the Yamaha that does not dig it. In fact, the M1 is unable to express its potential in the flying lap and then suffers in the group: two problems that are magnified in the short distance, when there is less time to recover and strategize. In fact, Fabio has scored just one point of his 49 total in the sprint.
In the table above we have considered the top 10 riders in the standings and the last one is Alex Rins. His story, however, is quite different: 9 points in the sprints and 25 out of 38 in the long races all come from Austin, the only track where he has succeeded in expressing himself at a high level on the Honda.