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MotoGP, 2023 VS 2024: Martin's perfect break, Marquez's resurrection, Bagnaia in his norm

ANALYSIS - In the first 3 GPs, Jorge has scored 51 more points than a year ago, Pecco 3 less. Worst performance for Rins and Bezzecchi, who are 44 points short.

MotoGP: 2023 VS 2024: Martin's perfect break, Marquez's resurrection, Bagnaia in his norm

An old paddock adage holds that the championship begins in Jerez. In the past, the circuit named after Angel Nieto was the first European track the riders faced in the year; this is no longer the case, as they have already raced at Portimao. However, the Spanish track remains the first 'old-fashioned' one, narrow and technical, different from the ones that preceded it.

Without going too much into whether Jerez is the litmus test of the real on-track form factor or not, it still marks the beginning of MotoGP's European campaign. The first 3 Grands Prix, however, have awarded many points, important for the championship, and begun to outline the balance of power. It is interesting to see how much it has changed since last year, and to do so we can compare the points obtained by the various riders in 2023 and 2024 (the rookie Acosta is clearly missing from the list).

Several times we have said that Martin has made his best start to the season ever, and confirming this are the numbers. Jorge has finished on the podium 5 times in the first 6 races (Sprint and Sunday) and his worst result was a 4th place in Austin: compared to 2023 he has 51 more points, a very good result. Only one rider has managed to do better than him, and that is Bastianini. Enea, however, was injured in the first Sprint last year and missed the first GPs, so it is obvious that his leap forward was so great (59 points).

On the other hand, much has been said about Bagnaia's bad start, but in truth it turns out that the world champion is right on track for 2023. He is only 3 points short of a year ago, which does not mean that he has made a good start, but that he always needs a little running-in time to get into gear. This time, however, he is a bit more to blame because his brandmates on the GP24 are both ahead of him (and by 30 points Jorge).

Aprilia's improvements are also reflected in the standings, with Vinales having 11 more points than 2023 and he could have at least another 20 without the Portimao glitch. The proof also comes from Aleix Espargarò, at +21, while the Trackhouse pair is on last year's levels: 5 more points for Fernandez, while Oliveira is minus 3 despite having the official RS-GP.

The Ducati cure is doing Marc Marquez a lot of good. Despite two crashes in Portimao and Austin, he has 29 more points than a year ago, but we have to remember that in 2023 he had only raced the inaugural Sprint, then he picked up an injury that halted him for the other GPs. Marc remains the best performer of the Desmosedici 2023, which is giving some problems to its riders. His brother Alex has 19 fewer points than in what had been his debut season on the Ducati; Di Giannantonio, on the other hand, has 12 more. The most surprising flop, however, is that of Marco Bezzecchi, who last year won in Argentina, while in this 2024 season he is 44 points short.

The same number as Alex Rins, author of the success in Austin in 2023 on the Honda. After moving to Yamaha, the Spaniard has picked up just 3 points in as many GPs, but the M1's limitations are obvious. Fabio Quartararo, who is missing as many as 15 points, provides the proof. While Iwata is crying, Tokyo is not much to laugh about either: Mir has 2 more points and Nakagami 5 less, but we are talking about crumbs. The level of the crisis Honda is in is given by the two riders who came to Honda from Ducati: Zarco has 39 points fewer, Marini 38 (and Luca has not scored a single point in 3 GPs). Another rider in the same situation is Morbidelli, who is only partly surprising in his results because he missed all the winter tests and is finding out about the Ducati in the races, showing interesting progress in Austin.

We end with KTM, which seems to have taken a step forward, but not with everyone. While Binder has 19 more points, Miller has 4 less and Fernandez 7, but Acosta is the one who has really made a difference on the RC16 (and his 54 points are there to prove it).


Translated by Julian Thomas

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