Antonio López

We are used to hearing riders say things like: “This race was marked red on the calendar,” “We knew we were going to suffer here,” “This was better than we expected”, etc. But how do they really plan for the season?

Preseason data, the history of each circuit and above all, the events of the previous year, serve as a basis for teams to understand which circuits should be more favorable or at which they might suffer. At PecinoGP, we wanted to get into the minds of riders and team managers to see what happens each season to reach the desired goal: the world title.

We referenced the last 20 championships and took the average points per race that each champion obtained, with a result of 19.11 points per race.

The first thing we did was calculate the points considered necessary to take the title. For this, we referenced the last 20 championships and took the average points per race that each champion obtained, with a result of 19.11 points per race. This season we have a total of 19 races, so 19 times 19.11 points equals a total of 363.04 total season points, so the estimate points to be Champion is 364.

Major class world champions in the last 20 years and their championship points
Points Number of races Average per GP
1 1998 Mick Doohan 260 14 18,57
2 1999 Alex Criville 267 16 16,69
3 2000 Kenny Roberts Jr. 258 16 16,13
4 2001 Valentino Rossi 325 16 20,31
5 2002 Valentino Rossi 355 16 22,19
6 2003 Valentino Rossi 357 16 22,31
7 2004 Valentino Rossi 304 16 19,00
8 2005 Valentino Rossi 367 17 21,59
9 2006 Nicky Hayden 252 17 14,82
10 2007 Casey Stoner 367 18 20,39
11 2008 Valentino Rossi 373 18 20,72
12 2009 Valentino Rossi 306 17 18,00
13 2010 Jorge Lorenzo 383 18 21,28
14 2011 Casey Stoner 350 17 20,59
15 2012 Jorge Lorenzo 350 18 19,44
16 2013 Marc Márquez 334 18 18,56
17 2014 Marc Márquez 362 18 20,11
18 2015 Jorge Lorenzo 330 18 18,33
19 2016 Marc Márquez 298 18 16,56
20 2017 Marc Márquez 298 18 16,56
Average 19,11

The next thing we did was take the 8 riders with best chances of succeeding and analyze what result they would need in each race to reach such a figure based on their history at each circuit and the chances their bikes have at each track. Thus at the end of each race, they know if they’re closer or farther to their goal. For example, if at one race they had planned to win (25 points), but instead finished second (20 points), they know that they are down 5 points with respect to their final objective. Or if in another race they thought that finishing third (16 points) was best they could do, and they end up winning that GP (25 points), then they would be 9 points ahead of where they expected.

We have analyzed each rider from the previous season, their history at each circuit, and the how they appeared in the preseason.

The distribution of points was made after analyzing each rider from the previous season, their history at each circuit, and the how they appeared in the preseason. For example, Márquez always has COTA in Texas, Sachsenring in Germany and Motorland in Spanish Aragón as the three tracks marked in red, meaning where not only he cannot fail, but where he has to win. On the contrary, the Qatar GP and the French race of Le Mans represent weekends where he plans on not winning. However, it has been considered that to be Champion it’s not possible to speculate finishing below 4th position, so for everything to add up to the final 364 points, all races have to be finished among the first 4 positions .

The Qatar GP served to inaugurate our exercise of Objective 364…

Note in the attached table (which will be updated after each race) Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi met their expectations, while only one rider, Marc Márquez, gained more points than were expected in his forecast according to our calculations. At the opposite end of the scale is Jorge Lorenzo, who finished Losail down 25 points, since this was a preferred track in which he was planning for a victory.

If in Argentina Jorge gains more than the 13 points we have awarded him based on his history, preseason performance and his there result last year, he will begin to erase the fiasco that was Qatar. For the same reasons, at Termas de Rio Hondo Maverick Viñales or Cal Crutchlow will be “obligated” to win. We will see.