Monthly Archives: December 2017

Christmas MotoGP Trivia Quiz

Something to think about when you have had your fill of Christmas pudding! No prizes, just a bit of MotoGP fun.

The following trivia question relates to all grand prix classes over all years that the world championship series has taken place, starting in 1949.

There are sixteen sets of initials that are shared by two or more world champions.   (As an example, “J.M.” for Jorge Martinez and Joan Mir) How many of the other fifteen sets of initials can you come up with?

A full list will be given in the New Year. Good luck!

By | December 24th, 2017|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events, Uncategorised|Comments Off on Christmas MotoGP Trivia Quiz

THE TWELVE DAYS OF MOTOGP CHRISTMAS

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Zarco’s debut podiums three.

 

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Second place for Dovi

Zarco’s debut podiums three.

 

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Three wins for Maverick

Second place for Dovi etc …….

 

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

4.9 million Instagram followers

Three wins for Maverick etc ……….

 

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Five gold Rins

4.9 million Instagram followers etc…….

 

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Six Franco poles

Five gold Rins etc ……

 

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Seven Sepang swimmers

Six Franco poles etc ……..

 

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Marc’s eight Tissot watches

Seven Sepang swimmers etc …..

 

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Nine Luca’s coaching

Marc’s eight Tissot watches etc …….

 

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Ten Joan’s winning

Nine Luca’s coaching etc ……..

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

150,000 fans at each grand prix

Ten Joan’s winning etc ……..

 

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

12 European venues

150,000 fans at each grand prix

Ten Joan’s winning

Nine Luca’s coaching

Marc’s eight Tissot watches

Seven Sepang swimmers

Six Franco poles

Five gold Rins

4.9 million Instagram followers

Three wins for Maverick

Second place for Dovi

Zarco’s debut podiums three.

By | December 22nd, 2017|News and Events, Nick's Blog|1 Comment

Fortunes of Moto2 and Moto3 race winners in MotoGP

Following on from the blog last week where I presented an analysis of the fortunes of WSBK Championship winners after switching to MotoGP, this week I will look at how Moto2/3 riders have done in MotoGP. The analysis will consider any rider who has won either a Moto2 or Moto3 race before competing full-time in the MotoGP class. The riders who have done this are: Karel Abraham, Stefan Bradl, Alex de Angelis, Toni Elias, Pol Espargaro, Jonas Folger, Andrea Iannone, Sam Lowes, Marc Marquez, Jack Miller, Michele Pirro, Tito Rabat, Scott Redding, Alex Rins, Maverick Viñales and Johann Zarco.

 

Rider MotoGP Starts Wins Podiums Best championship posn.
Abraham 85 0 0 14th
Bradl 86 0 1 7th
De Angelis 23 0 0 21st
Elias 26 0 0 15th
Pol Espargaro 71 0 0 6th
Folger 13 0 1 10th
Iannone 83 1 7 5th
Lowes 18 0 0 25th
Marquez 90 35 63 1st
Miller 48 1 1 11th
Pirro 49 0 0 13th
Rabat 35 0 0 19th
Redding 72 0 2 12th
Rins 13 0 0 16th
Viñales 54 4 11 3rd
Zarco 18 0 3 6th

 

Summary for all riders combined:

Starts Wins Podiums Best championship posn.
784 41 (Win rate – 5.2%) 89 (Podium rate – 11.3%) 1st

 

Comparing this with the equivalent summary for the WSBK champions who have switched to MotoGP:

Starts Wins Podiums Best championship posn.
346 2 (Win rate – 0.6%) 23 (Podium rate – 6.6%) 4th

 

Clearly from the above stats the performance of the Moto2/3 race winners are superior overall than the WSBK champions who have made the switch to MotoGP. However, most of the wins/podiums are down to one rider – Marc Marquez. It is interesting to compare how the summary would look if Marc Marquez was excluded (although cannot think of a logical reason why he should be excluded!).

Starts Wins Podiums Best championship posn.
694 6 (Win rate – 0.9%) 26 (Podium rate – 3.7%) 3rd

 

The performance of the two groups of riders are now very much closer, with the Moto2/3 riders having a better win rate, while the WSBK riders have a superior podium rate.

It could be argued that if we are going to exclude Marc Marquez from the above table, then he also needs to be excluded from the results. So for instance, Stefan Bradl who finished 2nd to Marquez at Laguna Seca in 2013 would be credited with a win. By doing this the revised Summary table for wins and podiums would look like this:

Starts Wins Podiums
694 8 (Win rate – 1.2%) 44 (Podium rate – 6.3%)

 

So what can be concluded from the above analysis? Well it is clear that historically the WSBK champions that have switched to MotoGP have not performed significantly better than the riders who have moved up to MotoGP after winning races in the smaller GP classes. So perhaps this makes it understandable why MotoGP team bosses are not necessarily looking to WSBK to recruit riders. The other factor may also be that the Moto2/3 riders moving up to MotoGP will be more willing to accept a ride with a satellite team, and on lower wages, than a rider who has proved his worth winning the WSBK championship and already earning a high salary.

 

So what about Jonathan Rea? Well as I said in the last blog, what has happened in the past is not necessarily a good indication of what would happen in the future. My belief is that Rea is perhaps the exception and could move across to MotoGP and win races. I can understand that he may be reluctant to make the move unless he is on proven race winning machinery. But most of the factory contracts are up for renewal at the end of 2018 and who knows what may become available? Will Valentino Rossi call it a day?  Will the KTM prove itself to be a bike that can challenge for podiums and wins? Will Dani Pedrosa keep his place in the factory Honda team? Now that is a combination I would like to see – Jonathan Rea alongside Marc Marquez in the Repsol Honda Team.

 

Maybe one of the MotoGP team bosses will take a chance and makes Rea an offer he cannot refuse. And my hope is that Jonathan Rea will take up the challenge: clearly he has nothing to prove after winning multiple WSBK championships, but wouldn’t it round-off a great career if he could add a handful of MotoGP wins?

By | December 15th, 2017|Martin Raines Blog, Uncategorised|2 Comments

The fortunes of WSBK Champions in MotoGP

It was difficult not to be impressed by the great lap time set by Jonathan Rea at the recent Jerez test, following which there has been lots of discussion on the reasons why he is not on a factory bike in MotoGP. Of interest to the discussion is the performance of previous WSBK Champions who have moved across to compete in MotoGP. In total there have been five riders compete full-time in MotoGP after winning the WSBK title: Troy Bayliss, Colin Edwards, Neil Hodgson, James Toseland and Ben Spies.

The following table is a summary of the MotoGP results achieved by each of these five riders:

Rider Starts Wins Podiums Best championship posn.
Bayliss 44 1 5 6th
Edwards 196 0 12 4th
Hodgson 16 0 0 17th
Toseland 35 0 0 11th
Spies 52 1 6 5th

 

Summary for all riders combined:

Starts Wins Podiums Best championship posn.
343 2 23 4th

 

The summary here is critical, showing that from a combined 343 starts in the MotoGP class by WSBK title winners they have accumulated a total of just two wins (representing a win rate of 0.6%) and 23 podium finishes (a rate of 6.7%). Also, no rider who has won the WSBK title has managed to finish higher than 4th in the MotoGP World Championship.

Of course, what has happened in the past is not necessarily a great guide to what may happen in the future, but the fact that no winner of the WSBK title has transferred across to MotoGP and made a massive impact by scoring multiple race victories or challenging for the world title must influence the thinking of MotoGP team managers.

But then again what are the alternatives? Well it seems that the more traditional route of graduating from the smaller Grand Prix classes seems to the one favoured by the MotoGP team bosses. But how do the statistics of these riders stack-up? Tune in next week to find the answer to that one!

By | December 8th, 2017|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events, Uncategorised|Comments Off on The fortunes of WSBK Champions in MotoGP

OLIVER TWIST – NOT ASKING FOR MORE, JUST A PARAGRAPH

I still love newspapers – perhaps it’s my age but while my younger colleagues scan phones, tablets and computers to keep up to date, usually when we are eating, I still like the rustle of news print. My delight on a MotoGP weekend is to find an English newspaper at the airport on Monday morning and spend the flight home scanning the page of football results, often to the annoyance of the passenger next to me who is busily checking the news on his tablet causing no inconvenience to anybody.

 

So imagine after the memorable Valencia weekend I arrived at the airport on Monday morning, nursing a sore head, to find a copy of the most famous English newspaper in the world on sale for four precious euros. It was surrounded by all the Spanish dailies with massive front page pictures of Marc Marquez celebrating his MotoGP World title. Rather than the usual football page I looked forward to reading what the esteemed publication reported from Valencia.

 

After all the Valencia Grand Prix was the biggest sporting event of the weekend in Europe and probably in the world. A championship still to be decided at the final round of eighteen, a weekend crowd of 209,000 and a race day crowd of 128, 00 was surely a clear indication just what a massive event this was. A championship that had provided 73 overtaking manoeuvres between the top six riders three weeks earlier in Australia. Certainly the social media following gave a clear indication the world was very interested indeed. Facebook reported 51 million video views from the official feed with 4.8 Million Instagram followers thirsting for information. There was no doubt this was a major sporting event.

 

Having parted with my four Euros I settled down for my favourite Monday morning read. I ploughed through two pages reporting on the Formula One race in Brazil although the championship had already been decided, pages of Rugby Union, ATP tennis and Ashes cricket. These are sports I love and thoroughly enjoy the coverage but where was the news on Marc Marquez’s win. I looked and looked and found absolutely nothing. I doubled checked and still nothing although the results were shown in the results section but not a word, line, paragraph or photograph from the race. For once the football results page was unread as my favourite newspaper for the last 50 years found itself on the rubbish bin at Valencia airport.

 

Apologies if the English edition did contain a report because when I got home my daily delivered copy of the unread newspaper also found itself in the rubbish bin. Perhaps those younger colleagues are right I need to change my reading habits to keep up to date with the real sporting news.

 

I’m not Oliver Twist asking for more but just for something. Just a paragraph would be a start. Otherwise that tablet could be top of my Christmas present list.

 

By | December 1st, 2017|Nick's Blog|5 Comments