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?