MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Is this the weirdest MotoGP season ever?
Ten rounds done, four to go, and this is the worst-scoring world championship since 1952. So what’s going on and why is the racing so unprecedently unpredictable?
Surely, this is the weirdest MotoGP season ever.
I’ve been in the paddock for roughly half the 72 seasons since the world championships were born and I can’t remember a season like it.
It’s abnormal for several reasons.
First, this is only the fourth time the MotoGP world champion hasn’t been around to defend his title. The last time that happened was way back in 1961, after 500cc king John Surtees climbed off his MV Agusta and into a Lotus Formula 1 car.
Every year since then the reigning world champion has been racing, hoping to retain his crown. True, Marc Márquez lit up the season-opener at Jerez but he’s not scored a single point.
Second, this is the only season affected by a global pandemic.
Third, which is linked to my second point, this is the lowest-scoring MotoGP season since the dawn of the championship back in the 1950s. This is an astonishing achievement if that’s the word.
After 2020’s first ten races Joan Mir leads the championship on 121 points, which is less than half of the points up for grabs. The only time the championship has been won with less than 50 per cent was in 1952, when Gilera’s Umberto Masetti took the title, with 43.7 per cent of the available points.
Mir is currently on 48.4 per cent. Compare that to Márquez’s 88.4 per cent from last year, which makes you wonder if the reigning champ really could win the title with one arm tied behind his back
How is this even possible – that we are comparing 1950s MotoGP to 2020 MotoGP?
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.