Like many sports, motorcycle racing is a numbers game. Some of those numbers, like horsepower figures, the dimensions of engine internals and chassis geometry are closely guarded secrets, and kept carefully concealed. Others, the numbers which result from those secret figures, are almost painfully public. Every lap, even every sector of every lap, is recorded, then published on the MotoGP.com website and exposed to the full glare of public scrutiny. Anyone wanting to know just how fast a specific rider rode on a particular lap during a particular session at a given track, and to see where they finished a specific race, and where that left them in the championship, can pop over to MotoGP.com and look it up.
Of course, the ability to look at find that information is completely different from the ability to digest and understand it. To many people, those figures quickly become a jungle of numbers, and they end up not being able to see the MotoGP wood for the trees.
Fortunately, the internet being what it is, there are a few rare individuals who have an affinity for figures, a passion for MotoGP, and the necessary skills to present those numbers in a more digestible form. There are even one or two people who, from sheer love of the sport, then put the result of their labors up for the rest of the world to enjoy.
One such person is Ming-En Cho, a software engineer and interaction designer from San Francisco. She has used her formidable talents to create a MotoGP stats viewer, which displays the results of each race and the resulting championship standings in an easily comprehensible form. No longer are you left attempting to do mental arithmetic and juggling results to work out what really happened, Ming-En Cho has created a simple yet beautiful representation which helps you understand what went on during the race at a glance.
The race viewer shows you the positions for every rider on every lap of each race.
Hovering over a particular rider lights up his progress through the field, plus his lap time for each lap:
Selecting season view shows the current championship standings after each race, with the points total broken down by each score:
The size of each block is in proportion to the number of points scored, and hovering over the block tells you what track those points were scored at:
All in all, an outstanding way of representing the results of every race. The application is beautifully designed, and brilliantly thought through. It is both a pleasure to use, and extremely informative. Well worth heading over to Ming-En Cho's site and giving it a test run yourself. Now, if she would just do the same for lap times during the practice sessions, we could work out who was going to win on Sunday before the race has even been won.