MotoGP is in action this weekend for the fifteenth round of the season in Thailand.
2019 MotoGP Champion
Marc Marquez heads to Thailand with a ninety eight point lead in the championship over his nearest rival, Andrea Dovizioso. Marquez will only need to outscore Dovizioso by two points in Thailand in order to win the 2019 MotoGP championship with only four rounds left after this weekend’s race.
Battle for third
Forty six points behind Dovizioso is Alex Rins who is third. However one point behind Rins is Danilo Petrucci.Embed from Getty Images
The battle is perhaps not as close as it seems with Rins having finished ahead of Petrucci in four of the last five races. However Rins has been inconsistent, having retired three times over the course of the 2019 season compared to Petrucci’s zero. This has meant, along with Petrucci’s early season good form, that the two are close together in the standings and have swapped places over the course of the last couple of races.
Also in the battle for third and eight points behind Petrucci is Maverick Vinales who has brought himself into contention after finishing inside the top five in the last four races, this includes back to back podium finishes at Silverstone and Misano.
Ten points behind Vinales is his teammate, Valentino Rossi who has finished inside the top ten in the last six races.
Rossi hasn’t finished ahead of Vinales since the Austrian Grand Prix, four races ago.Embed from Getty Images
The Italian finds himself beginning to enter a ‘no man’s land’ of sorts as he is also fourteen points ahead of Fabio Quartararo, who is immediately behind him in the standings. Although with having finished ahead of Rins and Petrucci in three of the last five races, it is not out of the question that Rossi could haul himself further into the fight for third.
As mentioned, MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo currently finds himself in seventh in the standings, fourteen points behind Rossi. He is however only six points ahead of eighth placed Jack Miller.
The two have been closely matched from the Czech Grand Prix onwards with both having visited the podium twice while also retiring from one race each, finishing inside the top ten in the other two races.Embed from Getty Images
They may not often be battling directly on track but the points gap between the two could swing in either riders favour multiple times from Thailand until the end of the season.
Battle for ninth
There has been an interesting battle between Cal Crutchlow, Franco Morbidelli and Pol Espargaro over the last couple of races, prior to Aragon, for the last two places inside the top ten.
However this was dampened slightly at Aragon with Crutchlow finishing sixth while Morbidelli retired and Espargaro was forced to withdraw from the race after sustaining an injury.Embed from Getty Images
It means that Crutchlow is eighteen points ahead of Morbidelli and a further three points ahead of Espargaro going into this weekend’s Grand Prix. Although this fight could reignite in the remaining five races of the season.
Aprilia had their best result of the 2019 season last time out in Aragon with regular riders Aleix Espargaro finishing seventh and Andrea Iannone finishing eleventh.
They’ll be hoping for another double points finish in Thailand as both riders look to build on having finished inside the points in two of the last three races.