The 2020 MotoGP Riders’ Championship

During preseason it was felt that the coming 2020 MotoGP season was going to be one of the most competitive in the series history. It hasn’t turned out exactly as many would have hoped or expected considering the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the sport and therefore by extension also the race schedule.

Added to this is the announcement late on Monday that Marc Marquez had undergone a second operation relating to the injury he sustained during the Spanish Grand Prix which subsequently forced the Spaniard to sit out the Andalusian Grand Prix. Now due to this second operation he will also not be participating in this weekend’s Czech Republic Grand Prix, and will be replaced by Stefan Bradl.

GP de España 2020. Carrera Moto 3” by Box Repsol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Marquez’s injury and subsequent absence from the Andalusian and now Czech Republic Grand Prix, along with the reduced 2020 schedule, has led to some within the sport to state that this season’s championship will be worth less to whoever eventually wins. That is ultimately down to personal opinion and to a certain extent assumes that Marquez will be unable to make a sensational comeback to challenge, or even win, the 2020 title.

Such a sensational comeback would have to be aided to a certain extent by riders such as Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso retiring from Grand Prix and/or injuring themselves in a way that would force them to miss Grand Prix.

This isn’t outside the realm of possibility as what happened to Marc Marquez can, and already has, happened to other riders. Both Cal Crutchlow and Alex Rins have already been forced to miss one race after injuring themselves due to crashes in the opening Grand Prix weekend of the season. Not to forget Dovizioso’s battle to be fit for the MotoGP season opener after injuring himself in the lead up to the Spanish Grand Prix.

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Riders dropping points doesn’t necessarily have to be as a result of a crash, with Yamaha and Ducati riders such as Valentino Rossi and Francesco Bagnaia being hampered by their bikes unreliability costing them valuable points.

All of this makes the 2020 championship incredibly fluid and means that just because Quartararo, Vinales and Dovizioso have started well and stayed out of trouble so far, it doesn’t guarantee that it will stay that way. This means that there is every possibility that Marquez’s slim 2020 title aspirations can be revived, as well as those of other riders such as Jack Miller, Rossi, Crutchlow and Rins.

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The examples and issues highlighted above show that it is imperative this season for both rider and team to maximise every race weekend and eradicate any potential mistakes. With one of the most competitive grids in MotoGP’s history, being able to do this in practice is going to be very difficult.

This in of itself shows that even with a reduced schedule and absent reigning champion, whoever prevails and becomes the 2020 MotoGP champion will have more than deserved it. It also means that those who follow the sport will still be treated to another classic season that will be well worth continuing to follow.

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