How Rossi has stayed in contention for runner-up spot in MotoGP '18

Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso arrive in Australia for this weekend's MotoGP round aiming for the runner-up spot in the standings, but having experienced contrasting fortunes so far in 2018

How Rossi has stayed in contention for runner-up spot in MotoGP '18
In association with

Listening to both Italian riders, one must check the standings several times to understand how Yamaha rider Rossi remains in with a chance of finishing runner-up to Marc Marquez this year.

On Sunday at Phillip Island, Rossi will race on one of his favourite circuits placed the third in the standings, just nine points behind Dovizioso.

That is despite the fact Dovizioso has won three races on the Ducati this year, a bike that has taken six of a possible 15 victories in 2018, while Rossi and Yamaha have failed to win once in what has turned into a nightmare season.

At Motegi last weekend, Yamaha reached the milestone of 25 races without a win (a 22-race barren streak in the late 90s was its worst-ever winless run until this year), while Rossi himself has now gone six races without a top-three finish, which has never previously happened in his Yamaha tenure.

While Dovizioso is often heard emphasising the strong points of his Desmosedici bike, for more than a year Rossi has been consistently complaining about the M1's lack of traction, a weakness that has driven both he and team-mate Maverick Vinales on the brink of insanity.

So, how is it possible that Rossi is just nine points behind Dovizioso? The answer is related to the two rider's respective approaches to the championship, which have been conditioned by the differing potential of their machinery.

In this case, the numbers are the best reflection of reality: Rossi has been the only rider on the grid able to finish every race, and without his clash with Marquez in Argentina he would have a perfect record of points-scoring finishes.

On the other hand, Dovizioso has ended up in the gravel on four occasions (at Jerez, Le Mans, Barcelona and Motegi), but in each of those races he was always fighting for the podium until his crash.

The conclusion is obvious: when a rider is in a position to fight for the title because his bike allows him to do so, there are risks to be taken, and sometimes these backfire.

Rossi meanwhile has not had a bike capable of winning all year, and his strategy therefore has been to simply score as many points as possible - a plan that up until now has worked out very well.

shares
comments
Ducati, Honda finalise Lorenzo agreement over Valencia MotoGP test

Previous article

Ducati, Honda finalise Lorenzo agreement over Valencia MotoGP test

Next article

Cal Crutchlow could miss rest of 2018 MotoGP season

Cal Crutchlow could miss rest of 2018 MotoGP season
Load comments
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Plus

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Plus

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021
Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Plus

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Plus

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021