The winners and losers of the first third of the 2024 season

The premiere edition of the Kazakhstan Grand Prix was actually supposed to take place next weekend. However, due to its postponement to September, MotoGP now has two race-free weekends ahead of it before the Dutch TT in Assen continues at the end of June. After seven Grand Prix races, this is the perfect time to draw an initial interim conclusion for the 2024 season. Which riders delivered? Who surprised? Who is falling short of expectations? analyzed.

In order to get a good feel for the winners and losers of the first third of the 2024 MotoGP season, it is of course a good idea to compare the points between the current standings and that of the previous year after seven season stops. Almost all of this year’s regular drivers were already at the start there. Only Pedro Acosta is a newcomer and is therefore of course a special case, as he cannot be compared with his Moto2 season from the previous year. In principle, however, it should be noted that the points difference alone does not paint a complete picture of a driver’s performance; other factors such as team and manufacturer changes, injuries or technical bad luck also come into play.

The MotoGP points comparison 2023 vs. 2024

driver Points 2024 Points 2023 difference
Martin 171 144 +27
Bagnia 153 160 -7
M. Marquez 136 15 +121
Bastianini 114 16 +98
Acosta 101
Viñales 100 53 +47
B. Binder 85 96 -11
A. Espargaro 82 55 +27
By Giannantonio 74 34 +40
A. Marquez 51 52 -1
Bezzecchi 45 126 -81
R. Fernandez 32 4 +28
Quartararo 32 57 -25
Morbidelli 31 50 -19
Oliveira 31 27 +4
Miller 27 79 -52
A. Fernandez 13 36 -23
Me 13 5 +8
Zarco 9 109 -100
Rins 8th 47 -39
Nakagami 8th 26 -18
Marina 0 89 -89

A look at the right-hand column of the table above quickly makes it clear that there are sometimes very large differences between the points standings of the 22 MotoGP regular riders after seven Grand Prix weekends in 2023 and 2024. For only four riders, the difference is in the single-digit points range, only Alex Marquez is almost exactly at the same level as last year in 2024 with a difference of just one point. This makes it possible to see clear winners and losers. We will come to that below.

MotoGP winner Marc Marquez: Gresini switch is a complete success

If a rider can improve by 121 points within 12 months, then there is no doubt who the biggest winner of the first third of the 2024 MotoGP season is: Marc Marquez. The eight-time world champion had just completed his horror weekend at the Sachsenring last year and was still waiting to finish a main race. Now, after switching from Honda to Gresini Racing, he is back in the middle of the World Championship battle and is increasingly finding his way back to the form of days gone by, which recently even earned him a promotion to the Ducati factory team for the 2025 season. There is no question about it: Marquez’s Gresini gamble paid off.

The winners of the 2024 MotoGP season start:

Place driver Points
1. M. Marquez +121
2. Bastianini +98
3. Viñales +47
4. By Giannantonio +40
5. R. Fernandez +28
6. Martin +27
6. A. Espargaro +27
8th. Me +8
9. Oliveira +4

One of the victims of Marquez’s move to Ducati is Enea Bastianini, who has to vacate his place in the factory team after two years. The Italian is the rider who has made the second biggest improvement compared to the previous season. After being injured for a long time in 2023 and then having problems adapting to the new Ducati GP23, ‘La Bestia’ is fighting for victories and podium places again this season. However, this increase in performance was not enough to be able to ride in Ducati red in 2025. The same goes for World Championship leader Jorge Martin, who once again did not get the Ducati nod despite gaining 27 points.

Aprilia greatly improved, Joan Mir only bright spot at Honda

Aprilia also made clear progress in 2024. All four riders on the RS-GP were able to improve their points compared to 2023. Maverick Vinales in particular stands out, having collected 47 more points and finally taking his first race wins in black and red in the past few months. But teammate Aleix Espargaro is also doing much better than in 2023, despite a mixed season so far. Two riders who made their MotoGP debut together in 2022 also deserve positive mention: Fabio Di Giannantonio and Raul Fernandez. While the former was able to continue his positive development trend from late autumn last year, the latter finally made the long-awaited leap forward in 2024. Despite using last year’s motorcycle, Fernandez even collected one point more than trackhouse colleague Miguel Oliveira, who is being equipped with current material by Aprilia.

Maverick Vinales celebrated his first GP victory for Aprilia in Austin, Photo: LAT Images
Maverick Vinales celebrated his first GP victory for Aprilia in Austin, Photo: LAT Images

Joan Mir was only able to score a modest eight points, but curiously enough, he is still one of the winners of the MotoGP season so far. Overall, employer Honda is in a much worse position this year than it was in 2023. However, after a horror season last year, Mir managed to turn things around and is regularly the best HRC rider. He has already scored half as many points as in 2023 – and on a much worse motorcycle.

MotoGP losers 2024: KTM riders and Honda newcomers drop out

While GasGas superrookie Pedro Acosta is delighting the MotoGP these days with his strong performances, the other KTM riders are disappointing across the board. While Brad Binder is still doing well thanks to two podium finishes in Qatar and a fourth place in Portimao, his teammate Jack Miller in particular is lagging far behind expectations with a deficit of 52 points. Augusto Fernandez has also not yet managed to take the hoped-for next step, collecting a full 23 points less than in his rookie season and thus only a fraction of the points of his teammate Acostas (12.8 percent).

The losers of the 2024 MotoGP season start:

Place driver Points
1. Zarco -100
2. Marina -89
3. Bezzecchi -81
4. Miller -52
5. Rins -39
6. Quartararo -25
7. A. Fernandez -23
8th. Morbidelli -19
9. Nakagami -18
10. B. Binder -11
11. Bagnaia -7
12. A. Marquez -1

However, Johann Zarco and Luca Marini have been hit even harder. The two new Honda signings, who defected from the Ducati customer teams Pramac and VR46, no longer have anything to do with the top positions at their new employer. It was already clear that the two would not be able to build on their results from their Ducati days in 2024. But the fact that the difference is so big is still surprising. Zarco, as the second-best Honda rider, has at least put in a halfway decent performance, but Marini in particular has been disastrous so far in 2024. The Italian has consistently held the red lantern and is still waiting for his first point of the season after seven GP weekends.

Marini’s former teammate lost almost as many points as Marco Bezzecchi – and that despite the fact that he is still driving for the same team as in 2023. The start of the season for last year’s third-place finisher in the World Championship is all the more disappointing. He has not been able to cope with the Ducati Desmosedici GP23 so far and has only made it onto the podium once in Jerez. Otherwise, Bezzecchi has repeatedly ended up in the gravel or outside the top 10 positions. Of the eight Ducatisti, only Franco Morbidelli is in a worse position after the Italian GP. However, he also missed the entire winter test drives due to injury and thus has a good excuse ready.

Now it’s your turn: Which MotoGP rider has positively surprised you so far in 2024? Who would you have expected much more from? Tell us in the comments!

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