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Breakdown of 2011's Record MotoGP crash count

Stats for the 2011 MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc seasons...
By Matt Zollo

The 2011 motorcycle grand prix season may not be remembered as one of the greatest, certainly not as far as MotoGP is concerned, but it will go down as one of the most accident-packed: There were 894 crashes in all classes during the 2011 season, the highest number since records began in 1997.

Falls per Year (all classes)

Season Total Falls
2011: 894
2010: 825
2009: 642
2008: 876
2007: 672
2006: 647
2005: 737
2004: 706
2003: 705
2002: 646
2001: 634
2000: 633
1999: 565
1998: 468
1997: 496

It would be easy to lay blame on the introduction of bike-packed Moto2 grids, or the high corner speeds of 800cc MotoGP bikes, or the tricky warming-up procedure of Bridgestone's control tyre for the high 2011 figure. But analysing the data doesn't indicate that any one factor specifically is to blame.

For instance, the second highest number of falls recorded over a season, at 876, was in 2008, two years before Moto2 bikes were swamping grids, and before the control tyre was introduced – although it was the year of Michelin's disastrous campaign, which may go some way to explaining it. Similarly, during the first year of 800s, in 2007, only 672 falls were amassed; lower than the 2003/4/5 990cc seasons.

More likely, the high 2011 figure is a combination of all three factors mentioned, along with what seemed to be an unusually high number of meetings with rainfall.

It must also be noted that until 2004 there were only 16 races per season, but 17 and then 18 per season thereafter (though 125cc and 250cc/Moto2 classes have never visited Laguna).

Falls per Category

MotoGP: 157
Moto2: 421
125cc: 316

No surprise to see Moto2 with the highest number, and MotoGP the lowest. This might partly be down to the differing experience levels of the grids, but in the main it is simply a result of the size of them: there were more than twice the number of Moto2 bikes than MotoGP bikes in 2011.

Falls per Rider

Calculating the average number of falls per rider in each class (based on the number of riders on each championship's 2011 entry list) gives a fairer picture.

MotoGP: 9.2
Moto2: 10.8
125cc: 9.9

Over the whole 2011 season, a Moto2 rider suffered on average only two more falls than a MotoGP rider (who admittedly did compete at one extra round).

It is interesting to note, then, that although still influential, large grid sizes and large speed differentials (often a handful of the slowest Moto2 riders post fastest laps some three or more seconds slower than the fastest riders) perhaps don't have quite as large an impact as feared.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Takahashi, Valencia Moto2 Race 2011
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2011
Cudlin crashes, Australian MotoGP 2011
Torres, Japanese Moto2 Race 2011
Barbera crash, Indianapolis MotoGP 2011
Pedrosa, Czech MotoGP Race 2011
Lorenzo crash, USA MotoGP 2011
Simon, German Moto2 Race 2011
Pasini crash, Moto2, German MotoGP 2011
Sofuoglu, Indianapolis Moto2 2011
Morbidelli, Bagnaia, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Alex Marquez crash, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Bagnaia, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Navarro, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Manzi, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Corsi, Bagnaia, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017

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