It’s not lost on Bagnaia that 44 of his points have been scored in the new - half distance, half points - Sprint races, where (as the tables below show) he is the highest performer so far, followed by KTM’s Brad Binder.

But Sundays have been a different story. Bagnaia’s three DNFs - falling on his own in Argentina and COTA, then tangling with Maverick Vinales at Le Mans - have left him with just 50 points out of a possible 125.

If MotoGP was still using the Sunday only system, Bagnaia would be third in the standings, 26 points behind Marco Bezzecchi (VR46) and 8 from another satellite Ducati rider Johann Zarco (Pramac).

Bagnaia-Vinales Clash: Racing Incident? Le Mans Review | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 89

Fortunately for the factory Ducati star, his combined total puts him one point clear of Bezzecchi heading into next month’s home Mugello round.

But if Bagnaia had finished in the positions that he fell from in Argentina (2nd), Texas (1st) and Le Mans (3rd), he would have another 61 points more.

“We are demonstrating that we are always in the front, always one of the most competitive, with the most pace. But then I am leading the championship by [just] one point,” Bagnaia said.

“Every time I think to be calm or to wait a bit, I just commit a mistake or I just crash like [Le Mans] for someone else or something else. This is something that I have to understand.

“I have the luck that there are the Sprint races now because if not I was already so [far] behind and I could have [another] 50-70 points or more before this small break.”

The 26-year-old, who has been on the Sprint podium in four out of five rounds, including wins in Portimao and COTA, added:

“Without the Sprint races I would be so much behind, with 50 points. I have 44 points just for the Sprint races and this is helping a lot.

“This year it’s quite clear that we are always in the front, we are always there leading and the other riders are [fluctuating] in terms of performance.

“But years ago, it was not possible to lead in the championship [with three DNFs in ten races] because [the same four] riders were always in the front and one mistake can cost the title.

“So this has changed a lot.”

One area where Bagnaia has no need for concern at the moment is qualifying, having started from the front row in all but one event and from fifth in the other.

It means Bagnaia leads the BMW Best Qualifier table on 86 points (out of 125, the same scoring system as a GP race results) compared to 49 for next best qualifier Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati), while Bezzecchi and team-mate Luca Marini are tied for fourth on 48.

Meanwhile, Brad Binder's starting positions are again at odds with his race results. The Red Bull KTM star holds third in the world championship, with two Sprint wins, but is ranked just 15th on the best qualifier list after starting 15th, 15th, 11th, 4th and 10th (see tables below).

Bagnaia overcame a record 91-point deficit, and five DNFs, to win last year's title.

No rider has scored points in all ten races so far this season.

1Francesco Bagnaia44
2Brad Binder38
3Jorge Martin36
4Marco Bezzecchi17
5Luca Marini16
6Jack Miller14
7Maverick Viñales12
8Aleix Espargaro12
9Marc Marquez12
10Miguel Oliveira10
11Alex Rins9
12Johann Zarco8
13Alex Marquez6
14Franco Morbidelli6
15Dani Pedrosa4
16Fabio Quartararo1
17Augusto Fernandez0
18Fabio di Giannantonio0
19Takaaki Nakagami0
20Jonas Folger0
21Joan Mir0
22Danilo Petrucci0
23Michele Pirro0
24Lorenzo Savadori0
25Raul Fernandez0
26Stefan Bradl0


1Marco Bezzecchi76
2Johann Zarco58
3Francesco Bagnaia50
4Fabio Quartararo48
5Jorge Martin44
6Brad Binder43
7Luca Marini38
8Alex Rins38
9Maverick Viñales37
10Jack Miller35
11Alex Marquez35
12Franco Morbidelli34
13Aleix Espargaro30
14Augusto Fernandez30
15Fabio di Giannantonio25
16Takaaki Nakagami21
17Miguel Oliveira11
18Dani Pedrosa9
19Jonas Folger7
20Joan Mir5
21Danilo Petrucci5
22Michele Pirro5
23Lorenzo Savadori4
24Raul Fernandez3
25Stefan Bradl2
26Marc Marquez0


MotoGP World Championship standings AFTER round 5 (185 points max)
Pos RiderNatTeamPointsDiff.
1=Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)94 
2^1Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)93(-1)
3˅1Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)81(-13)
4=Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)80(-14)
5^1Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)66(-28)
6˅1Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)54(-40)
7=Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)49(-45)
8=Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)49(-45)
9^2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)49(-45)
10˅1Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)47(-47)
11^2Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)42(-52)
12˅2Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)41(-53)
13˅1Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)40(-54)
14^2Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*30(-64)
15=Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)25(-69)
16˅2Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)21(-73)
17=Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)21(-73)
18=Dani PedrosaSPAKTM Test Rider (RC16)13(-81)
19=Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)12(-82)
20^2Jonas FolgerGERTech3 GASGAS (RC16)7(-87)
21˅1Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)5(-89)
22NADanilo PetrucciITADucati Lenovo (GP23)5(-89)
23˅2Michele PirroITADucati Lenovo (GP23)5(-89)
24NALorenzo SavadoriITARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)4(-90)
25˅2Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)3(-91)
26˅2Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda (RC213V)2(-92)


BMW Best Qualifier Award after round 5 (125 points max)
1Francesco Bagnaia86
2Alex Marquez49
3Marco Bezzecchi48
4Luca Marini48
5Marc Marquez45
6Jorge Martin39
7Maverick Vinales38
8Jack Miller30
9Johann Zarco30
10Aleix Espargaro26
11Alex Rins24
12Fabio Quartararo23
13Franco Morbidelli15
14Miguel Oliveira14
15Brad Binder13
16Enea Bastianini10
17Takaaki Nakagami7
18Joan Mir5
19Augusto Fernandez4
20Raul Fernandez3
21Fabio di Giannantonio3