RIDER RATINGS: One perfect rider but another scores 2.5 after causing collision

Crash.net journalist Robert Jones runs through the Catalunya MotoGP rider ratings after Aleix Espargaro claimed victory. 
Enea Bastianini, Ducati MotoGP Catalunya 2023
Enea Bastianini, Ducati MotoGP Catalunya 2023

Aleix Espargaro - 10

(Qualified 2nd, finished 1st) 

(Sprint race result - P1)

After a stunning win at Silverstone, Espargaro took an even more dominant victory after making lightwork of Vinales and Bagnaia in the sprint. Securing his first MotoGP double, Espargaro proved too strong for the rest of the field again in the 23-lap race, despite very strong competition from Vinales.

Maverick Vinales - 9

(Qualified 4th, finished 2nd)

(Sprint race result - P3)

Afte two dreadful starts in Austria which cose him the chance of fighting for victory, Vinales produced a brilliant launch during the sprint before claiming third. The Aprilia rider came very close to making a move on Bagnaia for second but could not find a way through as the world champion was exceptional in his defending. A very strong sprint was backed up by an even better ride in the main event as Vinales came close to winning his first race before running into grip issues. As a result Vinales lost out to Espargaro, who pushed him wide when taking the lead with four laps to go.


Jorge Martin - 8

(Qualified 5th, finished 3rd)

(Sprint race result - P5)

Finishing the sprint where he started, Martin had an eventful 12 laps after making his way into second by the time riders arrived at turn one. The Pramac rider was then assed around the outside by Vinales before a mistake a few laps later saw him nearly hit the Aprilia rider. Martin shot to the inside and had to run off circuit to avoid clipping his fellow Spaniard. After taking the lead early on, Martin was quickly dropped by the top three Aprilias before eventually getting the better of Miguel Oliveira.

Johann Zarco - 7.5

(Qualified 6th, finished 4th) 

(Sprint race result - P7)

A solid qualifiyng effort from Zarco was backed up by a quiet race during the sprint as he came home in seventh, scoring three points as a result. After a disastrous start to the first start, Zarco made the most of his second chance as he showed great speed throughout the 23 laps to overhaul riders in front of him.

Miguel Oliveira - 8

(Qualified 3rd, finished 5th)

(Sprint race result - P6)

Miguel Oliveira, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September
Miguel Oliveira, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September

Only the second time he’s qualified on the front row in his MotoGP career, Oliveira was an early contender for the podium in the sprint before dropping his pace and eventually coming across the line in sixth. Putting together his best weekend of the season, Oliveira showed once again how good he can be when he has a bike capable of challenging at the front and is without injury.

Alex Marquez - 7.5

(Qualified 7th, finished 6th)

(Sprint race result - P10)

Not the type of perofrmance we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Marquez, the Gresini rider went backwards during the sprint after a collision with Jack Miller at turn one. The Spaniard nudged the KTM rider wide before fighting back to P10. Marquez was back to his best in the main race as he recovered from being taken out prior to the red flag to finish sixth.

Fabio Quartararo - 

(Qualified 17th, finished 7th)

(Sprint race result - P18)

Quickly becoming a weekend to forget, Quartararo admitted to overriding in the sprint following a dreadful opening lap. 18th at a circuit where he won at in convincing fashion last season, Saturday at the 2023 Catalan MotoGP was another indication of how bad the situation at Yamaha is. In the grand prix, Quartararo was brilliant in his recovery ride as he managed to crave his way through to seventh. 

Jack Miller - 5.5

(Qualified 13th, finished 8th)

(Sprint race result - P16)

After making a good start, Miller was pushed wide at turn one which resulted in him leaving the track. The Australian then suffered a dreadful 11 laps as he dropped to 16th. Managing to avoid a slide down the order in the main race, Miller had solid pace throughout as he came home ahead of Augusto Fernandez.

Augusto Fernandez - 6.5

(Qualified 19th, finished 9th)

(Sprint race result - P17)

Like Espargaro, Fernandez struggled in qualifying before gaining just two places during the sprint race. Sunday was a much better day for the rookie as he showed great pace to claim his second top ten of the year. 

Fabio Di Giannantonio - 5.5

(Qualified 8th, finished 10th)

(Sprint race result - P13)

Di Giannantonio had an intense fight with Fernandez but was unable to get ahead of the KTM rider. Still. The Gresini rider put together his most consistent weekend of the year in what was a much improved effort.

Luca Marini - 5

(Qualified 18th, finished 11th) 

(Sprint race result - P12)

So often battling inside the top ten this season, Marini had one of his worst performances of the 2023 campaign, not only in qualifying but also the sprint as he finished behind a struggling Marc Marquez in 12th. Like Marco Bezzecchi, Marini was unable to show his best form in Catalunya and struggled en route to 11th. 

Marco Bezzecchi - 5

(Qualified 10th, finished 12th) 

(Sprint race result - P8)

Marco Bezzecchi, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September
Marco Bezzecchi, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September

A difficult weekend for the rider third in the championship saw him claim tenth in qualifying, before managing to salvage two points in the sprint race. Using a soft front tyre, Bezzecchi sttruggled on the restart to make a major impact. The Italain was forced into using a sofr frnt afer being taken out of the initial start at turn one.

Marc Marquez - 6

(Qualified 12th, finished 13th)

(Sprint race result - P11)

A good performance in qualifying, considering the dire situation Honda are in, was backed up by a strong sprint race for the eight-time world champion. Another difficult day saw Marquez produce a damage limitation effort as he claimed 13th, which was his second grand prix finish in a row.

Franco Morbidelli - 4

(Qualified 16th, finished 14th)

(Sprint race result - P15)

Like his teammate, Morbidelli struggled to be competitive in both qualifying and race trim as he flaimed 15th in the sprint. While Quartararo showed very good speed to finish seventh, Morbidelli didn’t have the same type of performance as he came home in P14.

Takaaki Nakagami - 4

(Qualified 21st, finished 15th)

(Sprint race result - P20)

Another difficult Saturday saw the Japanese rider finish qualifying and the sprint way down the order. Nakagami was the last rider that scored points in the main race which was a small consolation for the troubled weekend he and Honda endured.

Iker Lecuona - 4

(Qualified 22nd, finished 16th) 

(Sprint race result - P19)

After qualifiyng last, Lecuona managed to beat Nakagami and Mir in the sprint which is a good result for the WorldSBK rider, despite it being only good enough for 19th. Lecuona had a quiet grand prix as he claimed 16th.

Joan Mir - 2.5

(Qualified 20th, finished 18th) 

(Sprint race result - P21)


Mir’s terrible 2023 season continued in the sprint after finishing last. The Honda rider said after the race that his feeling in the 12-lap race was the worst he’s ever felt on a motorcycle. Things didn’t get any better for Mir on Sunday as he was again last of the riders that finished.

Raul Fernandez - 3.5

(Qualified 15th, DNF) 

(Sprint race result - P14)

Nowehre near his teammate in qualifying or the races, Fernandez continued to lack pace on a weekend where the Aprilia seems to be the strongest package. The RNF Aprilia ran into technical issues shortly after overtaking Marc Marquez for 11th. 

Pol Espargaro - 3.5

(Qualified 14th, DNF)

(Sprint race result - DNF)

An up-and-down weekend for the GASGAS Tech 3 rider ended with Espargaro being the only rider not to finish the sprint after suffering a crash at turn five. The only rider to suffer a double DNF afte running into technical problems.

Brad Binder - 7

(Qualified 9th, DNF)

(Sprint race result - P4)

Not the qualifying Binder would have hoped for, the factory KTM rider was superb in the sprint as he got the most out of his RC16 en route to fourth place. Like Bagnaia, Binder saw his main race end very quickly after technical issues led to him retiring from P6.

Francesco Bagnaia - 4

(Qualified 1st, DNF)

(Sprint race result - P2)

Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September

After securing a breathtaking pole position thanks to a new lap record, Bagnaia led the opening stages of the sprint but could not live with Aleix Espargaro’s pace once the Aprilia rider got through on lap six. That said, his P2 finish was a fantastic result that not only saw him extend his championship lead, but one that also saw him claim his first-ever podium in Catalunya. What was a very strong weekend until the Grand Prix, ended in disaster for the Italian as he suffered a brutal highside on lap one whilst leading (turn two) before being struck by Brad Binder. Bagnaia was taken to hospital after having his leg run over. 

Enea Bastianini - 2.5

(Qualified 11th, DNF)

(Sprint race result - P9)

Continuing to show improvements aboard the factory GP23 bike, Bastianini converted his Q2 appearance into a points finish during the sprint, while finishing eight seconds down on the winner. After a solid showing in the sprint, Bastianini made a big mistake on lap one as he clipped the rear of Zarco, causing a big pile up that included three of Ducatis.

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