Yamaha top, but Ducati most improved in MotoGP 2021?

How has each MotoGP manufacturer - Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki, KTM, Honda and Aprilia - fared compared to the same time last season?
Francesco Bagnaia race start, Dutch MotoGP race, 27 June 2021
Francesco Bagnaia race start, Dutch MotoGP race, 27 June 2021
© Gold and Goose

Nine races into the 2021 MotoGP season and, just as at the same time last year, it's Fabio Quartararo leading the world championship on a Yamaha.

However, the young Frenchman has scored 41 points more during the opening nine rounds of this season, following a winter switch from Petronas to the Factory team.

But even that sizeable improvement has been eclipsed by nearest rival Johann Zarco, who is a huge 75 points better off after moving from Avintia to Pramac Ducati (and from a GP19 to GP21 Desmosedici).

Yet in overall terms, the fortunes of each MotoGP manufacturer look surprising similar to the same time last year.

Despite Quartararo's dominant 34-point lead in the riders' championship, Yamaha is only 14 points better off in the constructors' standings (forgetting the subsequent points penalty for using illegal valves at Jerez 2020).

And in total, the four M1 riders also have the same number of wins and podiums as last year, with one less pole position.

Aprilia has made the biggest gains in constructors' points, almost doubling last year's tally, but remaining sixth and last.

Instead, it's Ducati which looks to have made the strongest step overall, scoring 16 points more than last year, plus four more podiums, two more pole positions and the same number of race wins (two).

While Yamaha has retained the same four riders (Quartararo and Rossi swapping seats), the Italian factory has made major changes to its line-up this season, promoting both Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia to the factory team, moving Zarco to Pramac and hiring three rookies; Jorge Martin (who has contributed 1 pole and 1 podium), Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini.

Two manufacturers that have taken a backwards step in terms of the stats so far are KTM and Suzuki.

The Austrian factory is currently lagging behind last year's tally for constructors' points, race wins, podiums and pole positions.

Reigning world champion's Suzuki have also lost a similar number of constructors' points and podiums (not surprising given Alex Rins' miserable run of falls and an injury), while again failing to win a race or qualify on pole position in the first nine rounds.

Honda is one win better off so far, but still has less constructors' points (awarded for the top rider from each brand, in each race) than last season when Marc Marquez was sidelined.

MotoGP 2021/2020 by brand after opening 9 rounds
Brand2021 Con. PointsDiff to 20202021 WinsDiff to 20202021 PodiumsDiff to 20202021 PolesDiff to 2020
YAMAHA184+14 *5=9=6-1

*Including points scored at both Jerez 2020 rounds.

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