Takaaki Nakagami remains mathematically within striking distance of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship title after his seventh place result in the French MotoGP lifted him to fifth overall, only a modest 36 points shy of the overall lead.

Indeed, what Nakagami’s performances in 2020 have lacked in outright headlines (he isn’t among the 15 riders to stand on the MotoGP podium over the opening nine rounds)  they have made up for in metronomic consistency. 

It means that not only is Nakagami one of two riders (together with Alex Marquez) to finish every race this season, they have all been inside the top ten.

Moreover, perhaps the most surprising statistic here is that he is now fifth in the overall standings, even though he has only finished one race higher than that all year!

His dependability aside, Nakagami’s efforts are a measure of the missed opportunities that have become rife across the field in what has been an unpredictable 2020 MotoGP season.

That said, this was Nakagami’s toughest top ten finish yet as terrible weather conditions tested his skills.

“They were really tricky weather conditions. The track temperature was so low but I chose a font medium and rear soft and at the end of the race the rear tyre was overheating a lot. It was so difficult to manage, which is why Johann Zarco was on another level and I couldn’t fight with him. 

“It was important to finish the race, because if rain has come then it is goinG to be though but we managed. Many times I lost the font in sector one, but in the end i am lucky to hold onto the bike. 

“Another P7… it’s not too bad. We were not quick enough all weekend but in these difficult conditions we finished the race.”