until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Dutch TT 2024 MotoGP rider rankings

by Simon Patterson
9 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

A weekend of absolute dominance by Pecco Bagnaia at his favourite circuit, Assen, meant in many regards the Dutch TT was all about the reigning MotoGP world champion and Jorge Martin's valiant effort to try to keep in touch.

But the two were at such a standard that the real talking points of the weekend were behind them, with penalties, crashes and surprise results helping to spice up plenty of the action behind them.

That, of course, means lots of metrics to use to rank the grid on performances in the opening weekend of the season’s rider ratings.

Scoring the grid in order based on their performances not just in the main event but also Saturday’s sprint race, it’s obviously all subjective - but comes not just from their final race result but takes into account things like the machinery they’re on and the pre-race expectations from them.

1 Pecco Bagnaia

Started: 1st Sprint: 1st Finished: 1st

Bagnaia topped every practice session. He qualified on pole with a new outright lap record. He led both races for every single lap, and set multiple new race lap records on the way to winning on Saturday and Sunday.

MotoGP race weekends simply don't get any more dominant than the one he enjoyed at Assen. An important reminder of who is very much still the top dog at Ducati.

2 Jorge Martin

Started: 5th Sprint: 2nd Finished: 2nd

Given the struggles that he had on Friday, there was an element of trepidation about Martin’s sprint race as he tried to hunt down dominant title rival Bagnaia.

But, to his credit, the championship leader managed his races to perfection, pushing enough to secure two solid second places without ever looking in danger of finding his way into a gravel trap. Those might not be his best results of the year, but it was one of Martin’s most impressive weekends as he maintained a 10-point lead in the standings.

3 Fabio Di Giannantonio

Started: 4th Sprint: 5th Finished: 4th

There’s really no better way at all to remind the world how talented you are when you’re job hunting than to insert yourself right into the fight for the podium against vastly more experienced and higher-rated opponents and win - but that’s exactly what Di Giannantonio was able to do at Assen.

As strong as anyone else on a Ducati GP23 - including Marc Marquez - his performances should add even more to his future worth as he negotiates for a 2025 seat.

4 Enea Bastianini

Started: 10th Sprint: 4th Finished: 3rd

If Bastianini could start races the way he ends them, he’d already be a MotoGP world champion.

Able to manage his tyres better than anyone else and with incredible late-race pace, this weekend was the perfect example of how he just gives himself far too much work to do in the early stages.

Considering he was forced to hack his way through the pack it’s far from certain that he could have challenged the dominance of his team-mate Bagnaia - but he should at the very least have been much closer to Martin in both races.

5 Maverick Vinales

Started: 2nd Sprint: 3rd Finished: 5th

A weekend where it’s hard to believe that there wasn’t more on offer for Vinales.

He looked like the best of the rest versus the title contenders in the sprint, so should've been able to replicate that form on Sunday.

However, a late charge from Bastianini didn’t just demote Vinales off the podium - it also opened the door for Marc Marquez and Di Giannantonio to come through, and Vinales was lucky that Marquez’s post-race penalty helped repair what should have been a better Sunday by counteracting the Aprilia racer’s own loss of position for exceeding track limits.

6 Marc Marquez

Started: 6th Sprint: DNF Finished: 10th

You’ve got to feel a little sorry for Marquez, because his performance in Sunday’s race was certainly better than the 10th place he ended up with in the final classification.

Hit with an unfortunate tyre pressure penalty, it wasn’t reflective of the way he’s making the 2023 Ducati work right now. However, there’s no excuses for Saturday, when a crash that was no one’s fault but his own did serious harm to whatever title aspirations he still has. Marquez is now 58 points adrift of Martin with plenty of work to do.

7 Raul Fernandez

Started: 11th Sprint: 17th Finished: 8th

Not exactly the race-leading performances we’ve seen from Fernandez in the past few weeks, but Assen was nonetheless a solid weekend for him.

He remained in touch with the factory Aprilia machines despite being on a year-old bike and consistently outpaced team-mate Miguel Oliveria, which is exactly the sort of solid job that right now will help fix his primary target of remaining with the Trackhouse squad for 2025.

8 Alex Marquez

Started: 3rd Sprint: 8th Finished: 7th

With Johann Zarco no longer part of Ducati’s line-up, the role of rider who disappears after the green flag until suddenly reappearing at the finish line in a good spot has fallen to Alex Marquez in 2024.

Quietly going about his job at the minute, he’s racking up good results in the process and after another decent weekend at Assen it’s no surprise at all that the team has renewed him for two more seasons.

9 Brad Binder

Started: 8th Sprint: 6th Finished: 6th

A fairly standard Binder weekend at a track where he and the KTM have never really shone.

Almost entirely invisible even as the Austrian brand’s top racer, he’s lucky to have inherited sixth spot in the final seconds of the race when his 2025 team-mate Pedro Acosta crashed out.

It was at least a race Binder and KTM were anticipating taking a hit at before trying to bounce back next time out at the Sachsenring.

10 Fabio Quartararo

Started: 12th Sprint: 7th Finished: 12th

There was plenty of potential coming to Assen from Yamaha, given a successful Valencia test beforehand and a new engine as a result.

Quartararo delivered on that in the sprint, too, with a solid top.10 finish.

But it wasn’t quite there for him on Sunday. Struggling (as usual) with grip in the early laps, it was a case of damage limitation in the end, one that resulted in a rather lacklustre result.

11 Johann Zarco

Started: 17th Sprint: 16th Finished: 13th

The party trick for Zarco right now seems to be his ability to ghost his way into top Honda status week after week.

Perhaps better able to manage the balance between pushing so hard that you crash out (like Joan Mir) and cruising around too slowly (like Luca Marini), Zarco repeatedly finds himself in a position to pick up the pieces when others struggle, something very much reflected in a decent points-scoring ride on Sunday.

12 Pedro Acosta

Started: 9th Sprint: 10th Finished: DNF

Another reminder that, while he might be blisteringly fast, Acosta is very much still a MotoGP rookie.

Struggling on Saturday in the sprint, he looked to have bounced back on Sunday to insert himself into what’s becoming his usual spot battling around the podium places. However, trailing off towards the end as he used up his tyres, he asked for too much late on and paid the price for it when he crashed.

13 Franco Morbidelli

Started: 7th Sprint: 9th Finished: 9th

The Ducati progress continues for Morbidelli, as his long path back to competitiveness and (perhaps more importantly) confidence continues.

A pair of ninths isn’t remarkable but it’s solid, even if it is somewhat sullied by the fact that he was the only 2024 Ducati to finish off the podium at Assen (and a long way from it too).

There’s clearly still work to be done, and it’s no surprise that he wants another year on the Ducati in 2025 to continue with it.

14 Augusto Fernandez

Started: 20th Sprint: 15th Finished: 14th

Not quite the worst weekend of Fernandez’s season despite his own pre-race expectations, the long fast corners of Assen were always going to be a challenge for him.

However, he was able to make some progress over the weekend, find a little bit of form, and at least be in a position to pick up a few championship points by seeing his way to the chequered flag on Sunday.

15 Jack Miller

Started: 13th Sprint: 13th Finished: 11th

As with his team-mate Binder, Assen was never going to be an easy weekend for Miller on a KTM.

However, the reality is that disappearing into the mid-pack isn’t what he needs right now as he fights for a seat for 2025, especially when excuses about the bike are somewhat mitigated by Binder being five places in front of him and a rookie in the form of Acosta looking even faster.

16 Joan Mir

Started: 18th Sprint: 14th Finished: DNF

Another weekend of no points but plenty of crashing for Honda rider Mir.

Seemingly (and perhaps inexplicably) growing closer and closer to renewing his deal with Honda, his commitment to pushing a difficult bike beyond its capabilities when its other riders are happy to settle should at the very least be a testament to his continuing commitment to getting back to winning ways as soon as possible.

17 Alex Rins

Started: 15th Sprint: 19th Finished: DNF

Another weekend where (aided by a new engine specification) it seemed like there were rays of light for Rins and the Yamaha project. Unfortunately, we never got to see them realised on Sunday when an absolutely punishing highside took him out of the race only one corner in.

The sprint showed that it’s not quite all there yet, especially compared to his team-mate Quartararo’s performances, but the work is slowly paying off.

18 Miguel Oliveira

Started: 16th Sprint: 12th Finished: 15th

A frankly disappointing weekend for Oliveira where he never really looked to be in a position to threaten for a decent result.

Compounded in the race by a long lap penalty that he failed to properly execute and had to repeat, he was lucky to scrape home a sole point from an otherwise wholly unremarkable weekend.

19 Taka Nakagami

Started: 21st Sprint: 18th Finished: 16th

It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Nakagami right now.

In the same boat as everyone else on a Honda as he tried to extract anything at all from the RC213V, it’s not quite coming for him - but unlike everyone else, there’s a sense of running down the clock without a deal for next year.

Waiting for new parts to try to fix some of the Honda's issues, those haven’t arrived yet and won’t any time soon, meaning it’s just a case of frustration after frustration right now.

20 Marco Bezzecchi

Started: 14th Sprint: 11th Finished: DNF

Bezzecchi is traditionally strong at Assen but seemed to spend more time this weekend in the gravel traps than on the track, absolutely punishing himself as he fought to find any solution at all to his issues with the 2023-spec Ducati bike. He crashed in the race and retired shortly after, on lap five of 26.

The end result was a weekend to absolutely forget for the VR46 Ducati racer.

21 Luca Marini

Started: 19th Sprint: DNF Finished: 17th

An even tougher weekend for Marini than what he’s become accustomed to this season.

With a technical problem in Saturday’s sprint leaving him in the pits early on and tarnishing an impressive record of reaching the chequered flag, contact on Sunday with Augusto Fernandez sent him into the gravel.

Data gathered, yes, but another demoralising weekend.

Neither factory Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro or test rider Lorenzo Savadori were ranked following their withdrawal from the weekend after crashes in the Saturday sprint race.

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