until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Jerez MotoGP 2024 rider rankings

by Simon Patterson
11 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

An all-timer of a duel between Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia was the rightful headliner of an excellent Spanish Grand Prix, as both cut into Jorge Martin's points lead.

But there was also a weekend-conditioning wet qualifying and a deeply messy sprint, and while nobody put together a truly complete three days as a result, there were some proper disasters on the other side of the coin, as reflected in our regular rider rankings.

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 taking into account things like the machinery they’re on and the pre-race expectations.

1 Marc Marquez

Started: 1st Sprint: DNF Race: 2nd

Marc Marquez, Gresini Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Demons were exorcised for Marc Marquez at Jerez in 2024.

At the scene of the accident that nearly ended his career and cost him years of his life in 2020, we knew that he would finally be quick here again thanks to his constant improvements on the Gresini-run Ducati - but the display he put on against Pecco Bagnaia on Sunday very much cements that he’s on the way back to his old form.

A win would have been a fairytale ending, but he’ll be happy to trade Jerez glory for knowing that the path to being consistently at the top again gets easier from here on in.

2 Pecco Bagnaia

Started: 7th Sprint: DNF Race: 1st

Pecco Bagnaia, Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

There might not be a finer defensive racer in the world than Bagnaia right now.

His ability to keep someone behind him when all they want to do is make it past is second to none, as Marquez found out on Sunday, and it’s hard to imagine a more deserving winner given the way that he rode.

Closing up on Jorge Martin in the championship is the icing on the cake in what was a very, very strong weekend for the reigning world champion (despite the sprint collision) - and, he’ll be hoping, the real start of his title defence.

3 Alex Marquez

Started: 6th Sprint: DNF Race: 4th

Alex Marquez, Gresini Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

As always on weekends when the elder Marquez brother draws all the headlines, his sibling went a bit under the radar in Jerez - but Alex Marquez very much exceeded expectations with a few brilliant performances.

Just off the podium on Sunday, he should have been fighting for it on Saturday, too, had conditions not suddenly caught him and a load of others out.

Overshadowed before by other Ducati GP23s, it’s fair to say that he too has found improvements - and he could make things interesting in the next few weekends.

4 Marco Bezzecchi

Started: 2nd Sprint: DNF Race: 3rd

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Finally able to address the GP23 adaptation issues that have plagued him all season so far, Marco Bezzecchi immediately showed that he’s still got form by being right at the sharp end all weekend in Jerez.

Not quite matching the fierce pace being set in front of him on Sunday, he was nonetheless able to stay in contact with the Ducatis in front to finally get himself back to where he was 12 months ago on his new machine.

5 Enea Bastianini

Started: 9th Sprint: DNF Race: 5th

Enea Bastianini, Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Despite the fact he walked away from it with a fifth-place finish and a comfortable third in the championship, Enea Bastianini’s weekend was relatively anonymous.

Not making much headlines but chipping away both until he got caught out on Saturday (in a formation crash with two others) and throughout the main event on Sunday, it’s a decent performance even if it wasn’t quite an excellent one.

6 Pedro Acosta

Started: 10th Sprint: 2nd Race: 10th

Pedro Acosta, Tech3 Gas Gas, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Another rather sensational weekend for the superstar whose first home grand prix highlighted the job he’s doing of winning the hearts and minds of Spain.

After he was able to dodge all the chaos with a level head in the sprint to chalk up another podium for his already-impressive CV, Acosta's Sunday didn’t quite go as well as planned - compromised by a big warm-up crash and having to run a different bike.

Nevertheless, the way he adapted and rallied is still impressive.

7 Dani Pedrosa

Started: 16th Sprint: 3rd Race: DNF

Dani Pedrosa, KTM, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Who’d ever have thought that we’d be celebrating a MotoGP podium for Dani Pedrosa in 2024?!

Sure, it might have come through slightly odd circumstances and tricky conditions, but it proves that you can still teach an old dog new tricks.

Sunday’s crash might have put a bit of a damper on it, but with Pedrosa’s next return to racing uncertain, there’d be worse ways to walk away than with a podium in your final finish, six years after retiring.

8 Miguel Oliveira

Started: 14th Sprint: 8th Race: 8th

Miguel Oliveira, Trackhouse Aprilia, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Perhaps the most solid weekend that we’ve seen from Miguel Oliveira in a long time, coming home as he did as top Aprilia in both races and with two decent finishes under his belt - something that he’s been sorely missing recently.

He didn’t make headlines, but that’s kind of exactly what he needed from Jerez, and hopefully it’s a base that he can build on going forwards.

9 Fabio Quartararo

Started: 23rd Sprint: 5th Race: 15th

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

A pretty standard-issue weekend for Yamaha at a track where its bike used to work well and is now a bit of a disaster, Fabio Quartararo’s big achievement was obviously staying on the machine when no one else could in the sprint to secure his first podium in 2024 - even if a penalty took it away from him again.

Sunday’s race was a crash back to reality, but at least for a few seconds he reminded us of how quick he can be in the right circumstances.

10 Jorge Martin

Started: 3rd Sprint: 1st Race: DNF

Jorge Martin, Pramac Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

There was a time when unforced errors from the lead were what you expected from Martin. One almost-successful title campaign later, we thought he had learned his lesson - but Sunday was a worrying return to the past for him.

Saturday’s sprint win as most of his rivals crashed out is a small salve for his wounds, but he threw away the chance to maintain a very comfortable championship lead thanks mainly to hubris in the main event.

11 Franco Morbidelli

Started: 8th Sprint: 4th Race: DNF

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Slowly but surely, Franco Morbidelli’s race-winning form of 2020 is returning. It might not quite be all there yet, but it’s now closer than it has been in a very long time - and that might have been a factor in the rather impatient move on Jack Miller in Sunday’s race that left both of them in the gravel.

The Italian isn’t there yet but he’s getting closer - and it might still come in time to help save a MotoGP future that as recently as a few weeks ago looked to be slipping away from him.

12 Brad Binder

Started: 4th Sprint: DNF Race: 6th

Brad Binder, KTM, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

On the one hand, salvaging a top six from a messy weekend is a success for Brad Binder - but the reality is that during his trip to Jerez, a track where KTM always shines, he was once again outshone in terms of peak results by both his rookie compatriot Acosta and test rider Pedrosa.

Something isn’t working correctly for Binder, who was lucky to escape sanction on Saturday for crashing into Bagnaia, at the moment.

13 Fabio Di Giannantonio

Started: 5th Sprint: 13th Race: 7th

Fabio Di Giannantonio, VR46 Ducati, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

This felt very much like a weekend where Fabio Di Giannantonio’s results didn’t quite tally up with his potential. After he'd looked strong in qualifying but was one of the many victims of both crashes and tyre pressure penalties in the sprint, Sunday’s race felt like it offered more opportunity for him to run at the sharp end like team-mate Bezzecchi, but he lost touch with the group in front and that was that.

14 Augusto Fernandez

Started: 18th Sprint: 7th Race: DNF

Augusto Fernandez, Tech3 Gas Gas, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Yet more forward momentum for the Tech3 Gas Gas racer, even if the results really didn’t reflect it at the end. Working through issues with the 2024 bike, he’s steadily getting faster, as he showed on Saturday with a competent ride as many others fell off around him - but clutch problems on Sunday that first caused a jump start and then a mechanical DNF meant that it’s hard to say just how much of an improvement the Moto2 2022 champion is making.

15 Joan Mir

Started: 20th Sprint: 9th Race: 12th

Joan Mir, Honda, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

In a world where the best achievement a Honda rider can currently score is to be the top Japanese bike at the chequered flag, Joan Mir at least managed to achieve that on Sunday. Alongside scoring his first-ever sprint point and finishing both outings, it tallies up with his claim that the combination of him and the bike is slowly but surely getting better.

16 Maverick Vinales

Started: 11th Sprint: DNF Race: 9th

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

After two really strong weekends and his first-ever Aprilia race win, Maverick Vinales went into his home race walking on water - and saw it result in nothing at all, after rain in qualifying buried him well down the grid and he found himself wholly unable to try and repeat his Texan successes.

It means he now really has to start strongly in Le Mans if he’s to prove that this and not his wins was the exception to his form.

17 Raul Fernandez

Started: 17th Sprint: 12th Race: 11th

Raul Fernandez, Trackhouse Aprilia, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with Raul Fernandez’s home race weekend, with a decent result in the sprint that was only waylaid by a tyre pressure penalty and a decent if not exceptional points-scoring finish on Sunday just outside the top 10. But while 'uneventful' is one word for it, another is 'anonymous' - and you’d have expected given recent form that he should have been closer to team-mate Oliveira.

18 Taka Nakagami

Started: 24th Sprint: 10th Race: 14th

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

If there’s one word to describe Taka Nakagami, it’s 'survivor'. He’s the guy you can often expect to still be standing after a chaotic weekend, and Jerez (by far his favourite circuit to race at) was no exception. A finish on Saturday when many didn’t and points on Sunday when not even all of Honda’s factory racers could manage it is a pretty good weekend for the Japanese racer.

19 Johann Zarco

Started: 13th Sprint: 11th Race: DNF

Aleix Espargaro and Johann Zarco crash

Making more headlines after the race with his comments about the FIM MotoGP stewards than he did during it even after being involved in not one but two investigated incidents, Zarco’s actual performances were very much overshadowed.

Yet he was once again doing a decent job for Honda all weekend, helping again to prove his worth as part of the team working to fix the unruly RC213V.

20 Alex Rins

Started: 25th Sprint: 15th Race: 13th

Alex Rins, Yamaha, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

A tough weekend for Yamaha at Jerez, somewhere where the bike should have worked much better, was very much reflected in Alex Rins’ results - and it really shouldn’t be ignored how much of a silver lining a few points at the end of it were, given Yamaha's struggles.

It’s hard to say that much more was on offer given the state of the machine and his own lingering physical issues.

21 Stefan Bradl

Started: 19th Sprint: DNF Race: 16th

Stefan Bradl, Honda, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

An anonymous weekend for the Honda test rider is par for the course, and what you expect from someone out to gather data more than to race. Crashing out in the sprint, conditions mean he can’t be held too accountable for that, and a solid result on Sunday ahead of factory racer Luca Marini cements that Stefan Bradl is more than fast enough to be doing his current duties for the Japanese factory.

22 Lorenzo Savadori

Started: 21st Sprint: 16th Race: DNF

Lorenzo Savadori, Aprilia, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

A pretty normal weekend for Lorenzo Savadori on one of his Aprilia test rider appearances. He didn’t really do anything that he shouldn’t have on the Italian factory’s ‘laboratory’ test bike except crash on Saturday and not see Sunday’s chequered flag - which sounds like a disaster but isn't given conditions in the sprint and the fact the grand prix retirement was due to a technical issue.

23 Jack Miller

Started: 15th Sprint: 14th Race: DNF

Jack Miller, KTM, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

The terrible run of form for Jack Miller continues. Unable to be fast in the sort of tricky conditions he used to relish in qualifying, that really set the stage for the rest of his weekend, and while Sunday’s DNF came at the hands of Morbidelli, it’s worth noting that when he got knocked off, he had just become the third KTM on track thanks to Acosta’s recent overtake.

24 Luca Marini

Started: 22nd Sprint: DNF Race: 17th

Luca Marini, Honda, MotoGP, Spanish GP, Jerez

Luca Marini’s ranking is simple to explain: in a straight race, a factory Honda rider shouldn’t be getting beaten by the test rider.

Still very much struggling on the RC213V regardless of what improvements are being found, it’s one thing for the Italian to finish a long way from team-mate Mir, but to also have Bradl ahead of him is more than a little bit embarrassing.

25 Aleix Espargaro

Started: 12th Sprint: DNF Race: DNF

Aleix Espargaro and Johann Zarco crash

A double DNF is bad for a factory rider. A DNF that takes someone else with him is worse. And leaving the guy you’ve just knocked off lying in the gravel is another step.

A really disappointing weekend all round by a rider who shouldn’t have found himself in the position he repeatedly ended up in.

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