2010 Moto GP Gaps

The 2010 Moto GP season has come to a close and there is not much to do during the long winter test ban but sit and reflect. After watching the unusually entertaining season finale at Valencia I got to thinking about whether the racing was in fact closer this year. Now that four seasons of the 800 cc era have passed, maybe the level of the bikes are much closer to parity than they were back in 2007.

To take a look at this I made this chart that mapped out the finishing gaps over the course of 2010. The winner is indicated by a yellow line at the top, second is a red line, third a blue line, and 4th and lower are in grey. After taking a gander at the graph at full size, see below for some data points that stuck out.

The 3 closest races of the year were Qatar, Jerez, and Valencia

In the first 5 out of the first 6 races 1st through 5th place were covered by < 15 seconds

The season started off fairly close with the top five finishing withing 15 seconds of each other in 5 out of the first 6 races. However, in the last 12 races the top 5 finished within 15 seconds of each other on only 2 other occasions. One would think things would get closer as the season wore on but the opposite was the case.

Estoril was by far the most spread-out race…

But every session during the Estoril weekend was wet and qualifying was cancelled. Without any data everyone on the grid was flying blind, but the usual suspects still ended up on top.

Average number of finishers in 2010: 14.5