Eight rounds in and the MotoGP championship standings are still pretty tight, Fabio Quartararo leading by just 22 points over Johann Zarco and 32 and 31 points respectively over the two factory Ducati riders, Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia. But while all three race with the Desmosedici GP, none of them has proved to be consistent enough to stand out as the true Borgo Panigale ‘frontman’.
Analysing the trio
Of the three, only Miller has been able to win with this Ducati and after an uphill climb early on, the Australian redeemed himself, although he has since struggled to contend victory. Privateer Pramac rider Zarco has scored four second-place finishes to the delight of the Tuscan team, but two eighth places and a DNF weigh heavily in terms of the general standings. Not the case for 'comeback rider' Bagnaia. He lacks a race win but has been on the podium three times, effectively performing damage control in various situations.
No real leader
Which of the three will be the real antagonist to Quartararo? This question cannot be answered for now, and yet we’re almost halfway through the championship. The current situation in Ducati is very balanced and this allows them to stand up to the dominant Yamaha rider, yes, but it could be a double-edged sword in the long-term. Because the Bolognese manufacturer may be unable to benefit from hypothetical team orders, which could help when it comes to thwarting Quartararo, currently the best all-rounder on track.
Translated by Heather Watson