2020 has been a completely unprecedented season. A readjusted shorter calendar that saw 15 Rounds take place meant the total number of falls naturally decreased, but not necessarily the ratio of falls per number of Grands Prix.
First, we’ll check out the total number of falls across the campaign. We witnessed 722 crashes across MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ in 2020, 180 of those were in the premier class. The average fall per event was 12.8, up from 2019’s 11.6 and higher than every year from 2010-2015, but lower than 2016-2018. The 722 figure is understandably the lowest in the previous 10 seasons, but MotoGP™ saw 46 more falls than it did in 2010 – the season that saw just 134 falls in the premier class and 825 overall in 18 Grands Prix.
Next, we’ll check out falls per session. Across all three classes, the races were where we saw the most falls: 76 in Moto3™, 90 in Moto2™ and 56 in MotoGP™. Interestingly, the second most then differs from class to class. In MotoGP™, FP2 was the session that hosted the most leading up to the race with 30, one more than FP3. It was the Saturday morning session that caught out more Moto2™ riders than any other session, excluding the race, while the Moto3™ riders seemingly found FP1 the trickiest.
Overall, FP3 had the second-highest tally of falls after the race with 121, with FP1 third with 113 falls across the classes. The least, excluding MotoGP™ FP4, was Q2 – arguably when the riders are pushing their machines to the absolute limit.
Falls per Grand Prix always makes for interesting reading. For the second year running, we saw more falls at the French GP than we did at any of Grand Prix weekend. 100 crashes took place at Le Mans, 10 more than last year’s top tally. The Catalan GP was the second highest with 64, nine less than 2019, with debutant Portimao seeing the fewest of any other weekend where all three classes were racing (32).
Which riders crashed the most in each class? Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) fell 15 times in 2020, seeing the Frenchman top the table in the premier class. Rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was second with 14 during his debut season on board Honda’s RC213V beast, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) third on 12 falls. At the other end of the table, Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) hit the deck just twice in 14 weekends, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) the next best – discounting Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – on four apiece.
In Moto2™, Kasma Daniel (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) crashed 20 times to top the table, one ahead of Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro. Amazingly, Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) only fell off once in 15 Grands Prix, four less than any other full-time rider. Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo crashed 18 times in 2020, the most of any Moto3™ rider, three more than Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team). Rookie Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) was the complete opposite of teammate Rodrigo and crashed the least amount of anyone in the lightweight class (2).
Can anyone have a crack at guessing which corner saw the most falls this season in a single weekend? You’re right if you think it’s Turn 3 at Le Mans! 30 crashes took place at the left-hander, nine more than Turn 2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Unsurprisingly, Turn 2 at MotorLand Aragon was inside the top three – 16 crashes took place there during the opening weekend, that tally was halved at the Teruel GP. Equal with Turn 2 at Aragon was Turn 14 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo at the European GP.
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