2014 MotoGP Falls Report, Part 2

Posted on 5 Dec, 2014 by Scott Jones
Stefan Bradl crash Losail 2014

Dorna has released the 2014 MotoGP Falls Report and as usual, the data included within are pretty interesting.

In case you didn’t know, Dorna tracks a lot of statistics over the course of the season, and it’s not merely rider lap times. Pretty much every event during every session is logged, and the information related to a rider falling is compiled to create The Falls Report, the 2014 version of which is a 96-page document that presents all the data organized in several different ways.

The data are sorted into various groups so that we can see which riders fell most frequently, which circuits hosted the most falls, and even which corner at each circuit saw the most falls on a given race weekend.

Over the next few days, we’ll display several of these collections of information. Part One is here. And now, Part Two:

Average Falls By Circuit

This time I have answered my own question about falls data and will share a graph I created just for this page, one that is not included in the official report from Dorna. After yesterday’s comparison of Misano, top of the falls list for 2014, and Mugello, which rests peacefully at the bottom, I started wondering about the average falls per year for each track on the calendar.

I took the falls numbers for each track shown, going as far back as 2007, totaled the falls numbers and divided by the number of rounds for which we have data. The results use numbers that are rounded. All circuits are averaged over 8 rounds unless indicated in parens below:
Average falls by MotoGP circuit

If we take the above numbers and add them together (838), then divide by the number of circuits (18), we get an average falls number of 47 (46.56). This puts Aragon, Assen and Motegi just above the average and Jerez, Silverstone, Brno and Catalunya just below.

We have only one race weekend of data for the newest circuit, Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo. But considering the new asphalt and the dusty conditions in which the riders found the new surface, 36 falls across all classes was very good for its first appearance on the calendar.

But Mugello and Losail are well below the average 47 falls per race weekend. Over the past eight years, Mugello had a circuit low of 20 falls (2009) and a high of 50 (2012). Losail’s low over the past eight seasons is a remarkable 13, also in 2009, and yes that was the year the Sunday MotoGP race was washed out by a sudden torrential downpour and moved to Monday night. (That’ll be a trivia question some day, as I believe this was the only MotoGP race run on a Monday. Have to check with Dr. Raines to be sure, though.) Losail’s high this season of 49 is still only two above the average.

The outliers at the high end of the scale, Le Mans, Phillip Island and Sachsenring, are clearly the places to go if you enjoy seeing crashes.

The Le Mans average is almost certainly affected by the frequency of rain at the French circuit during MotoGP weekend. It seems likely of the other two at the high end are as well. I certainly associate each of these three circuits with rain covers on my cameras.

Le Mans’ falls numbers from 2007 to 2014 are, respectively: 31, 53, 96, 42, 47, 93, 68, 51. Half the time they’ve been well above the series average.

Phillip Island’s numbers are (again, from 2007 to 2014, respectively): 52, 46, 43, 46, 50, 49, 55, 71.

Sachsenring looks like this: 49, 54, 63, 58, 51, 42, 61, 64.

Even with its record 109 falls, the highest of any circuit over the past eight years (and perhaps longer as I have Falls Report data going back only that far), Misano is only 6th on the average list. Interestingly, Misano used to be one of the lowest averages, but has shown a sharp rise in the past three years. Its numbers from 2007 to 2011: 29, 30, 21, 36, 38, all well below the average. In 2012 the falls number leapt to 70, then was 66 in 2013, and then set the record this year of 109.

Another thing we can look at is which circuit has the greatest likelihood of a fall. Just as some circuits see more falls than others, some corners at a given circuit see many more falls than other corners at the same circuit, and some see more than other turns at most other circuits.

If you’d like, play a little game. Consider the hours of MotoGP you’ve watched on TV and try to think of which single corner has had the most falls all season. (Hint: it’s the same corner as in 2013, so you can use your memories from 2013 as well.)

Continues on the next page:

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