2014 MotoGP Falls Report, Part 3
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.
Average Falls By Class
Before we look at the falls of the riders themselves, let’s take a quick look at the falls by Classes.
It’s no surprise that there are more falls in Moto2 and Moto3 compared to the premier class, simply because the number of riders is higher in each of the lower classes. The level of experience is also lower, but then again, so are the average speeds. Ideally, the rise in rider experience will offset the increase in speed and risk.
For each class. the average falls per race weekend mirror the above numbers, though this graph give us a precise idea of how many falls we can expect to see, per class, per weekend:
In addition to the number of riders in each class, one of the most influential factors must be track time. While the numbers of laps are adjusted to keep the duration of each race about the same, pre-race time (FP1 through Sunday morning warm-up) differs in that Moto3 is on track for 180 minutes, Moto2 for 200 minutes, and MotoGP for 215 minutes. This may help explain the higher Moto2 number, and also compliments the lower MotoGP number.
If we look closer at each class on its own, we see that Moto3/125cc falls per weekend have bounced around a bit since 2006 but reveal no trend to speak of:
When Moto3 replaced the125cc bikes in 2012, there was a slight increase in the number of falls but nothing significant, especially considering the 8-year high of 27.2 in 2008.
Moto2/250cc has seen a jump in falls starting in 2010, the year Moto2 replaced the 250cc 2-strokes:
It seems reasonable to me to suppose that the change in riding style that accompanied the switch from 2- to 4-stroke engines plays a large part in this increase in falls.
The premier class shows something much different:
The last five years have seen a steady increase in the average number of falls per race weekend for the MotoGP riders. The number has nearly doubled since 2009. Of course, we had pretty sparse grids in 2009-2011, and when the CRTs arrived in 2012 there were more riders on track to fall than there had been.
However, in 2006 we had a 20-bike grid, with an average falls per race of under 6. In 2014 we usually had 23 or 24 bikes, depending on wild cards, and still saw nearly twice the number of falls each weekend.
Is it the riders themselves who are simply falling more?
Continues on the next page: