MotoGP Rider Ratings – 2023 Indonesian Grand Prix
Here are MGP1’s MotoGP rider ratings from the turn of events which was the 2023 Indonesian Grand Prix in Mandalika.
Francesco Bagnaia - 10
Sprint: 8th (+5)
Race: 1st (+12)
On Saturday during lunchtime, it seemed like the reigning world champion Pecco Bagnaia was heading for a disastrous weekend.
He began the race in the 13th position and his performance was lacking, barely earning him two points in the sprint race.
However, the Italian displayed remarkable determination on Sunday. With an incredibly aggressive start, he managed to get back on course, positioning himself not only for a potential win but also for a chance to defend his title.
Maverick Vinales - 8
Sprint: 4th (-2)
Race: 2nd (±0)
Maverick Vinales, the leading candidate to achieve a MotoGP milestone as the first winner on three different bike brands, showcased his potential once more at Mandalika. He remained competitive until the final stages of Sunday’s race, proving his capability.
Although he has resolved his starting problems, Vinales is still working on improving his tire management. There’s no doubt, however, that he is steadily approaching a victory on the RS-GP, bringing him closer to reclaiming the top spot on the podium.
Fabio Quartararo - 8
Sprint: 5th (-1)
Race: 3rd (+1)
Before the weekend’s races began, Fabio Quartararo expressed confidence in Yamaha’s chances at Mandalika by stating that a podium finish was within reach.
He managed to fulfill this prediction by securing a remarkable third place on Sunday. However, his emotions were mixed as the achievement highlighted the extent to which Yamaha’s acceleration problems were holding him back.
Despite the frustration, it marked a positive comeback to the podium and served as a promising start to the busiest period in the racing calendar.
Fabio Di Giannantonio - 8
Sprint: 6th (+1)
Race: 4th (+3)
The impact of pressure on racers can be quite unpredictable. While it can lead some to falter, it can transform others into superheroes.
This transformation was evident in Fabio Di Gianntonio over the weekend when it was officially confirmed that he would be job hunting for the next year due to Marc Marquez taking his Gresini Ducati ride.
Rather than succumbing to the pressure, Di Gianntonio rose to the challenge. He showcased a season’s worth of potential when it mattered most, achieving an outstanding fourth place on Sunday.
This marked his best result in the premier class and provided a strong foundation for his search for a new ride, especially supported by his impressive performance in the sprint race, proving that his achievement was not a mere coincidence.
Marco Bezzecchi - 8
Sprint: 3rd (+6)
Race: 5th (+4)
Despite recently undergoing surgery for a broken collarbone, Marco Bezzecchi surprised many by competing in Mandalika.
Expectations were low due to his recent injury, but he not only secured a podium in the sprint race and valuable points but also benefitted from Jorge Martin’s unexpected lead crash.
This turn of events was akin to a minor miracle, allowing Bezzecchi to maintain his title hopes—a truly heroic feat.
Brad Binder - 5
Sprint: 19th (-14)
Race: 6th (-1)
Feeling sympathy for Binder after the Mandalika weekend is inevitable. Despite being taken out twice, once in the sprint by Aleix Espargaro and being the victim of two deserved yet unfortunate penalties.
Despite this, he managed to secure a sixth-place finish, albeit after enduring two long lap penalties, giving him a somewhat fortunate silver lining from Sunday’s main event, more than his fellow victims Marini and Oliveira had.
Jack Miller - 6
Sprint: 9th (+1)
Race: 7th (+3)
Jack Miller’s weekend wasn’t stellar, but it wasn’t a disaster either. Despite the feeling that he and his fellow KTM riders were missing something compared to previous races, Miller managed to stay competitive.
He closely trailed his teammate Binder in Sunday’s race, ultimately earning points. Impressively, he stood out as the sole one among the manufacturer’s four racers to score in both races, indicating his consistency.
While Miller couldn’t replicate his Motegi results, he still showcased a strong performance, securing two points finishes.
Despite the challenges, he managed to maintain his competitive edge and contribute valuable points to his team’s tally.
Enea Bastianini - 6
Sprint: 7th (+4)
Race: 8th (+3)
Enea Bastianini had his most impressive weekend of the season, showing significant progress as he approached the pace set by the leading Ducati riders.
His return to the track after a long injury hiatus was nothing short of remarkable. During the weekend, Bastianini didn’t just improve his own performance, but also stirred some tension within the factory Ducati garage.
He achieved this by outperforming his title-contending teammate Bagnaia in Q2 and engaging in a competitive sprint battle with him.
Despite the rivalry, the weekend proved to be exactly what Bastianini needed to rebuild his confidence. This strong showing not only marked a personal victory but also hinted at a promising remainder of the season for him.
Alex Rins - 7
Sprint: 18th (+3)
Race: 9th (+12)
Returning to the race track after a strenuous recovery, LCR Honda racer Alex Rins faced an uphill battle in Indonesia. His journey back to fitness hadn’t been easy, and though he was back on the bike, he was far from his full physical capacity.
Despite these challenges, Rins showcased remarkable determination, securing a hard-fought top-10 finish on Sunday.
What made his performance even more impressive was the comparison with his teammate Taka Nakagami, making Rins’ result appear stronger, especially given the attritional battle on the track.
Aleix Espargaro - 4
Race: 10th (-7)
Espargaro’s sprint race ended in disaster when, despite having the potential to compete for the win, he made a critical error, colliding with Binder. In the Grand Prix, Espargaro started strongly but faced challenges due to his choice of the soft rear tire, a decision he was explicitly warned against.
This decision was particularly puzzling given Espargaro’s experience; he should have known better than to ignore Michelin’s advice.
Choosing the soft rear tire was a gamble that backfired, especially after his earlier incident with Binder. This choice significantly impacted his Sunday performance, erasing his chances of contending for a potential win.
In the end, Espargaro paid the price for his disregard of expert advice, illustrating the importance of making wise decisions in the heat of the race.
Takaaki Nakagami - 4
Sprint: 11th (+9)
Race: 11th (+9)
Opting for the soft rear tire, a choice shared by only one other non-Aprilia rider, Nakagami’s race didn’t turn into the disaster that befell the Aprilia trio. However, once the true extent of the track conditions became clear, it was evident he wouldn’t achieve much.
To add to his challenges, he was outperformed by his own teammate Rins, who had recently returned from a lengthy injury hiatus. It was certainly not a memorable race for Nakagami, marking another unremarkable weekend.
Like Rins, he faced difficulties in qualifying but managed to make some progress during both races, although the overall outcome was far from noteworthy.
Miguel Oliveira - 5
Sprint: 10th (+2)
Race: 12th (±0)
Miguel Oliveira struggled to maximize the speed of the RS-GP. Despite initially running in the top ten during the Grand Prix, his race took a turn for the worse after being nudged off the track by Binder.
However, the trouble started before he even left the garage, as he, like many Aprilia riders, opted for a soft rear tire that quickly lost traction early in the race.
This decision left him vulnerable, especially to Binder, his former teammate, whose aggressive move backfired, sending Oliveira deep into the gravel.
Consequently, Oliveira’s race ended in frustration, highlighting the challenges he faced throughout the weekend. The combination of tire choice and the on-track incident created a difficult race day, undermining the potential he and his teammate had shown earlier.
Raul Fernandez - 4
Sprint: 14th (+3)
Race: 13th (+4)
Similar to Oliveira, Fernandez struggled to extract the full potential from his Aprilia, managing to secure only three points.
The Spaniard also made the error of choosing the incorrect rear tire, quickly realizing his mistake, although his decision was more forgivable given his limited experience compared to the riders he followed.
As the soft tire deteriorated, Fernandez had to shift his focus to damage control. Despite essentially finishing at the bottom of the pack, he persevered and successfully crossed the finish line under challenging conditions.
This challenging race, although not yielding ideal results, provided him with valuable data and experience, turning the adversity into a learning opportunity.
Franco Morbidelli - 4
Sprint: 15th (±0)
Race: 14th (+1)
While Quartararo engaged in a fierce battle for the win, Morbidelli faced an uphill struggle, finishing in 14th place and failing to earn significant points. This disappointing performance marked a stark contrast to his teammate’s success.
Morbidelli’s race took an unfortunate turn early on when he was forced into the pits due to an electrical issue, rejoining the race a substantial four laps behind. Consequently, he had to circulate the track in isolation, gathering data independently.
This solitary effort was made even more disheartening by Quartararo’s exceptional demonstration of Yamaha’s capabilities on the same day, underscoring the missed opportunity for Morbidelli and emphasizing the frustrations of a race largely beyond his control.
Jorge Martin - 5
Sprint: 1st (+5)
Title contender Martin’s weekend can be best described as “hubris.” Initially, it appeared to be one of the most promising weekends of his career, having finally grasped the championship lead and with a chance on Sunday to deal a decisive blow to Bagnaia.
However, the situation took a drastic turn when he unexpectedly crashed from a comfortable lead with no competitors in sight. This unforced error, occurring at turn 11, seemed to be a result of overconfidence or a lapse in concentration.
Despite the weekend progressing perfectly until that moment, Martin’s hopes for back-to-back wins were shattered. His shock at his own mistake suggests that this weekend might become a regrettable memory haunting him for a long time.
Johann Zarco - 3
Sprint: 12th (+2)
The Mandalika race weekend became a saga of challenges for Johann Zarco, mirroring his typical rollercoaster of highs and lows.
Initially, it appeared to be a lackluster period, following his poor qualifying, a situation beyond his control this time. However, his misfortune escalated when he struggled throughout the race due to a malfunctioning rear ride height device stuck in the lowered position.
Despite this setback, Zarco’s determination shone as he persevered without suspension, an impressive feat given the circumstances. However, the pain of his struggle was compounded by the fact that he lacked the speed to be competitive from the start.
Augusto Fernandez - 4
Sprint: 13th (+5)
The recent race proved to be a disappointing round for rookie Augusto Fernandez. Unlike his usual performances, he struggled to match the pace set by factory KTM riders Binder and Miller. This race marked a rare occasion where Fernandez, a consistently reliable rookie, failed to finish on a Sunday.
The pressure mounted early in the main race when a mistake caused him to run wide, forcing him into a position where he needed to make up time.
Given the challenging track conditions, this situation proved to be a recipe for disaster, highlighting the difficulties Fernandez faced throughout the race.
Luca Marini - 7
Sprint: 2nd (-5)
Luca Marini had a standout MotoGP weekend, starting with a remarkable achievement: his first pole position, a testament to his development as a MotoGP racer despite a recently plated and healing shoulder injury. He carried this momentum into the sprint race, securing a strong second-place finish.
However, Marini’s promising weekend took an unfortunate turn during the main race when he was involved in a collision with Brad Binder at turn 10. This incident abruptly ended his chances of repeating his podium success.
Despite Binder’s sincere apologies, Marini had little room to complain, given his recent long-lap penalty for a similar incident involving his own teammate.
The setback aside, Marini’s achievements serve as a solid foundation to learn from, making this weekend a valuable experience to build on in his MotoGP journey.
Joan Mir - 3
Sprint: 16th (+3)
In Indonesia, both Repsol Honda riders faced a challenging race, ending up in the gravel. Joan Mir, the 2020 world champion, experienced a disappointing crash on lap 12.
Although the weekend ended without any points on the board, there was a subtle shift in his perspective. Mir expressed confidence in his ongoing adaptation to the bike, even though crashes remained a consistent issue.
Despite this, a glimmer of hope emerged, indicating the potential for improvement. While substantial progress is still required, this weekend offered a small but significant indication of a possible upturn in Mir’s performance on the Repsol Honda.
Marc Marquez - 2
Mandalika proved to be a double disaster for Marc Marquez who crashed out of both races. This unfortunate situation raises significant questions about Marquez’s approach on the Repsol Honda.
Despite having his future secured for the next year, he finds himself dealing with a problematic bike that is prone to accidents.
Given his current predicament, the sensible strategy would be to adopt a more cautious approach, preserving himself for the rest of the year. However, Marquez seemingly lacks that option.
As evident from his double DNF in Indonesia, Every attempt to push the bike to its limit ends in a crash. This challenging scenario underscores the difficult position Marquez is in, highlighting the need for a careful reassessment of his race strategies and approach to the races ahead.
Pol Espargaro - 4
Sprint: 17th (-1)
The struggles faced by KTM and Gas Gas reached a critical point during the race, shedding light on the challenges these teams were grappling with.
Both manufacturers battled persistent chatter issues on corner exits, a problem so severe that it left their bikes practically without brakes.
This predicament became particularly evident for Pol Espargaro, who encountered the issue at the worst possible time. Riding on a soft rear tire that was already causing problems, his situation worsened dramatically.
This unfortunate incident not only led to a disappointing end but also hinted at the possible conclusion of Espargaro’s tenure in the premier class, marking a somber note in his career.