Which riders can still win the 2020 MotoGP championship?

With the 2020 MotoGP championship being one of the most wide-open of the modern era, we take a look at the riders in with a shout

LET’S face it, the 2020 MotoGP season really started when Marc Marquez (the bookies favourite to lift the crown for the seventh time) severely broke his arm in the Jerez season opener.

After an initial break from racing to allow the arm to heal, Honda eventually signed Marc out for the remainder of the season to allow him to heal properly.

KTM RC16 MotoGP bike - at EICMA

KTM RC16 MotoGP bike - at EICMA 2016

And while the six-time champion is away, the rest of the field will play. And play they have, with stellar performances from up and down the MotoGP grid. So far this season we have seen eight MotoGP winners, and four of those, Quartararo, Binder, Olivera, and Morbidelli, were first-time winners.

With such a varied mix of riders bringing their A-game to the championship, the riders in with a shot of winning the title this year is as large as you’d expect. Mathematically there are 14 riders in with a shout of winning the title. From Mir at the top right the way down to Zarco in 14th place – one spot above Valentino Rossi.

Obviously, for Zarco to take the crown, a pretty serious set of events would have to prevail – like pretty much every other front runner finishing behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season – and the chances are just a bit too slim.

Instead of being ruled by the numbers on the board, let's look at the form of each rider and go by that too.

Which riders can win the 2020 MotoGP championship?

Joan Mir sits at the top of the tree and has been a model of consistency from the mid-season until now, a feat that has rewarded him with 137 points in the title race. He’s only retired twice this year and has ended up on the podium at six rounds out of the nine he has finished.

The most stunning stat surrounding his season so far though is that he’s leading the championship by 14 points yet hasn’t taken a single win! And he could, theoretically, win the title without ever being a MotoGP winner.

Next up is Fabio Quartararo with 123 points and second place in the championship. His season has been a little bit up and down, with highpoints at the first and second rounds – a win at each – yet punctuated with lowly results. Aragon saw the likable Frenchman go from pole position to finish 18th due to tyre pressure issues.

With three wins under his belt for 2020 though – more than any other rider this year – you wouldn’t be against Quartararo turning on the pressure for the final few rounds. If only he could turn his nearly wins into actual podiums…

Sitting in third place in the title hunt is Maverick Vinales on 118 points. Like Quartararo above, Maverick’s season has been a story of inconsistency, even seeing the Spaniard seemingly lose his way when the bike setup hasn’t worked for him. When it does work though, Vinales is almost untouchable.

Franco Morbidelli comes in fourth place in the 2020 championship race, and he is probably the rider that had you mentioned him as title favourite at the start of the year, you’d have been laughed out of the track! But the Italian racer wasted little time in silencing his critics, with a career-best 5th place in the opening round and a 2nd place in Brno.

The most experienced hand reaching for the 2020 title is that of Andrea Dovizioso. He may be one of the only riders able to take the fight to the front in the last few seasons, but the news that he’s being dropped by the factory Ducati team at the end of this season seems to have hit the Italian racer hard. With just one win to his name this year, Dovi’ is resting on a series of top tens that are keeping him in the hunt – eight out of eleven rounds have seen Dovi finish inside the top ten, with three podiums among them.

The final rider we feel that is in with a shout is 6th placed in championship Alex Rins on 105 points. He’s the 5th rider to take a win this season and despite some DNFs and even a DNS – suffered from a crash in Q1 at Jerez, round one – he is a rider with the hardware beneath him that has proven he is able to handle the pressure of leading from the front.

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