until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Italian Grand Prix 2024 MotoGP rider rankings

by Simon Patterson
10 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

A weekend of high drama and championship swings at the Italian Grand Prix, as reigning world champion Pecco Bagnaia cemented his place as the King of Mugello with dominant victories in both sprint and the main race - and as the championship leader Jorge Martin crashed out of the first encounter and was forced to settle for third in the second.

That, of course, means lots of metrics to use to rank the grid on performances in our regular rider rankings feature.

Ranking the grid in order based on their performances not just in the main event but also Saturday’s sprint race, it’s obviously all subjective - but comes not just from their final race result but takes into account things like the machinery they’re on and the pre-race expectations.

1 Pecco Bagnaia

Qualified: 2nd Sprint: 1st GP: 1st

Pecco Bagnaia, Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

We all know that Bagnaia is something really special at Mugello, given that both his MotoGP title-winning seasons so far have included wins at his home track.

In both cases, those wins came when he’s really needed them to get his campaign properly underway - and 2024 was no different. He needed to send a signal that the year really starts here, by dominating the weekend - and he absolutely delivered on that threat.

It was underlined by one of the finest sequences through the opening two corners you’ll ever witness - a reminder that while he’s smooth in the lead, he’s a knife fighter in the pack as well.

2 Enea Bastianini

Qualified: 5th Sprint: DNF GP: 2nd

Enea Bastianini, Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

On any other weekend, Enea Bastianini would be at the top of the rankings.

Very much a man with his back up against the wall given that it sounds like his job will no longer be his next year, he responded to those rumours in the best possible way: by coming out swinging, catching Martin napping on the last lap of the race, and reminding everyone at Ducati who it is that’s the best wingman going for their reigning champion Bagnaia.

3 Marc Marquez

Qualified: 4th Sprint: 2nd GP: 4th

Marc Marquez, Gresini Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

We saw something in Mugello that we don’t often see from Marc Marquez: a decision to settle for some solid results rather than pushing too hard and perhaps throwing something away.

Backing up his sprint podium by fighting for third for most of Sunday’s race, the way he allowed Bastianini to cruise away from him in the final laps is perhaps the most significant demonstration yet of how much of a machinery disadvantage he’s at with his 2023-spec bike.

Nonetheless, discretion is the better part of valour, and it wasn’t a day to push more than was possible.

4 Pedro Acosta

Qualified: 7th Sprint: 3rd GP: 5th

Pedro Acosta, Tech3 Gas Gas, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

Over the past few weekends, Pedro Acosta has been embarrassing the factory KTMs by delivering great results while they’ve largely failed to finish.

At Mugello, he switched it around a little by embarrassing them with yet another podium in the sprint while they just looked distinctly average, much further behind him.

To shine like he did on a poor weekend for the Austrian factory is impressive stuff, and yet another reminder of just how much talent the 20-year-old - confirmed as a works KTM rider from next year onwards - has.

5 Franco Morbidelli

Qualified: 6th Sprint: 4th GP: 6th

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

If you’d have suggested at round one that Franco Morbidelli would soon be close to podium form again, people would have laughed at you.

But, with perseverance and more and more time on the Pramac Ducati, the former championship-runner up has slowly eased himself back into good form, and while Mugello might be a special place for the Italian, you definitely get the impression now that a return to the podium isn’t a million miles away, especially if his qualifying form is maintained.

6 Jorge Martin

Qualified: 1st Sprint: DNF GP: 3rd

Jorge Martin, Pramac Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

Any weekend where you lose a substantial portion of your championship lead isn’t a good one, and while Jorge Martin might have done a decent job of damage control on Sunday (at least until the last lap), his crash out of Saturday’s sprint (the first time ever he’s not scored points since their introduction) means that Bagnaia is now once again nipping at his heels through no one’s fault but his own.

7 Fabio Di Giannantonio

Qualified: 14th Sprint: 7th GP: 7th

Fabio Di Giannantonio, VR46 Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

The main thing that made Fabio Di Giannantonio’s weekend an impressive one is his starting position.

He was unfortunate in Q1 to lose out on the chance to be further ahead on the grid through badly-timed Pol Espargaro-caused yellow flags, he did stellar work off the line in both races.

There would have been more on offer had he been starting further ahead, but with even fellow GP23 runner Marquez’s charge ahead of him stalling somewhat, it’s another weekend where Di Giannantonio is showing his potential for the future.

8 Alex Marquez

Qualified: 8th Sprint: 8th GP: 9th

Alex Marquez, Gresini Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

There wasn’t really anything too special about Alex Marquez’s weekend in Italy, but in that was perhaps nothing too bad for the Gresini Ducati rider, who was able to score decent points without much in the way of drama.

He was more than competitive with the other GP23s even if he couldn’t keep up (like none of them could) with his brother, and all in all it’s fair to say that he won’t leave too disappointed with his performances.

9 Maverick Vinales

Qualified: 3rd Sprint: 5th GP: 8th

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

There were certainly some high points for Maverick Vinales at Mugello, more than there were for the other Aprilia riders - and on a weekend where the RS-GP was clearly struggling to be competitive, that’s probably a good enough job for the Spaniard.

Decent points helps to reinforce his spot as Aprilia's top rider in the championship standings, and it should be one of those ones where you just shrug and move on.

10 Raul Fernandez

Qualified: 12th Sprint: 10th GP: 12th

Raul Fernandez, Trackhouse Aprilia, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

On a weekend where Aprilia was clearly struggling to find performance, Raul Fernandez didn’t do a terrible job - even after arm pump issues sabotaged his Sunday form.

Staying in touch with the factory bikes on his year-old machine and beating team-mate Oliveira conclusively, he'll follow up his Italian GP with more surgical intervention - but it nonetheless helps strengthen his position within Trackhouse as silly season continues.

11 Aleix Espargaro

Qualified: 9th Sprint: 9th GP: 11th

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

After the fireworks of his home race only a week ago and given the nature of the Mugello track, it’s probably fair to say that Aleix Espargaro expected more from the team’s home race than battles on the fringes of the top 10. But the fairytale didn’t come true and the reality instead was a rather lacklustre outing for Espargaro as Aprilia found itself outmatched.

12 Brad Binder

Qualified: 13th Sprint: 6th GP: 10th

Brad Binder, KTM, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

For the first time in a long time, Brad Binder was just… slow at Mugello. Normally he’s got a few sparks of performance in his weekends, or the reason why he’s out of win contention is mistakes or problems.

But in Mugello it very much looked like just wasn’t quite fast enough to be competitive - which is a problem, because Acosta clearly showed that that wasn’t a KTM-wide predicament.

13 Alex Rins

Qualified: 10th Sprint: 13th GP: 15th

Alex Rins, Yamaha, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

The highpoint of the weekend for Alex Rins definitely came early on, with a somewhat surprising P2 on Friday off the back of Yamaha's private test at Mugello a few weeks ago setting what proved to be an unmatchable benchmark.

Quickly realising the reality of the situation in race mode, it was another rather flat weekend for Yamaha compounded by arm pump issues not alleviated by its new and supposedly better aero package.

14 Marco Bezzecchi

Qualified: 16th Sprint: 11th GP: 13th

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Ducati, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

The 2023 Ducati continues to not work at all for Marco Bezzecchi.

Not even able to find the same level of performance from it that his team-mate Di Giannantonio can deliver right now, it means that the weekend was another tough one for one of last year's standouts.

While he nonetheless remains a part of the 2025 conversations simply because people know that the GP23 isn’t showing his true potential, it’s nonetheless tough to keep taking blows like this - especially as others on the same equipment are doing a better job.

15 Pol Espargaro

Qualified: 21st Sprint: 14th GP: 17th

Pol Espargaro, KTM, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

For someone who hasn’t raced a MotoGP bike since Valencia in November - and who hasn’t done a ton of testing so far this year - to be thrust into a weekend at Mugello at all places and to remain in touch with the factory machines is a damn good job.

Pol Espargaro definitely kept Jack Miller honest, and with a bit of time under his belt now will be hoping for a better second wildcard appearance for KTM’s test team later in the season.

16 Fabio Quartararo

Qualified: 15th Sprint: DNF GP: 18th

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

It’s unusual to see Fabio Quartararo outclassed by just about any team-mate, but the Frenchman didn't have an answer to Rins' single-lap pace at Mugello even after testing there a few weeks ago.

T-boned out of the sprint by Oliveira, and struggling with bike-induced arm pump on Sunday, it’s one for Quartararo to put behind him as quickly as possible.

17 Lorenzo Savadori

Qualified: 22nd Sprint: 18th GP: 21st

Lorenzo Savadori, Aprilia, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

Really, a standard-issue weekend for Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori, where he turned up, completed lots of laps, and didn’t fall off. Not exactly the lightning pace that we see other test riders like Dani Pedrosa deliver, it’s nonetheless well within the job that he’s briefed to do and his bosses will be happy with it.

18 Augusto Fernandez

Qualified: 20th Sprint: 17th GP: DNF

Augusto Fernandez, Tech3 Gas Gas, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Augusto Fernandez after his weekend.

Fighting as hard as he can to keep a seat for next year - and at least occasionally troubling KTM’s factory racers in the process - it’s the performances of incredible rookie team-mate Acosta that make for a brutal comparison.

Much of what went wrong at Mugello for Fernandez wasn’t his own fault but rather a technical problem in Sunday’s race - which meant there was never a chance for him to show what he needs to to put his best foot forward for 2025.

19 Miguel Oliveira

Qualified: 11th Sprint: DNF GP: 14th

Miguel Oliveira, Trackhouse Aprilia, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

Not for the first time this year, the fastest Trackhouse racer wasn’t its supposed number one rider but rather his considerably less experienced team-mate.

Add to that that the only time Miguel Oliveira did anything to get cameras pointed his way across Saturday and Sunday was when he wiped out Quartararo with a move that miraculously went unpunished, and it is very much a trip to Mugello that the Portuguese racer should be looking to put behind him very quickly indeed.

20 Jack Miller

Qualified: 19th Sprint: 12th GP: 16th

Jack Miller, KTM, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

When you measure Jack Miller’s weekend by the gap from him to the top KTM (rookie Acosta in P5), it’s bad. But when you measure it using the gap from him to race-rusty test rider Pol Espargaro, it’s even worse.

The Australian didn’t crash at Mugello, like he has at other places, but he didn’t go very fast either, and the end result is a weekend just as disappointing as his Barcelona outing a few days beforehand.

21 Johann Zarco

Qualified: 18th Sprint: 15th GP: 19th

Johann Zarco, LCR Honda, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

There’s only two ways to ride a Honda right now, it seems - you can either be slow, or you can consign yourself to a likely crash.

The only one of its four-man lineup who seems able to balance the two well enough to be a regular victor of the Honda Cup is Zarco.

He did it again in Mugello, and while it might have been a long way even off scoring points, never mind podiums, it all contributes to making the bike better in the long run.

22 Taka Nakagami

Qualified: 23rd Sprint: 16th GP: DNF

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

After a relatively successful Barcelona race last time out, finishing the weekend as top Honda, and with Mugello a circuit where he had recent testing experience, Taka Nakagsami might have expected more this weekend.

However, the end result was instead perhaps more frustration than we’ve ever heard from the Japanese racer as he was left fuming at the bike’s lack of progress and the factory’s lack of new items to try and fix it.

23 Joan Mir

Qualified: 17th Sprint: DNF GP: DNF

Joan Mir, Honda, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

Another double DNF for Joan Mir isn’t what’s going to help improve the diabolical RC213V - but cruising around far from his best isn’t going to do too much either, meaning that he’s stuck in something of a catch-22 right now that there doesn’t seem to be any way out of.

It’s no surprise that he’s questioning his Honda future seeing as he’s very much replaced Marc Marquez as Honda's crash test dummy.

24 Luca Marini

Qualified: 24th Sprint: 19th GP: 20th

Luca Marini, Honda, MotoGP, Italian GP, Mugello

The best way to understand Luca Marini’s results of late is to consider them from a different perspective.

He’s essentially no longer a MotoGP racer but rather a permanent test rider, someone whose job is to log laps. It’s a dirty job, but it’s one that someone has to do right now if there’s any hope that the Honda is going to get any better in the foreseeable future.

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