Analysis: Yamaha set to end worst MotoGP season in 10 years

This weekend's Valencia season finale will mark the end of Yamaha's worst season for a decade, the first in which it has failed to get one of its riders into the top two of the standings since 2007.

Analysis: Yamaha set to end worst MotoGP season in 10 years

No matter what happens at Valencia, Maverick Vinales (currently on 226 points) will finish the season third, behind Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, his chances of beating the latter to second having disappeared after another disappointing race at Sepang.

As for Valentino Rossi (197 points), he can finish no higher than fourth, and faces having to defend his position from fifth-placed Dani Pedrosa (185 points).

Since Jorge Lorenzo's arrival at Yamaha in 2008, at least one of the manufacturer's factory riders managed to finish the year inside the top two of the championship. 

On five occasions a Yamaha rider was the champion (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015) and in other four, one of them took the runner-up position (2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016).

To find the top Yamaha rider ending up third or lower, we must go back in time to 2007, where Rossi ended up third behind Casey Stoner and Pedrosa. His teammate, Colin Edwards, was ninth.

Yamaha rider stats since 2007:

Year

Rider 1

Points

Champ Pos.

Rider 2

Points

Champ Pos.

Total points

2016

 Rossi

249

2nd

 Lorenzo

233

3rd

482

2015

 Lorenzo

330

1st

 Rossi

325

2nd

655

2014

 Rossi

295

2nd

 Lorenzo

263

3rd

558

2013

 Lorenzo

330

2nd

 Rossi

237

4th

567

2012

 Lorenzo

350

1st

 Spies

88

10th

438

2011

 Lorenzo

260

2nd

 Spies

176

5th

436

2010

 Lorenzo

383

1st

 Rossi

233

3rd

616

2009*

 Rossi

306

1st

 Lorenzo

261

2nd

567*

2008

 Rossi

373

1st

 Lorenzo

190

4th

563

2007

 Rossi

241

3rd

 Edwards

124

9th

365

*That year only 17 Grands Prix were held

In seven seasons together, Lorenzo and Rossi never scored as few points between them as Rossi and Vinales have mustered this season (423 with a race to go), taking as many as 655 in 2015 and achieving their lowest combined figure, 482, the following season.

Rossi and Vinales will need to score 14 points between them in Valencia to surpass the total achieved by Lorenzo and Ben Spies in 2011, which is the worst figure for Yamaha since 2007.

Even if they scored the theoretical maximum of 45 points, which would take them to 468, it would fall short of anything achieved by the Rossi-Lorenzo partnership.

At least Vinales and Rossi have in Valencia the chance to ensure 2017 is the not the worst season in terms of wins in the last decade.

Up to now, Vinales has won three times (Qatar, Argentina, Le Mans) and Rossi once (Assen), giving Yamaha four wins for the year - matching the tallies of 2007, 2011 and 2014, when Lorenzo and Rossi could only take two wins apiece in the face of Marquez's domination.

An extra win this weekend would match the number scored by Lorenzo in 2012, although still falling far short of the double-digit hauls of 2015, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

Yamaha wins since 2007:

Year

Rider 1

Wins

Rider 2

Wins

Total wins

2016

 Lorenzo

4

 Rossi

2

 

6

2015

 Lorenzo

7

 Rossi

4

11

2014

 Lorenzo

2

 Rossi

2

4

2013

 Lorenzo

8

 Rossi

1

 

9

2012

 Lorenzo

5

 Spies

0

5

2011

 Lorenzo

3

 Spies

1

4

2010

 Lorenzo

9

 Rossi

2

11

2009*

 Rossi

6

 Lorenzo

4

10

2008

 Rossi

9

 Lorenzo

1

10

2007

 Rossi

4

 Edwards

0

4

*That year only 17 Grands Prix were held

Translation by Irene Aneas

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