Every sport can experience an era of dominance from an individual, or a select set of individuals, making it very difficult for the casual fan (let alone the rest of the field) to believe in an upset. In Formula One, Michael Schumacher’s five consecutive world championships with Ferrari at the turn of the millennium prompted a change in the regulations to shake things up. At the same time, Tiger Woods was winning major after major in golf. Roger Federer claimed his first Wimbledon title in 2003, and since then, 41 of the 50 Grand Slam tournaments have been won by Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
In MotoGP, the dominance can be attributed to a ‘group of five’ – Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez. These five riders have won fourteen of the last fifteen premier class world championships (Nicky Hayden’s sole triumph in 2006 is the only anomaly).