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Top 5 Greatest MotoGP Riders of All Time

MotoGP is the oldest Motorsport in the world. The first World Championship was held in 1949. FICM, now called as the FIM, was supposed to start the competition in 1938, but due to the second world war, the championship was cancelled and eventually started in 1949.

In the first MotoGP championship, the Grand Prix comprised of four solo classes. Leslie Graham won the first premier class title.

It was Freddie Frith who won the first ever 350cc title while Bruno Ruffo and Nello Pagani won the first 250 and 125 world championships respectively.

In the 1980s, there was fierce competition among the three greats which are Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki. Many racers have come and gone but very few have taken the MotoGP world by Storm. Only racers like Mick Doohan, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi have been able to master the art of MotoGP.

Here is a list of 5 great racers who have mastered the sport of MotoGP

1. Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi, an Italian professional motorcycle road racer, is a multiple time MotoGP world champion.

He holds the distinction of being the only racer in the history of the championships to have won it in four different classes: 125cc, 250cc,500 and MotoGP.

He also has nine Grand Prix Championships to his name which makes him the most successful racer in the world. What is amazing is that he has won seven out of his nine races in the premier class.

Rossi started off with Honda with a win in the 500cc championship in 2001 along with the world championships in 2002 and 2003.

He also won the 2004 and 2005 championships but this time it was with Yamaha instead of Honda who he left before the 2004 season.

Rossi had several battles with Casey Stoner and ultimately, he replaced Stoner at Ducati in 2011. Rossi had two difficult seasons with Ducati following which he moved back to Yamaha.

After returning to Yamaha, he finished second in 2014, 2015, and 2016. 2015 was the season where he looked like winning the championship but was overtaken by Jorge Lorenzo to eventually finish second.

2. Casey Stoner

Casey Stoner, a retired Australian professional motorcycle road racer, is a two-time MotoGP world championship winner which he won in 2007 and 2011.

After his retirement, he served as a test and developmental driver for Ducati from 2016 till 2018. Stoner was born in Queensland but had to move to the United Kingdom to pursue his racing career.

His ability to ride any bike over it’s perceived limits was his greatest talents. He was able to win on a much inferior Ducati bike than a Honda or a Yamaha.

2007 world championship, which Stoner won, remains Ducati’s only world championship till date.

He always had some intense battles with Valentino Rossi but somehow always seemed to be behind on the table as Rossi went on to win the championships the next two season.

In 2010, he moved to Repsol Honda where he won the championship in 2011. He was the winner of six consecutive Grand Prix’s on his home soil.

Casey was an amazing racer who had performed well at the world stage but always seemed to be in the shadow of Valentino Rossi who was enjoying his best years at the time Stoner’s retirement in 2012.

3. Marc Marquez

He is only the third Spaniard after Alex Criville and Jorge Lorenzo to win a premier class title Marc Marquez, a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, is one of the most successful racers in the world. He has seven world championships to his name out of which five are in the premier class.

He got his nickname ‘ant of Cervera’ because he is known for his wild riding style. He is only one of four riders to have world championships in three different categories.

He is one of the greatest innovators the world has ever seen, as his excessive cornering technique of leaning over the bike makes him look like he will fall out. He is only the third Spaniard after Alex Criville and Jorge Lorenzo to win a premier class title.

He is also the first rider after Kenny Roberts to win a premier class title in his first season. In 2014, he won 10 races in a row which is a remarkable achievement as he retained the title with three races to spare.

He is third in the all-time list of winning the most number of MotoGP championships. He is considered to be a worthy opponent to Valentino Rossi who is currently the best racer in the world.

4. Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo, another Spanish great, was the 2006 and 2007 250cc world championship. He is also the 2010,2012, and the 2015 MotoGP World Champion.

He is currently competing in the MotoGP class with Honda. Apart from winning the World Championship thrice, he also has finished runners up on three occasions.

It was in 2012 when Lorenzo became the first racer from Spain to win the title in the premier class. He lies sixth in the all-time list of most wins in MotoGP with 67 races.

In 2008, he became Valentino Rossi’s teammate at Yamaha. He started off his MotoGP career on a great note as he finished second in the Qatar race.

He finally converted a win the third race of the season at Portugal which was also his first win in the premier class.

Lorenzo is the youngest driver to have finished the race on the Podium in his first three races.

He is such a dedicated driver that even after suffering injuries after falling from his bike, he was still able to finish the race in fourth place.

Lorenzo is famous for his celebrations after he finishes a race. He once imitated a spaceman, jumping into the lake into the infield of the Jerez circuit.

5. Giacomo Agostini

Giacomo Agostini, an Italian road racer, is a multiple time world champion. He is nicknamed as Ago. Agostini holds an amazing record of winning 122 Grand Prix wins and 15 world championship titles.

Agostini was born in Brescia, Lombardy. He had a rough childhood as he had to steal away to begin his racing career, firstly at Hill climb events and later in road racing. He won his first world championship in 1963 in the 175cc class aboard a Morini.

Agostini got his big chance for Morini when Tarquinio Provini left the team to ride for Benelli and he was hired by Count Alfonso Morini.

He again won the championship in the 350cc class in 1964. His performances caught the eye of Dominico Agusto who signed him up to be Mike Hailwood’s teammate. He almost won the championship in 1965 before his bike failed him and the title went to Jim Redman.

He won the 500cc title seven consecutive times after he became the top driver for MV Agusta. Agostini decided he would never race again at the Isle of Man, TT as he lost his close friend, Gilberto Parlotti during the 1972 TT.

He left MV Agusta in 1974 and joined Yamaha where he won the prestigious Daytona 200. He is considered one of the best racers of his time.

John Swann
Written by
John Swann


John Swann began his writer career in motor racing while still a student, reporting on Formula 1 races in the summer of 1976. He travelled from race to race, living in a tent. He joined MaxForceRacing Team 1 year ago and working in the world of touring car racing (Formula 1, Formula E, Moto GP and other).


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