In the history of the premier class of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, there have been a huge number of people that you could put on a list of the top five competitors. From the battling riders who were never willing to give up to the dominating bikers that normal people couldn’t touch when on the track.
Compiling such a list is quite a task given the history of the competition and the calibre of riders that have competed in it over the years, but here goes anyway.
There was never any danger of leaving off the man dubbed Mike the Bike, who was a hugely successful rider in many different disciplines. To some, he was the greatest all round motorcycle racer of all time and anyone who is mentioned as such deserves a place on this list.
Barely 17, he began his road-racing career at the Isle of Man TT in 1958, going on to complete a career that anyone would be proud of. He won the 250CC title in 1961, 1966 and 1967, the 350CC in 1966 and 1967 and the 500CC in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965.
Then, he decided to give up racing in 1967 before returning to the Isle of Man TT in 1978 and even winning the senior event a year later. A true competitor.
Another man that should never be off any list that aims to show the best riders of all time. In terms of pure statistics, there aren’t many people that come close to what the Italian was able to achieve in a brilliant career.
He can also lay claim to being the greatest rider that has ever lived, having won more championships that any other man. In a stretch from 1968 to 1975, Agostini managed to win 15 world titles in the 350CC and 500CC classes. As well as this, he competed in eight TT series’ and managed to emerge victorious ten races overall, proving his durability in the long run.
Those that have followed MotoGP only in the last couple of years might question this selection, but given that only Agostini has more world titles to his name ever, Rossi seems a solid choice for this list.
Rossi is first in all time 500CC/MotoGP race wins standings with 80 victories in total and second all time in overall wins, with 106 compared to Agostini’s 122. Still think he shouldn’t be on this list?
Even though the eccentric Italian may not have competed for the title over the last two or three years, he has certainly won enough races and championships to deserve a mention on this list.
This one may come as a bit of a surprise to some of the more old school 500CC fans but the Spaniard Lorenzo has been a monstrous presence in MotoGP since entering the sport in 2008 with Yamaha‘s YZR-M1.
In that time he has managed to win two world championships and claim 70 podium positions from just 98 starts, which is an incredible rate. He is also fighting hard for the title this year with Honda Repsol’s Marc Marquez.
Doohan was a hugely successful racer in his own right, having won five consecutive 500CC world championships – a feat only beaten by Agostini and equalled by Rossi.
The Aussie was a tough competitor on the track and from 1994 to 1998 was near unbeatable amassing 44 race wins in that time and only four times finishing outside of the podium places if he didn’t retire from the race.
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