The 2022 MotoGP season is well underway now. We have already had some incredible races in locations such as Qatar, Portugal and France. The riders’ standings look very tight at the moment – and there is still a long way to go in the race for the MotoGP constructors’ title as well.
Hopefully this will end up being yet another exciting season that goes down in the history books for the fans. But, whoever ends up winning the races and the title this year, they will have to go a long way to match up with the five riders on our list that rank as the best of all time.
Where else to start when you are talking about MotoGP legends than Valentino Rossi? There simply hasn’t been a better rider in the history of the sport. The charismatic Italian is also probably the most popular and universally liked rider and backed up that charm with seven World titles.
Rossi won on both Yamaha and Honda but was unable to repeat that trick with the manufacturer of his homeland – Ducati. After retiring from MotoGP, Rossi has concentrated on his own team as well as other formats of motor racing. He has recently signed up for the GT World Challenge – this time on four wheels.
‘Ago’ actually won one more World title than Valentino Rossi, so he definitely warrants a place high up on the list of all-time riders. He completely dominated the sport in the 1960s and 70s. Like many others, he turned to four wheels after retiring from MotoGP and competed in 23 F1 races.
Agostini had already had a lot of success in various formats of motor racing and won ten races at the world famous Isle of Man TT. But he led a boycott after a close friend died in 1972, resulting in him being dropped from the World Championships. He is still involved in motor racing today – at the age of 79.
One of just four riders to win World Championship titles in three different categories (the others being Valentino Rossi, Mike Hailwood and Phil Read), Marc Marquez developed a whole new style for MotoGP racing that his competitors have had to adapt to to keep up.
Nicknamed the Ant of Cervera because of his diminutive stature, Marquez burst onto the scene in 2013, winning the title in his rookie season – the first rider to do so since the legendary Kenny Roberts in 1978. He is currently riding for the Repsol Honda team and is the older brother of fellow rider Alex Marquez.
An expert in the mechanics of motor racing, Mick Doohan is a very popular former rider who won five consecutive World titles in the 1990s. His success with Honda dominated the sport at the time and has earned him a high place on the list of the greatest of all time.
After a serious crash in 1999, where he broke his leg in several places, Doohan retired from MotoGP. His attempt at F1 was short-lived, as he found the controls difficult and crashed in test drives. His popularity lives on though – and he has a rollercoaster named after him in his home state of Queensland, Australia.
The last name on our list was known as Mike the Bike in his heyday but also enjoyed a long Formula 1 racing career after retiring from MotoGP in the 1960s. He is best known for his four consecutive world titles on two wheels though and was able to ride bikes with a variety of engine capacities.
Hailwood was the highest-paid rider at the height of his success and enjoyed the playboy lifestyle that went along with being a world-class MotoGP rider. He sadly died, along with his daughter, in a vehicle crash in 1980 at the age of just 40.