Motocross has been around for quite some time, but it has grown in popularity in recent years, there are now many tracks and clubs across the UK that anyone can join quite easily. It’s all about taking motorcycling to a new level, going off-road and mastering jumps, whoops and tabletops while competing against others on difficult terrain. We discuss everything from how to get started, to how to participate, to the best motocross motorcycles on the market today. Whether you’re looking to get into motocross or maybe have kids looking to start a new hobby, we’ve got it covered. It’s time to dive in!

Where did motocross come from?

Motocross as a sport really took off in the early 19th century and is usually referred to as a “scramble” where motorcyclists compete against each other and ride over difficult terrain. As motocross grew internationally, it got its new name by mixing the words “motorcycle” and “cross country.” The first recorded event took place in 1914 with the name Scott Trial and was held on the Yorkshire Moors.
Other early motocross-style events took place in Surrey over farmland and fields, pitting enthusiastic bikers against each other. Since then, the sport has grown and adapted, with new styles of bikes, special kits and tracks popping up all over the country – and the world for that matter!

Motocross Des Nations

The very first Motocross Des Nations took place in Holland in 1947, won by the British team consisting of riders Bill Nicholson, Bob Ray and Fred Rist. After the great success of this event, four years later the birth of the British Motocross Championships happened. Although the British dominated in the early years, the U.S. and France also claimed their fair share of victories – most notably with America’s 13-year winning streak from 1981 to 1993. Motocross Des Nations is still hosted by a different country each year. It has been one of the most iconic events for all motocrossers to attend or participate in. The UK has hosted several times at Brands Hatch, Hawkstone Park, Farleigh Castle, Foxhills, Donington Park and most recently Matterley Basin.

Manufacturers introduce a new wave of motocross machines

Manufacturers began to invest real time and money in the 1960s to develop machines perfect for rough terrain and high jumps, with Suzuki more accessible in the UK along with other Japanese brands such as KTM, Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha. The boom hit hard in the 80s with widespread media coverage in America introducing Supercross, resulting in major channels showing races and major sponsorship deals being signed. To top it all off, Neil Hudson took the crown for the Brits by winning the 1981 250cc Motocross World Championship on a Yamaha. Over the years, numerous wins and records have been set by British riders, including Kurt Nicholl, Paul Malin and Rob Herring, to name a few.

Motocross today

Today, people like Husqvarana have been able to make motocross lighter and more agile than ever before; this has really taken the sport to a new level. It didn’t take long for other manufacturers to get into the big business of motocross, and now you’ll see that everyone from Kawasaki to Suzuki to Honda have released a crosser lineup. There are many events around the country for MX riders, along with appearances by ArenaCross who travel around for their annual tournaments – that’s something worth buying tickets for!


How old do I have to be to participate in motocross?

Whether you’re four or 44, there’s something for everyone in the motocross arena. It’s all about gaining much needed experience, which is why you’ll find that there are always practice days/taster sessions throughout the year (usually in the better weather months) that you can get involved in. Fitness is extremely important in motocross, you will push yourself to new extremes as you conquer jumps and round corners, and it takes cycling to another level.

Ways to Train for motocross

If you are already a big fan of cycling and especially mountain biking / off-road riding, then this is a great exercise for motocross. You’ve already mastered the art of riding on mud, dirt and difficult surfaces – sometimes hard and sometimes extremely boggy (oh hello British weather), then this is a good place to start before you go out and buy your first crosser. You’ll hear that many professional use BMW or mountain bikes as part of their training program, as the skills required for both overlap.
Obviously, the other key aspect is going to the gym if you want to up your game for motocross. When you’re on the bike, you’ll be using every muscle in your body, so it’s important to do repetitive exercises to build your strength.

What is the difference?

Now there are a few different versions of off-road motorcycling on the market, but they are all unique in their own way. Take a look below….


Trials is a much slower sport where you need to be in complete control of your machine as you negotiate obstacles, and most importantly, you can’t put your feet on the ground! If you normally ride a light machine without a seat, stand up to help you navigate a course (and limit the temptation of your feet on the ground) that consists of natural and man-made elements. Points are awarded based on how fast you can complete the course with the fewest mistakes.


As we’ve already discussed, motocross is usually a track-based sport on uneven terrain with jumps, tabletops, whoops and much more, but you’ll have to compete against the clock to get the fastest lap time. ACU runs projects to give you a taste of the world of motocross before you shell out the money for a bike and kit. All you have to do is pay a small rental fee.


Motocross but leveled. You’re venturing to new extremes and really pushing yourself (and your bike) to the limit. Enduro days aren’t for the light-hearted, but if you’re a big motocross fan and fancy doing something a little different, it’s worth checking out. These events usually take place in a larger area, sometimes involve walking through forests and jumping over fallen trees, through streams and more.


Getting into motocross won’t be cheap, as you’ll need to equip yourself with the right gear and a bike. Buying a bike isn’t cheap, but you can find a pretty decent deal when shopping around. Think about looking at a used bike, even though it might be scratched up (this will inevitably happen with MX). Don’t forget that you’ll need to find a way to transport your motocross bike to and from events; these bikes aren’t street legal, so you can’t just hop on and ride there. You will need to own a van or trailer, or at least know someone who does, so you can get yourself and all your gear there!
Licenses/Insurance: Although motocross motorcycles do not need to be insured (since they are not licensed for road use), you still need to check. Most motocross events have an entry fee, usually around £30, and within that you have some sort of insurance.
Get your gear right It’s important to be fully equipped for motocross. Crashes are likely, regardless of how experienced you are, as this is the nature of the sport. It’s not worth skimping a few cents on gear, especially when it comes to saving your life.

The most necessary


Your ordinary bike helmet won’t do for motocross; it can be too heavy on your head. They need to be as light as possible, and it will take a few bumps along the way. Helmets are open around the eyes so you can wear goggles. They also have a vented air piece to keep the air flowing during the race. On the days we get a little sunshine, the visors on the MX helmets are a great way to protect your eyes. The best thing about these helmets? Removable lining and cheek pads so you can wash it all away after a hard day of transplanting!
The same rules apply to a motocross helmet as a regular helmet, the lifespan is about five years max, but if you’ve been in a serious accident, it’s best to replace it much sooner – some even suggest a new helmet every season!

Make sure your helmet is marked with ECE certification, and you’ll need a silver or gold ACU sticker for your helmet if you plan to participate in an ACU-organized off-road event.
Helmets can vary in price, but if you are just starting out you should spend £150, but for professionals/racers, you will need to look upwards of £250.


It goes without saying that motocross is a dirty sport. Especially crossing muddy terrain with rocks, debris and insects flying at your face among other things; goggles help against this. There are many different styles on the market, so it’s best to try them out before you buy.
Ski goggles are specifically designed to allow you to put tear-off lenses in front of your lenses, which can be easily removed when racing. Compared to a regular crash helmet, you’ll have a better field of vision because the goggles are much wider than your average visor – they can be tinted, anti-fog, and include a nose guard, but it all depends on your personal preference.

Don’t forget the importance of safety glasses being shatterproof so your eyes are covered no matter what flies in your direction!


Gloves are a must for racing, although not essential for motorcyclists in general, you should invest in a decent pair for off-road use. Depending on your riding style, you can get different types of gloves, but ultimately they will protect you if you crash. It’s best to try them on for size, as you don’t want to get blisters and sores from ill-fitting gloves.


Boots are a must as they not only protect your feet but also your ankles and shins from potential injury. Boots need to have a strong sole, you will be using your feet a lot more than you think, as well as decent straps and buckles to keep you secure without damaging yourself or your bike.
Remember, if you tried on helmets for size, it’s the same with boots. Try on a few different pairs from different manufacturers to get a feel for them. They need to fit snugly and securely to prevent injury, especially to the ankle.

Make sure to invest in decent boots

Don’t forget the importance of buying decent motocross socks – they actually exist! Your everyday cotton office socks just won’t cut the mustard. Socks designed specifically for motocross will stay in place (no one wants the dreaded sock slippage in their boot) and will also help prevent moisture buildup, keeping you comfortable longer.

Body armor

Chest Protector

It’s inevitable that you’ll have a few falls, so it’s important that you’re fully protected to minimize injury. Investing in a chest protector can go a long way toward protecting your abdomen, chest, and shoulders from any kind of hazard, especially low-hanging branches, rocks, and other debris flying over the course.
Neck braces: Again, it pays to invest in neck braces. Many injuries result from repetitive neck strain or impact, so you have the best chance of staying fit. You can usually get chest protectors and neck braces that are compatible.

Lumbar Protectors

The lowest part of your back, also known as your lumbar spine, is the most affected when riding motocross. Poor posture along with the movements of riding a motorcycle over bumpy terrain can lead to long-lasting effects such as nerve compression, inflammation, stiffness and pain. Equipping yourself with a lumbar brace (sometimes called a kidney belt) can help combat this pain and protect you in the event of an accident.

rider covered in mud

Knee brace

Your knees take a lot of abuse when riding MX and are often the most common injuries as well. It is recommended that you wear a knee brace to protect yourself from potential and lifelong injuries. Basically, suspenders keep your knees from moving in ways they shouldn’t – which can happen pretty easily if you don’t wear them. You’ll need to try on a few pairs, as everyone’s knees are different, so you’ll need to make sure they’re comfortable and don’t move around as you ride.



Jerseys need to be lightweight and breathable, you’ll already have a lot of gear on but you still need to be aerodynamic. The whole point of a jersey is to help you stand out when you’re flying around the track (and covered in mud). You can buy one at any reputable retailer for a reasonable price, and you can even personalize it!


Pants need to be comfortable, flexible and adjustable. The material needs to be waterproof and wipeable, it’s usually polyester material because let’s face it, you’re going to get dirty! You have lots of gear on to protect you, including your boots and knee pads so they have to fit over and under. MX pants usually have Velcro or buckles so you can adjust the waist size to fit you comfortably.

Their former status on the track has helped attract sponsors, drivers and manufacturer support so they can continue to fight for title success. Here’s our look at ten of the best.

Giacomo Agostini

Giacomo Agostini remains the sport’s most successful rider with 122 Grand Prix wins and 15 World Championships. After retiring at the end of the 1977 season, Agostini enjoyed a few years without the sport but returned in 1982 with a 500cc Yamaha factory team when Graeme Crosby and Graziano Rossi were signed. With major support from Marlboro, Crosby finished second that year before the team moved up a gear in 1983 as Americans Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson battled for the title.

Roberts also finished second overall, edged out by Freddie Spencer by just two points for the title, but with Agostini at the helm of the ship, Lawson took titles in 1984, 1986 and 1988. Other riders under his management included Raymond Roche, Virginio Ferrari and Rob McElnea between 1986 and 1990 he also managed the Marlboro Yamaha 250cc team with Luca Cadalora, Martin Wimmer and Alex Criville among the riders.
When Lawson left for Honda in 1989, Agostini managed to lure Freddie Spencer out of retirement, but it didn’t bear the fruit both parties had hoped for, and Marlboro moved to Kenny Roberts’ team in 1990 instead. He returned as Cagiva team manager in 1992, a position he held until 1994 when the Italian manufacturer withdrew, and his final season as manager began in 1995 when he ran a 250cc Honda team with Doriano Romboni.

Steve Parish

Steve Parrish, former British champion and 500cc World Championship podium finisher, rode for both the Heron Suzuki and Mitsui Yamaha teams during his career, and when he hung up his leathers at the end of 1986, he immediately turned to manage Loctite full-time for the Yamaha team in the British Championship and built his own highly successful career in truck racing, winning numerous European titles.

Steve Parish had a successful racing career, credit Phil Wain’s Family Archive.
British championship titles were won with Kenny Irons, Keith Huewen, Terry Rymer and Rob McElnea, while the team also enjoyed numerous wins and podiums at the Isle of Man TT races with riders such as Trevor Nation, Geoff Johnson, Nick Jefferies, Brian Morrison and Brian Reid. Parrish handed over the reins to McElnea in the early 1990s and became a highly respected commentator and pundit in the media.

Neil Tuxworth

Lincolnshire’s Neil Tuxworth had a long and distinguished racing career that lasted 20 years, and in that time he took no less than four podiums at the Isle of Man TT, four at the North West 200 and one at the Ulster Grand Prix to be a consistent leader on the British short circuits. After battling back from a serious injury at Aberdare Park in 1986 that nearly cost him his life, he retired at the end of 1989 to take up the post of team manager at Honda Britain.
For more than 25 years, Tuxworth has been at the helm in various guises, and in that time has had an unbroken history of success. Both World and British Superbike Championship titles have been won with names such as John Kocinski, Colin Edwards, Steve Hislop and Ryuichi Kiyonari, while the Isle of Man TT results is simply outstanding with countless wins by Hislop, Joey Dunlop, Carl, Fogarty, Phillip McCallen and John McGuinness among others. Tuxworth officially retired at the end of 2016 as one of the most successful team managers of all time.

Davide Tardozzi

After briefly competing in the 250s, Italian Davide Tardozzi turned his attention to the fledgling Superbike class, winning the very first stage of the inaugural meeting of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park in 1988, although a crash in the second stage robbed him of overall victory. On a Bimota, he won five races that season, but only finished third overall due to a lack of consistency. He then won the 1991 European Superbike Championship before retiring to take up the position of team manager at Ducati.

Under his leadership, the team won numerous world championships with Carl Fogarty, Troy Corser, James Toseland and Troy Bayliss and took a total of eight titles, so it came as a shock to the racing world when he left Ducati at the end of the 2009 season. He soon took on a similar role with BMW Motorrad, but with the team only staying in WSB for a short time, he returned to Ducati to act as team coordinator for their MotoGP team, a role he still performs today.

Sito Pons

A two-time 250cc World Champion in 1988 and 1989, Sito Pons did not have the same success in the 500cc category and retired at the end of the 1991 season, but soon returned to the sport and formed the Honda Pons Racing Team to compete 500cc World Championship. With factory NSR500 machines and people like Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros on board, the team won numerous races, although the championship eventually eluded them.

The same thing happened in the MotoGP division in the early 2000s, when Max Biaggi and Troy Bayliss were among the riders and it became more difficult to find sponsors and he was forced to dissolve the team before the 2006 season due to lack of funding. However, it wasn’t long before he was back, albeit in the Moto2 category, and success soon followed when Pol Espargaro won the world championship in 2013. Maverick Vinales also won a number of races and the team remains in the series in 2017.

Joerg Martinez

With a Grand Prix racing career that lasted from 1982 to 1997, Jorge Martinez is another highly decorated Spanish rider to form a hugely successful World Championship team, with the four-time champion having one of the biggest presences in the paddock. After his retirement, ‘Aspar’ was soon back in the sport, first in the smaller classes, where all his titles were won and race wins and podiums soon began to flow for his various riders, while he also had an 18-year relationship with Aprilia.
Alvaro Bautista, Gabor Talmacsi, Julian Simon and Nicolas Terol all won the 125cc World Championship, with Simon finishing second overall in the inaugural Moto2 World Championship in 2010, and at that point, Martinez was steadily expanding his operation. His first year in the leading MotoGP division was in 2010, where they subsequently rode both Honda and Ducati satellite bikes with riders such as Hector Barbera, the late Nicky Hayden, Eugene Laverty and Bautista, although a podium continues to elude them.

Fausto Gresini

Italian Fausto Gresini, a two-time 125cc champion in 1985 and 1987, formed his own team in 1997 and competed in the 500cc World Championship for two seasons with Alex Barros. They were then relegated to the 250cc class, which they won in 2001 with Daijiro Katoh, and that led to a return to the MotoGP class in 2002, where they have remained ever since while continuing to compete in the other classes.

Tragedy struck the team in 2003 when Katoh was killed at Suzuka, but they recovered and Sete Gibernau, Colin Edwards and Marco Melandri were among their riders in MotoGP, Gibernau finishing second twice. In 2010 they joined the brand new Moto2 championship and promptly won the world title with Toni Elias, but the following year tragedy struck again when MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli lost his life after a crash in Malaysia.
Again the team regrouped and both Sam Lowes (Moto2) and Enea Bastianini (Moto3) have since given them top-three finishes in the World Championship, while Gresini Racing now leads Aprilia’s factory efforts in MotoGP.

Rob McElnea

With a successful racing career that saw him ride factory bikes for Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda, compete in the 500cc and World Superbike championships, become British Superbike champion and win three races at the Isle of Man TT, Rob McElnea took over as team manager for Yamaha’s British Superbike efforts after Steve Parrish stepped down from the role in the early 1990s. Initially combining the role with his own driving duties, he focused on management after his racing career was ended by injury in 1993.

In the late 1990s, the team dominated the British Superbike Championship with the support of Cadbury’s Boost, as former GP rival Niall Mackenzie won three consecutive titles between 1996 and 1998. A subsequent deal with Richard Branson and Virgin Mobile did not lead to repeat their championship They won successes, but they scored race victories with Steve Plater, James Haydon and Tommy Hill, while McElnea played a crucial role in the Virgin Mobile Cup series, which produced many future Superbike riders. After being one of the longest-running Superbike teams in the British Superbike Championship, McElnea left the sport at the end of the 2011 season.

Lucio Cecchinello

Lucio Cecchinello, a consistent 125cc rider in the 1990s, formed his own team in 1996 while continuing his own career, and just a year later he took his first Grand Prix victory. With Noboru Ueda as his teammate, the duo achieved some strong results, with the rider/manager finishing fourth overall, and in 2002 he stepped up his efforts to include the 250cc class with Casey Stoner on board. Cecchinello retired at the end of 2003 to concentrate on team management, and riders who have subsequently ridden for him read like a Who’s Who of the sport, including Alex de Angelis, Randy de Puniet, Roberto Locatelli, Carlos Checa and Toni Elias.

2006 was Cecchinello’s first foray into MotoGP, again with Stoner, and since 2008 he has focused his efforts exclusively on the premier class, with Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow both finishing in the team’s highest championship position, seventh, in 2013 and 2016 respectively. Arguably their best moments, however, came in 2016, when Crutchlow took two MotoGP wins and the Briton continued with the team in a fourth season in 2018.

File:Lucio Cecchinello - GP of Autralia 2001.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Shaun Muir

A former British Superbike Championship rider in the mid-1990s, Englishman Muir focused on his business interests after retiring before starting his own team, Shaun Muir Racing, in 2002. After entering the British Superbike competition in 2004, his results steadily improved and victories were taken towards the end of the decade for James Ellison and Stuart Easton, who finished third overall in the series in 2009. In 2011 they switched to Yamaha machines and the switch paid off when Tommy Hill beat them after a nail-biting final lap at.

Second row start for Milwaukee Yamaha ahead of opening race at Brands Hatch  | Auto Moto | Japan Bullet

Brands Hatch

In 2013 Milwaukee Tools came on board as title sponsor and with the signing of Australian Josh Brookes, they secured their second BSB title in 2015. This led to a move to the World Superbike Championship – one of Muir’s long ambitions – and BMW Power in 2016, however, the season did not go to plan and Brookes left the squad at the end of the season. However, the team then struck a deal with Aprilia to run their official WSB team for 2017 and both Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori had solid seasons on the RSV4.

British Superbike: O'Halloran Fastest In FP2 At Brands Hatch - Roadracing  World Magazine | Motorcycle Riding, Racing & Tech News

Whether it’s coming out of retirement, returning from injury or defying the odds to win a race from seemingly impossible positions, there have been some great comebacks in motorcycle racing over the years.
When it was in the former, it was often met with head shaking and comments like “it’s a bad idea,” and not all of them ended well, while riders will do anything to race again despite being seriously injured in their sports love. Here’s a look at some of the best comebacks we’ve seen.

Mike Haiwood

Arguably the greatest comeback of all time, the general consensus on Mike Hailwood returning to Isle of Man TT racing in 1978 after an 11-year hiatus was that he was crazy – as great as he was, times had changed massively and the list of unknowns was endless, including the fact that he had never raced on slick tires and bikes were now equipped with disc brakes, not drum brakes. Few believed he could be competitive after such a long absence.

After riding a heavily camouflaged lap at the 1977 Manx Grand Prix to familiarize himself with the Mountain Course, Hailwood returned in 1978 with a Ducati 900SS provided by Sports Motorcycles and 250cc, 500cc and 750cc Yamahas in Martini livery. His first race, Formula 1, took place on June 3 and the then 38-year-old was not only competitive, he also managed to complete a fairytale come back with an extremely popular victory. The island was crowded with visitors and grown men were seen crying, so outrageous was what they had just witnessed.
He returned in 1979, although the Ducati was now outclassed by its rivals and he could only finish fifth in the F1 race, for his other two races that week, the Senior and the Classic, he had a two-stroke, RG500 Suzuki, at his disposal and He celebrated his 14th TT victory in the former, lapping at more than 184 km/h. Then he used the same bike in the Classic and fought with Alex George for the lead all 6 laps in another TT epic. On the road, they were more than a minute apart, rarely on time they were a few seconds apart, but Hailwood lost only 3.4 seconds.

Phil Read

Although not on the scale of Hailwood, Phil Read’s return to the Isle of Man TT races in 1977 after a five-year hiatus was nonetheless impressive. Along with fellow World Champions Giacomo Agostini and Rod Gould, the Luton-born rider had led the boycott of the event, believing it to be too dangerous and not fit to be included in the World Championship, so his return was not without controversy. Read’s view was that he always enjoyed racing at the TT and therefore had no problem returning – he just didn’t think it was right to have to race there for world championship points.

The financial rewards had increased considerably as the Manx government lured Read and others with large sums of money, and he made his comeback with a variety of machines. His first race was the newly-introduced World Formula One race, aboard a factory Honda CB750, and he took his sixth TT win and his eighth world title, although even this was not without controversy as the race was abandoned early by heavy rain. Honda Britain was involved in a battle with Roger Nicholls and got wind of the decision. So he waved through at the end of lap three instead of bringing him into the pits for fuel, but Nicholls pitted, losing valuable time.
Read then drove his own RG500 Suzuki in the Senior, taking another win and lapping at more than 180 mph, and was well on his way to scoring a hat trick. However, he crashed before the Classic race at Brandish while unofficially testing his TZ750 Yamaha and subsequently broke his collarbone. He returned in 1978 and had a memorable battle with Hailwood in the F1 race before competing in his last TT in 1982 when he finished fourth in the Senior at the age of 43.

Barry Sheene

Barry Sheene defied the odds not once, but twice, making two miraculous comebacks from injuries sustained in two incredible high-speed accidents. The first came in March 1975 at the Daytona 200 at the age of just 25, but it was an accident that catapulted him into the popularity charts as the 175 mph crash was caught on camera when a television crew was there to produce a documentary.

An exploding rear tire left Sheene a crumpled heap on the embankment with a broken left thigh, right arm, collarbone and two ribs, but he recovered and miraculously was racing again seven weeks later. And on the RG500 Suzuki, he took his first 500cc World Championship win at the Dutch TT in June.

After winning two world titles in 1976 and 1977, Sheene was again fighting for a third title in 1982 when he suffered another high-speed accident, this time at Silverstone, when he hit the covered crashed machine of Frenchman Patrick Igoa during practice at 260 km / h the British Grand Prix. On this occasion, many thought it was really the end and his legs were completely shattered. The surgeon who pieced him together in an eight-hour operation said it was the most complicated procedure he had ever performed and likened the patient’s injuries to a “jigsaw puzzle.”
Two 7-inch stainless steel braces, two 5-inch plates and 26 steel screws were required to hold the bone fragments in his legs together, but he returned to racing the following season. Although the oil spill ended his potential as a title threat, he raced two more seasons and was back on a Grand Prix podium with a third-place finish at the 1984 500cc South African Grand Prix.

Ian Hutchinson

In 2010, Ian Hutchinson made history at the Isle of Man TT races when he became the first and only rider to win five races in a week. He was in superb form all season, winning at every international road race, but his season – and almost his career – came to an abrupt end at Silverstone in September when he crashed and was subsequently run over in a British Supersport Championship race. With compound fractures to the tibia and fibula in his left leg, it looked like the leg would have to be amputated, but with 16 surgeries and skin grafts, the leg was saved.

Complications ruled him out of 2011, however, and although he returned in 2012, he was anything but fit. After somehow riding in this year’s TT, he retired from racing to begin an 18-month recovery with the prospect of returning in 2014. At the last minute, Hutchinson and his Milwaukee Yamaha team entered the Macau Grand Prix in November 2013 was a simply stunning return. After taking pole position, the Bingley Bullet took a sensational win from Michael Rutter to complete one of the most successful comebacks race fans have seen in recent history.
It didn’t end there either, as he scored a hat trick of wins at the TT in 2015, a feat he repeated in 2016. In 2017, another double was scored to bring him to a total of 16, the third-highest of all, time by a solo rider, but a crash in the final senior race left him with more fractures on the same stage and he is currently recovering with an eye on returning in 2018. His determination knows no bounds.

Robert Dunlop

In the early 1990s, Robert Dunlop was at the peak of his powers and arguably the most versatile rider of his time. He won the British 125cc Championship and led the 588cc Norton to victory in NW200 and Ulster GP Superbike races. In 1994, he became the first rider to win a race on the new RC45 Honda when he scored a double victory at the North West 200, a meeting that completed his hat trick with another 125cc race win.
Just a few weeks later, however, the Ulster man suffered a serious accident during the Formula 1 TT race on the Isle of Man when the rear wheel of his RC45 collapsed as he left the village of Ballaugh. Dunlop suffered multiple injuries and a long hospital stay, followed by a protracted recovery, meant he was out of action for the rest of 1994 and all of 1995. He had severe tendon damage in his arm, which restricted movement, and a shortened leg, but He returned in 1996 but accepted that he could only race in the 125cc category.
In 1997 he finished third at the TT and scored a famous victory in the same race the following year, his fifth TT win, despite being back on crutches after a crash at the NW200 a few weeks earlier. Despite persistent pain and a deteriorating condition of his leg, Dunlop continued to race before sitting out the 2005 season, eventually having his leg broken and lengthened. Again he returned and with a long-term desire to win again at the North West 200, he took a record-breaking 15th victory in 2006 with another win in the 125cc race. Sadly, he was killed at the same meeting in 2008.

Conor Cummins

In 2010, Manxman Conor Cummins led the Isle of Man TT Superbike race after running from a standing start at over 131 miles per hour, just a fraction behind the absolute lap record. With a lead of over 20 seconds he was well on course for his first TT win, but the McAdoo Kawasaki refused to fire after his second pit stop and with his lead whittled down he was forced to reluctantly retire on lap five at Laurel Bank.

Later in the week, the senior race was abandoned on lap three after a crash at Ballagarey involving Guy Martin. On the restart, the Ramsey rider was just three seconds behind race leader Ian Hutchinson when he crashed spectacularly on the verandah in front of the TV cameras on lap two and his list of injuries was long – a badly broken left arm (with nerve damage), two broken bones in his back, a dislocated knee and ligament damage, bruising to his lungs and a hairline fracture to his pelvis.
The recovery period was long and included the insertion of two 10-inch steel rods in his back, but miraculously he was back racing at the start of the 2011 season and although he was far from fully fit, he finished sixth in the second season Supersport TT race. As time went on he got stronger and stronger and was back on the TT podium in 2014 riding for the factory Honda team. He is still very much up front in road race results.

John Kocinski

After winning the 250cc World Championship in 1990, John Kocinski moved to the 500cc series the following year as part of the all-conquering Marlboro Yamaha team, and although he wasn’t quite as successful, he finished third overall in 1992 and 1994 the latter with Cagiva, which he had joined midway through the 1993 season. However, the Italian manufacturer withdrew from racing at the end of 1994 and Kocinski retired to focus on becoming a professional water skier.
In early 1996, however, he was lured out of retirement by Ducati, which signed him to replace Carl Fogarty in the World Superbike Championship. The American nearly won the title on his first attempt, despite falling out with Ducati during the year, and finished third overall with five wins. He then joined the factory Castrol Honda team in 1997 and his comeback was perfect as he won the title with nine wins and seven podiums, defeating Fogarty who, ironically, had replaced him at Ducati.

Max Biagi

Max Biaggi participated in the Grand Prix Motorcycle World Championship from 1992 to 2005, winning four consecutive 250cc World Championships between 1994 and 1997 and finishing second in the 500cc/MotoGP class no less than three times, in 1998, 2001 and 2002. But he lost his ride for the 2006 season and although he tried to strike a deal with Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki, his efforts proved futile and in January 2006 he announced that he would not participate in the 2006 MotoGP season.
An attempt to enter the World Superbike series also failed and he subsequently took a break from racing. However, in September 2006 it was announced that he would ride for Alstara Corona Suzuki in WSB in 2007, and although he was a year away from racing, he won for the first time in Qatar, becoming the only rider ever to win his first Superbike race and his first race in the 500cc Grand Prix. He finished the year third overall, but won the title in 2010, becoming Aprilia’s and Italy’s first World Superbike Champion, and again in 2012 before retiring at the age of 41.

Eddie Lawson

Four-time 500cc World Champion Eddie Lawson shocked the paddock when he left Marlboro Yamaha to join Cagiva in 1991, and given that the Italian manufacturer had managed just one podium in over a decade of Grand Prix competition, many thought it was a move from the Californian to secure a big payday before his retirement.
Lawson wasn’t just a racer, he made the Cagiva a front-runner, and after two podiums in 1991, his best moment came at the 1992 Hungarian Grand Prix when a smart tire choice paid off. The race began in the wet, but Lawson opted for an intermediate front and a cut-slick rear, although his decision appeared to be wrong as he fell backwards through the field, at one point more than a minute behind the race leader. Conditions began to change, however, and as the course dried Lawson’s tires came into their own and he began to climb up the leaderboard.
He cut past those in front of him and after passing Kevin Schwantz, he quickly passed Wayne Rainey and Randy Mamola to leave only Doug Chandler in front of him. Many drivers came into the pits to change tires, but Lawson passed Chandler with two laps to go and eventually won by over 14 seconds. It was Cagiva’s first 500cc win and Lawson’s 31st and last in a brilliant career.

Ralf Waldmann

The 2000 250cc World Championship was a year-long battle between Olivier Jacque and his Chesterfield Tech 3 teammate Shinya Nakano that went down to the last lap of the final race, but even more remarkable was Ralf Waldmann’s last lap victory at this year’s British GP .
The race started dry, but with rain not too far away, tire choice was a gamble. With just 13 laps to go, Waldmann’s choice of rain tires looked disastrous as he was 90 seconds behind leader Jacque and just one corner away from being lapped, but then a lifeline was thrown to him; rain began to fall.
Waldmann was suddenly over five seconds a lap faster than his French rival and closing up, but as they went into their final lap the gap was still eight seconds and certainly too big to bridge. Waldmann, however, was getting faster and faster, although Jacque was still leading going into the final corner.
Ralf was not to be denied, however, and with the superior grip, he accelerated past on the run to the line to take his 20th and final GP win and leave Jacque almost speechless.

Although he is only 28 years old, Marc Marquez is widely regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. The stats certainly back that up with eight world titles, 82 wins and 134 podiums to his name, with the last two numbers being the fourth and sixth highest of all time, respectively. And since he missed the entire 2020 season, those numbers could have been even better.
But it’s not just the wins and podiums that stand out; it’s the way he’s achieved them that sets him apart from everyone else, especially in the MotoGP class, where he’s won six of the eight available titles since 2013. The way he rides his Repsol Honda RC213V is simply breathtaking, seemingly literally at every turn.
This has been his undoing many times in the past, especially in practice and qualifying, but where a normal rider would have disappeared into the gravel, Marquez has performed incredible feats to always come back from disaster – except most recently in Jerez year, where he suffered a broken arm that kept him out for the season but could have also ended his illustrious career.
One of only four riders to have won world championships in three different categories (the others being Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Valentino Rossi), no comeback was more anticipated in the MotoGP world than for him to make his 14th appearance in the world Championship arena in 2021 we look at some of his finest moments – picking ten is no easy task as there were so many!!!

2008 – British Grand Prix, Donington Park

It was a baby-faced Marquez (has that changed?!) who made his first appearance in the World Championship in 2008, competing in the 125cc class on a Repsol-backed KTM with the Spanish petroleum giant already behind him, which was an early indication of the talent he possessed.
The number 93 machine and its rider had a steady start to their season, but points were scored at the fourth round in China, and a first top ten result came just three rounds later in Catalunya. However, the first undoubted sign of what lay ahead came a round later at Donington Park.
Marquez, riding at the Leicestershire venue for the first time, qualified seventh and while Scott Redding took the win – his first in the class and at the time the youngest in GP history – Marquez took his first GP podium in third. Two more top-six finishes followed and he ended his first World Championship year in a solid 13th place overall.

Marc Marquez

2010 – Italian Grand Prix, Mugello

After improving to eighth in 2009, Marquez moved to Derbi in 2010 and didn’t have to wait long for his first Grand Prix win. The then 17-year-old finished sixth in qualifying but battled for victory from the start in the Tuscan hills of Mugello.
In fact, it was a typical 125cc race with four riders – Marquez, Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro and Nicolas Terol – holding their own at the front of the field. Smith and Marquez led for the most part across the finish line, but it was still anyone’s game on the 20th and final lap.
Marquez, however, had led from lap 18 and continued to do so on the final lap and especially on the long straight to the checkered flag. His winning margin was just 0.039 seconds, with only 0.161 seconds covering the top 4! But it sparked a winning habit with his race tactics for the rest of the season, showing calm and maturity for the whole task ahead, no easy task in the hectic world of 125s.

2010 – Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril.

After his first GP win, Marquez promptly went on to win the next four, becoming the first rider since Rossi in 1997 to win five 125cc races in a row. Low finishes at the Czech Republic and U.S. races, however, dropped him from first to third overall, but he responded in excellent fashion, winning five of the next races.
His victory at Estoril, the penultimate round of the 17-race calendar, stood out not only for his skill but also for his determination. The race was red-flagged when Marquez finished second behind main championship rival Terol, but when Marquez returned to the grid for the second race, Marquez crashed on the practice lap and had to return to the pits for hasty repairs.
He didn’t make it out of the pit lane in time and had to start the race from the back of the grid. Undeterred, he simply raced through the field and overtook the entire 30-strong field to win the race and extend his lead ahead of the final race in Valencia. With fourth place, he clinched his first world title, his lead over Terol eventually amounting to 14 points

2011 – Australian Grand Prix, Phillip Island

After winning the 125cc world title, Marquez immediately moved up to the Moto2 category in 2011, riding for the one-man Monlau Competition team, once again led by former world champion Emilio Alzamora and once again largely funded by Repsol.
Two retirements and a 21st place finish in the first three rounds seemed to have slowed his rapid rise, but the 18-year-old quickly dispelled that myth and in the next 11 rounds he took seven wins and four seconds to close the gap on championship leader Stefan Bradl from 82 points to just six!
Finishing second in Malaysia, he was able to take the championship lead for the first time, but at Phillip Island, Australia, he was found guilty of irresponsible driving in qualifying and subsequently received a one-minute penalty on his qualifying time. This meant he had to start the race again from the back of the grid, but he once again fought his way through the field and this time finished the race in third place.

Marc Marquez at MotoGP

2012 – Valencia Grand Prix, Valencia

Despite rumours linking him to the MotoGP class, Marquez stayed in Moto2 in 2012, where he was involved in a year-long battle for the title with compatriot Pol Espargaro, who ironically is his teammate in 2021.
Eight wins came before the race at Phillip Island, Australia, and third place allowed him to take his second world title with one round to go and before his highly anticipated move to Repsol Honda and MotoGP in 2013.
His ninth and final win of the season came at the final race in Valencia, where he had to start from 33rd on the grid. His race performance saw him pass an astonishing 20 riders in the first three corners alone and he won the race by 1.2 seconds to complete one of the best comebacks of all time. His nine wins this season remain the highest ever in the Moto2 class.

2013 – American Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americas.

With two world titles in three years, Marquez made the expected move to MotoGP and the Repsol Honda team in 2013, although he had big boots to fill when he replaced the retiring Casey Stoner, the Australian who had won the title for the team in 2011.
From the beginning, however, Marquez gave a dazzling display of talent, aggression and confidence, but it was not without problems, as he crashed no less than 15 times, fortunately escaping injury each time.
This problem has remained a feature of his career since then, but back in 2013, and after finishing third in the opening race in Qatar, he took pole for the second round at the Circuit of Americas, the youngest rider ever to achieve such a feat. He took the win from teammate Dani Pedrosa and also became the youngest race winner ever in the class at the age of 20 years and 63 days.
Records would continue to fall and by the end of the season, Marquez had six wins, six seconds and four thirds to his credit and took the title by four points over Jorge Lorenzo. It made him the youngest ever MotoGP World Champion and the first since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win on his debut.

2014 – Catalunya Grand Prix, Catalonia.

If 2013 was good for Marquez, 2014 was even better; In fact, the first half of the season was simply sensational – ten starts, ten wins! It led to many people asking if he could go through the season unbeaten, but although that didn’t happen, he easily won the world title for the second year in a row.
The margin was much wider this time as he beat Rossi by a commanding 67 points to take the title with three rounds to go, and more records were broken, including the ten straight wins early in the season and a year total of 13, surpassing the previous best-of-12 set by Mick Doohan.
One of the highlights was his home GP at Catalunya, where he went head-to-head with Rossi and teammate Dani Pedrosa in the 25 laps. It looked like the latter would come out on top, but an exciting and daring overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap gave Marquez the win. And more history was made with brother Alex’s victory in Moto3 as they became the first brothers to win a Grand Prix on the same day.

2017 – Valencia Grand Prix, Valencia

Marquez wasn’t quite as dominant over the next couple of seasons, handing his title to Jorge Lorenzo in 2015 before reclaiming it in 2016, and although his win tally didn’t reach double digits in 2017, the Honda wasn’t as good in recent seasons. a fourth MotoGP crown was added to his ever-growing collection.
Meanwhile, Marquez was as well known for his miraculous front-end slides and parries as he was for his victories, somehow regularly bringing the bike back from beyond the abyss when many would have been on the ground. Some of his lean angles had never been seen before and had to be seen to be believed!
Nowhere was this more evident than at the season finale in Valencia, where he needed five points to beat Andrea Dovizioso for the title. In typical Marquez fashion, 11th place was never in the equation and it was all about winning from the start.
He was in second place for most of the race, trailing Johann Zarco, but went to the front with seven laps to go, but had a monumental slide on the next lap when he flipped into high-speed turn one. The front end buckled and slid seemingly forever as he used his elbow and slid steadily across the asphalt to pick the bike back up and avoid a crash.
It dropped him down the order, but he regrouped for third place and another podium, but it was definitely a crash that never happened. 27 crashes during the season, however, further underscored the knife-edge he was constantly on, whether in free practice, qualifying or in a race situation.

2019 – German Grand Prix, Sachsenring

Nowhere did Marquez excel more than at the super-tight Sachsenring in Germany, where the counter-clockwise layout mirrors his preferred left-handed dirt track practice.
At 2.2 miles, the Sachsenring is the shortest track on the GP calendar, but Marquez enjoyed it from the start to score his first win of his 2010 125cc World Championship season.
From that moment on, he never looked back for two more wins in 2011 and 2012, this time on the Suter in Moto 2. It was a similar story in MotoGP, where an astonishing six consecutive victories were achieved between 2013 and 2018.
He wasn’t done there either and dominated the action in 2019, taking pole position and then leading the entire race from the lights to the checkered flag. It was his tenth consecutive victory at this venue and quite simply a remarkable achievement.

Marc Marquez at MotoGP

2019 – Thai Grand Prix, Buriram

Marquez failed to finish only one of the 19 races in 2019 and in the other 18 he not only finished on the podium in all of them (the most podiums ever in a season), he finished either first or second – 12 wins and six the second place finishes.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however, and Marquez had a significant weakness in his shoulder that kept dislocating, despite having surgery on the problematic joint last winter. A huge high sider in Thailand didn’t damage his shoulder but shattered and injured him elsewhere, but he still managed to win.
Two rounds later in Malaysia he had another huge high sider in practice, this time injuring his other shoulder. He showed tremendous resilience again, finishing second and ending the season with a win in Valencia.
It all meant he took the MotoGP title again – his fourth in a row and his sixth overall – with four rounds to go and a record win total of 420 points and a record lead at the end of the year a staggering 151 points!
Let’s hope that when he returns, hopefully in Portimao in April, he demonstrates the turn of speed and daring to which we have all become so accustomed.

Nearly forty years after his untimely death, Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood is still considered by many to be the greatest motorcycle racer of all time, someone who could win on any bike at any track at any age, and do so with both natural talent and flair in abundance.
Hailwood won his first world title at the age of 21 and by the time he retired in 1967, aged just 27, he had amassed eight more titles and 76 Grand Prix victories, the latter a figure that even today is the fifth-highest all time. His record of 14 TT victories is also the fifth highest in solo wins around the Mountain Course.
It’s true that Hailwood’s early career was funded by his millionaire father Stan, but it was “Mike the Bike,” as he was affectionately known, who turned on the throttle and money only got him so far, it was his skills and talent the rest.
He fought with and beat some of the biggest names in the sport, including Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Bill Ivy and Gary Hocking, and while picking ten of the greatest achievements is no easy task given his glittering resume, here are some of his career highlights.

1959 British Championship

Hailwood emerged on the scene in 1957 as a fresh-faced 17-year-old, his first race coming at Oulton Park on a 125cc MV. He made his TT debut the following year, finishing a brilliant third in the 250cc race held at the 10.97-mile Clypse Course, and by now he was already dominating the short track scene.
Hailwood won the 125cc, 250cc and 350cc British Championships in 1958, but then went one better in 1959 when he also won the 500cc title to make it a clean sweep of the British Solo Championships. He repeated the feat in 1960 when, still only 20 years old, he also became a firm contender in the World Championships.

1959 125cc Ulster Grand Prix – first Grand Prix win.

As seen in the British Championships, Hailwood’s versatility was already evident and in 1959 he also contested all four solo World Championship classes on a variety of machines including a 125cc Ducati, a 250cc Mondial, a 350cc AJS and a 500cc Manx Norton.
Fifth place was taken on the Mondial in the 250cc World Championship, but despite his lanky body, it was the 125cc Ducati that gave him his best results that year, finishing a good third overall in the World Championship.
The crowning moment came at the Ulster Grand Prix when he went head to head with the MZ of Gary Hocking. It was so close that the two were credited with an identical time on the second lap, but Mike eventually prevailed on the ninth of 10 laps. With his head down, he built a winning margin of 7 seconds over Hocking, giving him his first of 76 Grand Prix victories.

1961 Isle of Man TT – first hat trick

Throughout 1960, Hailwood’s career continued to build and he arrived at the 1961 Isle of Man TT as one of the main contenders for honors, particularly in the smaller categories where he had secured factory Honda bikes for the 125cc and 250cc races. All of the classes are now back on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
Although Hailwood completed only one practice lap on the 125cc machine, he broke the lap record on the first lap, did the same on the second, and his first TT win duly came by a margin of 7.4 seconds over another Honda rider, Luigi Taveri.

The 250cc race followed later in the day and it looked like Mike would have to give second best to fellow Honda rider Bob McIntyre, who broke the lap record and led by over 30 seconds going into the final lap. However, his engine stalled at Sulby, which put Mike in the lead, and he emerged the clear winner to complete the double.
Hailwood had set his sights on winning four TTs, but those dreams ended cruelly in the Junior when his AJS expired on the final lap when he led by more than two minutes. Victory number three came in Senior, however, when he took the lead after Hocking had problems with the MV Agusta, becoming the first man ever to win three TTs in a week.

Mike Hailwood

1962 – first 500cc World Championship

After the success of the 1961 TT, Hailwood took three more 250cc Grand Prix victories to win the first of his nine world titles, and his enthusiasm and skills drew the attention of Count Domenico Agusta, who offered him 350cc and 500cc MV Agusta for the Italian Grand Prix of Monza. Mike won the 500cc race and finished second behind Hocking in the 350cc race. Based on the results, he secured a contract with one of the best racing factories in the world.
Hocking would remain the leading rider and Mike found it difficult at first, finding the complicated four-cylinder MVs more difficult and temperamental than the simpler singles he had ridden before. The TT proved to be a turning point, however, after he edged out teammate Hocking by just 5.6 seconds in a thrilling junior race.
Hocking abruptly retired from racing after the TT, leaving Mike with the responsibility of winning races for MV Agusta, but he did not disappoint. He immediately made it five wins in a row to win his first ever 500cc World Championship, and also finished third in the 350cc standings. The MV Agusta was undoubtedly the bike to have, and Mike would win four 500cc titles in a row between 1962 and 1965.

1965 Senior TT

Mike and the MV Agusta dominated the 500cc World Championship and won Grand Prix races throughout Europe during those four years, but one race that stands out is the 1965 Senior TT; In fact, it is still considered by many to be his most outstanding ride.
The combination of Mike and the MV was expected to win the 1965 Senior, especially with new teammate Giacomo Agostini making his TT debut and viewing it very much as a learning year. Conditions for the six-lap race were far from perfect, with rain at various points on the track and Agostini failing at Sarah’s Cottage, giving Mike a lead of more than two minutes over Derek Woodman at the end of the second lap.
However, on the third lap, Mike also crashed at Sarah’s Cottage, the MV suffering a broken windshield, damaged exhaust and bent handlebars, while Mike himself suffered numerous cuts and bruises. Undeterred, he picked up the bike and launched it down the hill with a bumper start before making a U-turn in the middle of the road and rejoining the race, which, remarkably, he continued to lead.
A long pit stop got rider and machine back in order as best they could, but Mike still led, and despite having to pit again at the end of lap five with a broken throttle cable, he fought on to win one of his best TT and Grand to win a prize.

1966-67 – the Honda years

Count Agusta wanted Hailwood to stay with MV for a fifth consecutive season in 1966, but Honda was keen to sign him and bolster its already impressive team of Jim Redman, Luigi Taveri and Ralph Bryans. Mike subsequently signed for the Japanese giant with the plan that Redman would go all out for the 500 cc title on Honda’s new machine and Hailwood would compete in the 250 cc and 350 cc World Championships.
Redman won the first two 500cc races, but then crashed in Belgium, breaking his arm and retiring from the race shortly after. Mike took over the 500cc ride and competed in the 250cc, 350cc and 500cc races at every Grand Prix for the next two seasons. With all races lasting longer than an hour, it was a remarkable achievement.
In his two years with Honda in 1966 and 1967, Mike won an astonishing 35 Grand Prix races in the three categories despite stiff competition, taking the 250cc and 350cc titles each year, with the 1967 250cc championship arguably the hardest fought as he tied points with Phil Read at the end of the year, both riders having the same number of wins and second places. He also tied points with Agostini for that year’s 500cc crown, but while the 250cc title went in his favour, after the combined Grands Prix times were set, the two riders did not finish the 500cc and Hailwood and Honda both had to give up year to Agostini and MV.

1967 Senior TT

One of Hailwood’s 35 wins in 1966 and 1967 came during the 1967 Senior TT after a titanic battle with Agostini, still considered by many to be one of the greatest TT races of all time.
The Honda was fast but handled poorly, making riding on the Mountain Course a tough job, but Hailwood literally grabbed it by the scruff of the neck as he led the fight against Agostini’s far handier MV.

The Italian set a new all-time lap record on the first lap and led Mike by 12 seconds, but the tide was turned the second time around when Mike went even faster at 108.77 mph – a lap record that stood for eight years – to close the gap to eight seconds. The gap had shrunk to two seconds when both drivers pitted at the end of lap three, Mike grabbing a hammer to knock a loose twist grip back into place.
Agostini extended his lead to 12 seconds again on the fourth lap, but as Mike sped past the grandstand to start his sixth and final lap, there was no sign of Ago – the chain had come loose at Windy Corner and his race was over. Mike raced to his 12th TT win and his second hat trick, but when Honda pulled out at the end of the season, Mike’s full-time racing career came to an end.

1978 Formula One TT

If the 1967 Senior was one of the greatest races of all time, then the 1978 Formula One TT was one of Mike’s greatest rides of all time as he returned to the TT after 11 years of retirement to defy all odds and win the Mountain Course once again. During those 11 years, Mike occasionally competed in motorcycle races such as the Daytona 200, but focused primarily on four wheels, where he competed in 29 Formula One Grand Prix and finished on the podium twice.
Bikes remained his love, however, and he hatched a plan to return to the TT in 1978 despite a long layoff and problems with a badly broken leg suffered at the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. The island was full for Hailwood’s return, but few really believed he would be competitive after so long, while his Ducati 900SS was also not considered the best bike for Formula One racing.
However, the now 38-year-old was more than competitive and led by nine seconds over Tom Herron at the end of the first lap. Aided by his first-ever lap at over 180 km/h on the Mountain Course, he steadily extended his lead and the fairytale return was completed when he took his 13th TT win by almost two minutes from John Williams. It was perhaps his most remarkable TT victory and one that many will remember forever.

1979 Senior TT

Having fully regained the TT bug, Hailwood returned a year later armed with a new Ducati and a 500cc RG Suzuki, the two-stroke a far cry from anything he had ridden before.
The Ducati was not as competitive as the year before and Mike had to settle for fifth place, but the factory Suzuki, similar to the one Barry Sheene rode in the 500cc World Championship this year, was certainly up to the task at hand.
Mick Grant led the first lap despite riding with a broken pelvis suffered in the previous North West 200, with Mike upping his pace on third and second around Hailwood, and his first sub-20-minute lap on the Mountain Course gave him the lead.
Mike picked up the pace again on lap three at 114.02 mph and his lead over Alex George was now 13 seconds. Both Grant and George subsequently retired and Mike took his 14th – and what would be his last – TT win by more than two minutes with Tony Rutter second and Dennis Ireland third.

Classic TT of 1979

Mike had one more shot at a TT win, and that would be the 1979 Classic TT, which would prove to be his last TT race once and for all. The combination of Mike and the 500cc Suzuki was up against a horde of challenges, including the similarly mounted Mick Grant and Honda’s Alex George of Britain, who had won the Formula One race earlier in the week.
It would once again prove to be one of the greatest TT races of all time, and the Classic certainly lived up to its title. George on the bigger 1000cc Honda led by nine seconds at the end of the first lap, but Mike halved the gap the second time around to put himself well in contention.
Amazingly, the duo posted identical 184.14 mph laps on the third lap to maintain the status quo, but by the end of the fourth lap, Mike had narrowed the gap to 3.4 seconds. He further reduced the gap on the fifth lap and at Ramsey, he led by 1.4 seconds, although George reduced that to 0.8 seconds as they started their sixth and final lap.
At Ballaugh, halfway around the lap, Mike had pulled away slightly and led by two seconds, but George responded and at Ramsey, there were only 0.4 seconds between them. The higher-displacement Honda had the edge, however, and George took the lead in the bungalow, eventually winning by 3.4 seconds.
Amazingly, it was the first time Mike had finished second in a TT race and he announced afterwards that his TT career was definitely over this time and that he had retired from racing for good. Hailwood’s career brought him 76 Grand Prix wins, 112 Grand Prix podium finishes, 14 Isle of Man TT wins and ten World Championships.
Sadly, Mike and his daughter Michelle were killed in a road accident less than two years later after a truck made an illegal U-turn and collided with their car. Shortly after his death, part of the TT Mountain Course was named after him, Hailwood’s Rise led to Hailwood’s Height, and the FIM named him a Grand Prix Legend in 2000.

who is the greatest f1 driver of all time?

The Formula 1 careers of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher compared, including championships, victories, pole positions, points and more.
In the 2020 Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton checks off several of Michael Schumacher’s long-standing records. Some records that we thought would never be beaten fell one by one into the hands of the Brit.
Schumacher’s seven world championships were considered untouchable. At the turn of the last decade, it was his German compatriot Sebastian Vettel who seemed most likely to come close with a string of four in a row. But Lewis Hamilton has won every title since Vettel’s last in 2013.
So, how does Lewis Hamilton stack up against Michael Schumacher? The two drivers raced against each other for just three seasons. Schumacher returned the year before Hamilton’s debut, but returned from 2010 to 2012. And when he left Mercedes, he made way for Hamilton himself.
We looked at how they fared in terms of championship wins, pole positions and points. But in our in-depth video, we went even further. We applied different scoring systems to their races, looked at the margin by which they take pole position, and compared their performances to those of their teammates.

Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher Formula 1 comparison

It’s difficult to compare Hamilton and Schumacher because they raced at very different times. While both dominated the sport for their respective periods, it’s hard to say who is the best because many factors come into play.
For example, we can’t compare their overall point totals because there are different scoring systems in play in 2021 than in the 1990s. Therefore, we extrapolated the results of both drivers and applied both scoring systems from 1991 and 2021.
We looked at how many pole positions each driver achieved, but to see who was the most dominant, we looked at the distance they achieved pole. This could tell us if the car they are driving is the most dominant, or if it is their driving ability.
Finally, we compared the performance of their teammates. In Formula 1, they say that your number one rival is your teammate because you compete in the same machinery. For this reason, we looked at Hamilton and Schumacher’s championship results and compared them to their teammates.

Take a look at the data below and decide for yourself who is the greatest.

Michael Schumacher Lewis Hamilton
World Championship 7 7
Grand Prix victories 91 95
Podiums 165 155
Pole positions 68 98
1991 System points 1,335 (4.4 per race) 1,417 (5.3 per race)
2021 System points 3,967 (13 per race) 4,172 (15.6 per race)
Average pole margin 0,308 s 0,277 s
Average championship position 3 2
Average teammate championship position 5 4
Average distance to a teammate in the championship -1.7 positions -2 positions

Comparison of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher
Data until the end of the 2020 F1 season

Is it possible to compare Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher?

Although we may have given some insight into the two drivers, it is ultimately impossible to decide who is the best. Both drivers could only race with the cars on the track in front of them, and that’s what they excelled at. But at the moment, numbers alone are not enough to directly determine the greatest.

F1 is a sport where elite drivers compete to see who is the best among them. The twenty drivers on the grid are more often than not the best drivers in the sport.
Of those twenty, however, only a handful win races and even fewer win the title. All of these drivers are talented; they can all drive an F1 car to the limit and beyond, but only a tiny fraction of them are considered legends.
So, what are the qualities that make legends stand out? What are the qualities that make these precious few drivers F1 legends? With that in mind, here’s a look at the top three qualities that make a driver an F1 legend. These are qualities that go beyond being exceptionally fast over a lap in an F1 car.
Without further ado, let’s start:

3. A ruthless approach to racing.

One of the key aspects that you often find in an elite driver is that they are nobody’s best friend. When it comes to racing, winning is their priority, with everything else coming second.
For this reason, it is well known that every elite driver, be it, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton, races hard. They don’t give an inch to any of their competitors when it comes to racing.
This ruthless approach is evident in several championship battles we have seen over the years. Be it between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in 2021 or even in the past between Michael Schumacher and Mika Häkkinen in the late 1990s, the top drivers, even if they have an innate respect for each other, are not each other’s best friends on the track or off it.

2. Mental strength to block out the outside noise.

It’s fair to say that media plays a crucial role in sports. But at the same time, it’s not a stretch to say that media exercise a few freedoms here and there.
They might tilt the narrative in favor of one driver or another. More importantly, the media is notorious for spreading fake news and misquoting drivers’ statements.
F1 drivers are inundated with media duties before the Grand Prix weekend even begins. So what has been said by them or about them in the press can be somewhat distracting. On top of that, hearing false rumors and negative things about yourself in the media can also be mentally draining.

However, as an F1 driver, you have to put up with that and block as nothing but noise.
Probably one of the biggest examples of blocking outside noise was what Max Verstappen did in the final race of the 2021 season. With several factions of the media questioning his integrity as a driver and his driving standards (with suggestions that he intentionally collided with Lewis Hamilton), the Red Bull driver drove a sensational lap to secure pole position for Hamilton.
As a 24-year-old, it would have been difficult to block the negative press he received before the final race of the season. Nevertheless, when it came time to perform, Verstappen did exactly what was asked of him.

1. Ability to identify the best F1 teams.

Arguably the most important attribute for any F1 driver is his ability to identify the teams that are best positioned to succeed in the near future.
F1 is in many ways a transitional sport. There were times when McLaren dominated the sport, and then there were times when Ferrari did. But in the last decade, Mercedes and Red Bull have won all the gold. As a driver, you need a special ability to recognize which team is going to be successful.
One of the reasons Fernando Alonso has two titles but Lewis Hamilton has seven is precisely that. While Alonso turned down the opportunity to drive for Red Bull in 2008 because he missed years of driving a competitive machine, Hamilton moved to Mercedes and won seven titles.
In a sport where the car under a driver is critical to whether they compete for wins or are a tail-ender, the ability to identify the best teams on the grid and make them their home is essentially what guarantees success. And fundamentally, it’s that success that separates a good driver from a legend.

Jorge Lorenzo entered the MotoGP class in 2008 with the factory Yamaha team after winning back-to-back Moto2 World Championships with Fortuna Aprilia. The Spaniard finished fourth in his first season, second in his second, and won his first MotoGP World Championship in 2010 – his third MotoGP season.
To date, Jorge Lorenzo has won two more MotoGP championships, increasing his total tally to five (by the end of the 2018 season). The 31-year-old has ridden in more than 250 races, earning more than 150 podiums and nearly 70 race wins. In his 11-year stint, Jorge Lorenzo gave us some truly breathtaking racing action, and in this article, we take a closer look at the top 6 races of Jorge Lorenzo’s MotoGP career.

6. 2009 Catalunya

The 2009 Catalunya Motorcycle Grand Prix is something Lorenzo will remember for a long time, despite finishing the race in second place. The Spaniard, who was still a rookie that year, started the race from pole position ahead of his teammate Valentino Rossi.
The duo on Yamaha bikes battled each other throughout the race, but the perfect moment came on the last lap of the race. Rossi overtook Lorenzo in the final corner to take a race win, with Lorenzo narrowly missing out by less than 0.1 seconds. This race showed the world a glimpse of Lorenzo’s potential in the MotoGP class.

5. 2012 Brno

The 2012 Czech Republic Motorcycle Grand Prix was another occasion where Lorenzo’s brilliant riding throughout the race did not guarantee him a race win.
Jorge Lorenzo started the race from pole position, while the eventual race winner Pedrosa started third. The duo from Spain battled for the lead throughout the race, with Lorenzo leading his compatriot on the final lap. However, Pedrosa overtook stunningly in the final corner of the race to take an amazing race win, much to the delight of the crowd.
Lorenzo lost to Pedroso by a slim margin of 0.178 seconds, but his racing class, which was on display in this race, continued in other races and ensured that he would finish the 2012 MotoGP season in first place with 350 points.

4. 2018 Catalunya

The 2018 race at the Circuit de Catalunya had a better ending for Lorenzo than in 2009 when he finished the race on the top step of the podium.
Jorge Lorenzo, riding for Ducati, started the race from pole position ahead of Marc Marquez and his teammate Andrea Dovizioso. The Spaniard started the race strongly and engaged in a healthy battle with Honda’s Marquez for most of the race. Lorenzo finally put the hammer down in the closing stages of the Grand Prix, crossing the checkered flag first with a healthy lead of over four seconds.
This was the 31-year-old’s second consecutive win of the 2018 season and marks his first consecutive victories since 2016.

3. Valencia 2015

The 2015 Valencian Community Motorcycle Grand Prix decided the MotoGP World Championship in favour of Jorge Lorenzo.
The Spaniard started the race from pole position, while his World Championship rival Valentino Rossi started from the back of the grid thanks to a penalty. Lorenzo had a fantastic start and led the race from start to finish despite the enormous pressure from the Honda riders – Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo finished less than 0.7 seconds ahead of the duo and secured the race win. Despite his valiant efforts, Rossi could finish no higher than fourth, ensuring Lorenzo would go on to win his third MotoGP world title.

2. 2018 Austria

Jorge Lorenzo started the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in third place, while Marquez and Dovizioso started the race from first and second respectively. However, the Spaniard had a brilliant start and led the field immediately after turn one.
The Spanish duo and Italian Andrea Dovizioso soon built up a lead and battled for the lead for most of the race. With just two laps to go, Lorenzo overtook Marquez and defended brilliantly to take his third win of the 2018 MotoGP season. He beat his compatriot by less than 0.2 seconds, while Andrea Dovizioso finished third, about 1.6 seconds behind his teammate.
Moreover, this race is one of the most memorable races of the 2018 season, along with Assen and Aragon.

1. 2016 Mugello

The 2016 Italian Grand Prix, considered by many to be one of the most exciting motorcycle races since the MotoGP era began in 2002, saw an epic finish as Jorge Lorenzo crossed the finish line ahead of his Spanish adversary Marc Marquez by a meager margin of 0.019 seconds.
With polesitter Rossi retiring early in the Grand Prix, Marquez and Lorenzo battled for the lead for most of the race, with Marquez leading Lorenzo coming out of the final corner of the race. However. Lorenzo pulled out of the slipstream in front of the Honda machine on the final straight to take a memorable race win, something that will be cherished by fans for years to come.