MotoGP is one of the most coveted events around the world. The game has seen some of the greats and today we are going to talk about the greatest riders to ever play the game.
MotoGP has produced some of the greatest riders of all time. The game was created in 1949 and Harold Daniell is the first motorcyclist to win the event in 1949.
Since then, we have seen some of the greats like Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi dominate the sport over the years.
The modern greats of the game are Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. The two won a total of 13 championships. Certainly, their rivalry made MotoGP a great event to watch out for.
There are bold claims that they are the greatest of all time, and in many ways this seems to be true. If you look up to both of them and their stats, no one comes close to their records in the game.
So it becomes very difficult to classify the best of all time when we compare players of different generations. However, we have to combine statistics and numbers to rank the top 10 greatest MotoGP riders of all time.
So without further delay, let’s move on and take a look at the top 10 greatest MotoGP riders of all time.
Top 10 greatest MotoGP riders of all time
10. Casey Stoner
Casey Stoner is a former professional motorcycle racer from Australia and a two-time MotoGP World Champion in 2007 and 2011.
Stone is known for his quality of pushing the motorcycle forward. He is one of Rossi’s top competitors. Stone’s first championship came in 2007 for riding Ducati and that remains Ducati’s only championship.
He continued his dominant form in 2008 and 2009, winning several races. However, his consistent form is not enough to challenge Valentino Rossi for the title.
During his short-lived career he has achieved a lot and the number clearly shows his dominance in the game. In a total of 115 starts, he took 38 wins and 69 podiums.
Stoner won a second world title for Repsol Honda in 2011. The championship was completely dominant with ten Grand Prix victories.
Prior to the 2012 French Grand Prix, Stoner stated that he would retire from Grand Prix racing at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Stoner was the champion of his home Australian Grand Prix six times in a row between 2007 and 2012.
Stoner’s end to his MotoGP career is certainly devastating, but he will remain one of the best MotoGP riders of all time. He is number 10 in our list of the 10 best MotoGP riders of all time.
9 Kenny Roberts
Kenny Roberts is a former American motorcycle racer and one of the legends of the game. In 1978 he became the first American to win a Grand Prix World Championship in motorcycle racing.
He was also a two-time champion of the A.M.A. Great National Championship. Roberts was one of the greatest races of all time, going head to head against his great rival Barry Sheene.
He won the 1979 British Grand Prix, becoming the driver with consecutive world titles. Many rated Kenny as one of the greats in motorsport.
Kenny changed the sport with his incredible performance of motorcycle racing. He was the first rider in the history of the sport to win the championship in his debut season.
He won three consecutive championships from 1978-1980. Roberts had reached the 200 three times and the Imola 200 twice. In the Laguna Seca 200, he even sensed victory six times.
All these statistics marked Roberts’ career and placed him on the list of the best MotoGP riders of all time. Roberts has 24 victories in 60 races he has played and had 44 podiums with a total score of 658.
The statistics clearly show how remarkable the rider was in his prime. In 2000, Roberts was named a Grand Prix Legend by the FIM.
Robert has left a legacy that will not be easily surpassed by future MotoGP riders. He is number 9 in our list of the 10 best MotoGP riders of all time.
8. Jorge Lorenzo
Lorenzo entered MotoGP in 2008 with the Yamaha team. In the very first season he proved his worth and became Rookie of the Year after finishing 4th in the championship in Portugal.
He spent a total of 9 seasons with Yamaha, which turned out to be great for Lorenzo as he won the championship three times in 2010, 2012 and 2015 and was runner-up in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Lorenzo challenged the Ducati factory team in 2017. He made it to Ducati in his first season with only 3 podiums and finished seventh in the championship in 2017.
Lorenzo has impressive statistics throughout his career. He collected 47 Grand Prix wins and 114 podiums in 203 starts.
His last move to Repsol Honda in 2019 proved to be ill-fated and Lorenzo retired at the end of the season. Lorenzo is number 8 in our list of the 10 best MotoGP riders of all time.
7. Eddie Lawson
Eddie Lawson is a former four-time Grand Prix world champion in motorcycle racing. His penchant for not crashing and consistently finishing in the points earned him the nickname “Steady Eddie.”
Lawson won three titles in a six-year stint for Team Agostini Yamaha. Lawson’s standout year is 1984, when he began winning regularly and won the prestigious 1984 World Championship.
In 1985, he won the prestigious Imola 200 preseason race. After two more successful stints with Yamaha in 1986 and 1988, Lawson shook the racing world by declaring his switch to their arch-rival Rothmans Honda.
His switch turned out to be a worthwhile bet when he won the title for Honda in 1989. He was also the first rider to win back-to-back championships from different manufacturers, later repeated by the great Valentino Rossi in 2004.
When he retired from Grand Prix racing in the early 1990s, he finished third in the perennial MotoGP class (then known as 500GP) with 31 victories. Lawson finished his career with 31 wins and 78 podium finishes in 127 starts.
6. Mike Hailwood
Mike Hailwood was a professional motorcycle racer and racing driver. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest riders of all time.
He competed in Grand Prix motorcycle world championships from 1958 to 1967 and in Formula 1 from 1963 to 1974. Hailwood was known as “Mike The Bike” because of his natural ability to ride the motorcycle with a variety of engine dimensions.
He was a nine-time World Champion and won 76 Grand Prix races during his career as a motorcycle racer, including 14 Isle of Man TT victories and four consecutive 500 cc World Championships.
Mike was one of the few riders to compete in both motorcycle and Formula One events. He successfully competed at the Grand Prix level in both motorcycle and auto racing.
Mike would have won more Grand Prix titles if he had never switched to auto racing. He died in 1981 along with his nine-year-old daughter in a road accident in Warwickshire, England.
5. John Surtees
John Surtees was a British Grand Prix motorcycle racer and Formula One driver. He was also a four-time 500cc motorcycle world champion. Surtees won the title in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – Formula One World Champion in 1964.
He lives to be the only person to have won world championships on both two and four wheels. He fought for some of the big names, including Norton and MV Augusta.
Surtees has a total of four world titles in the 500cc category and three titles in the 350cc category. Surely even Surtees could be proud of that. He won the premiere Motorsport Grand Prix title in 1956 and three consecutive titles from 1958 to 1960.
John Surtees is certainly one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time. He switched from motorcycles to cars in 1960 and made his full-time debut in Formula One in the BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone for Team Lotus in 1960.
He proved himself again and this time with the four-wheel drive. Surtees made an immediate impact with a second-place finish in only his second Formula One World Championship race, the 1960 British Grand Prix.
He founded the Surtees Racing Organization team, which competed as a constructor in Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 5000 from 1970 to 1978.
In 1996, Surtees was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. He is number 5 in our list of the top 10 MotoGP riders of all time.
4. Mick Doohan
Mick Doohan is a former Australian Grand Prix motorcycle racing champion. He won five consecutive 500cc world championships.
Doohan’s career lasted eleven seasons, during which he raced from 1989 to 2000 and won the championship five years in a row from 1994 to 1998.
The Australian international raced for Honda for more than 11 years starting in 1989. After his successes in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, he was given the opportunity to test a Formula One race car, the Williams FW19, at the Circuit de Catalunya (in Spain) in April 1998 .
However, he found the car uncontrollable and crashed into a guardrail. Doohan also loves bikes and has great knowledge and acumen for motorcycles.
1997 was Doohan’s most successful year, winning 12 of 15 races, finishing second in two others, and crashing in the final race of the season at his home GP while leading by more than six seconds.
From 137 starts, Doohan had amassed a total of 54 wins and 95 podiums. He is No. 4 in our list of the 10 best MotoGP riders of all time.
3. Marc Márquez
Marc Marquez is a Spanish Grand Prix solo motorcycle racer and is considered one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time. He had a total of eight Grand Prix world championships out of six in the premier class.
The Spanish international entered MotoGP like a hurricane in 2013 and won back-to-back titles. He has excelled in his own records, winning four consecutive championships from 2016 to 2019.
Marquez is known worldwide as the “Ant of Cervera” and in his hometown as “el tro de Cervera,” which means “Thunder of Cervera.” He is one of four riders after Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Valentino Rossi to have won world titles in three different categories.
Marquez introduced a new riding style and was often rated as one of the greatest innovators of modern MotoGP racing. He is also the youngest champion ever in MotoGP history.
Márquez became the first rider since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win the premier class title in his first season. He is also the youngest rider to win the overall title.
He has a total of 58 wins and 98 podiums in 141 starts. If Marquez continues to shine, he could be ranked as the greatest MotoGP racer of all time. He is No. 3 in our list of the 10 greatest MotoGP riders of all time.
2. Giacomo Agostini
Giacomo Agostini is a multiple world champion in Grand Prix road racing. During his career he collected a total of 122 Grand Prix victories and 15 world titles.
Of these, 68 victories and 8 titles went to the 500 cc class and the rest to the 350 cc class. He had a long career at 17 and because of his dominance, the AMA called him the greatest Grand Prix rider of all time.
His dominance in motorcycle racing is still unmatched. He won a total of eight titles in the premier class and seven in the 250cc class. He also won 10 races at the Isle of Man TT.
Agostini dropped a bombshell on the Grand Prix world when he declared that he would never race in the Isle of Man TT after the death of his close friend Gilberto Parlotti during the 1972 TT.
He investigated that the 37-mile course was risky for a world championship competition. However, at that time the TT was considered one of the most prestigious races in the motorcycle calendar.
The Italian international is a great emissary of the sport and is still committed to Grand Prix racing.
Agostini stunned the racing world when he announced he was leaving MV Agusta to ride for Yamaha in the 1974 season. In his first ride, he proved a worthy bet, winning the prestigious Daytona 200, the first American motorcycle race.
He also won the 350cc World Championship in 1974. From 1966 to 1972, he won seven consecutive Grand Prix titles. With 122 career wins in 223 starts and 159 podium finishes, he gives top riders a run for their money.
1. Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi is a professional Italian motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP world champion. Rossi is popularly regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle riders of all time.
He had a total of nine Grand Prix world championships, seven of which were in the premier class. Rossi is the only road racer in history to have participated in 400 or more Grand Prix.
He is a MotoGP winner with both Honda and Yamaha. He won the MotoGP World Championship in 2002 and 2003 with the Honda factory team, and extended his streak of consecutive championships by winning the titles in 2004 and 2005 after leaving Honda to join Yamaha.
Valentino Rossi is certainly the MotoGP GOAT and the statistics clearly show why he is the best of all time. Rossi’s statistics are so insane that even the great Giacomo Agostini can’t touch him.
He won five consecutive titles from 2001 to 2005, which shows the dominance of the player at the peak of his career. Rossi completely changed the game and is certainly a living legend.
He has 369 starts with 89 wins and 198 podium finishes. The records clearly make him the best than the others. Rossi has certainly made MotoGP a worthwhile event to watch.
Valentino Rossi is certainly our choice for the first place in the list of the 10 best MotoGP riders of all time.