The Top 10 MotoGP Racers Of All Time Source:

Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing, also known as the MotoGP World Championship, has produced some memorable champions since it began in 1949. The motorcycle drivers race purpose-built bikes with four-stroke engines that are not available for purchase by the general public, and they race them across 18 circuits in 13 different countries, including the United States, Italy and Australia, to name only a few. It is a grueling and difficult race system that requires single-minded focus and dedication on the part of the racers. Yet over the more than 60 years that MotoGP has existed, a few premier riders have risen to the top of the sport. Here is a list of the 10 greatest MotoGP racers of all time.

10. Kenny Roberts

Motorcycle racer Kenny Roberts was the youngest person to have won a MotoGP premier class championship in his first year participating in the event. He was also the first American to win a world title in the 500cc motorcycle championship. From 1978 to 1980, Kenny Roberts won three MotoGP titles. But it was not just the trophies and titles that he racked up that made Kenny Roberts a motorcycle racing star. His riding style was very influential and made him one of the greatest rider of all time. He was the first riders to pull off the cornering method of hanging off the bike with his knees extended, which lead to major changes in how the motorcycles were ridden in grand prix races. Source:

9. Marc Márquez

He’s still young at age 22, but Spanish motorcycle racer Marc Marquez has already made an indelible impression on the sport. Turning professional in 2010 at age 17, Marc Marquez won the MotoGP title that year, followed by another title in 2012, and two back-to-back premier class MotoGP titles in his first two years as a professional racer, making him the youngest ever to accomplish that many wins. In the 2014 MotoGP season, Marc Marquez went on to win the first nine grand prix events of the season. Many observers of the sport say that Marc Marquez could end up as the most decorated and accomplished MotoGP rider of all time if he continues on at his current clip. Indeed, at age 22, he has many years of racing ahead of him, and who knows what Marc Marquez may accomplish. Source:

8. John Surtees

A great British racer in every respect, John Surtees dominated the sport of motorcycle racing during the 1950s. A four-time World Champion in the 500cc motorcycle category, John Surtees also won three titles in 350cc class—giving him a total of seven world titles in motorcycle racing. However, John Surtees was not just a motorcycle racer. He also raced cars and competed in Formula 1 grand prix races. In fact, he won the F1 World Championship in 1964, becoming the only person to have won world titles on both two- and four-wheeled vehicles. Not surprising that many people consider John Surtees the greatest racer in British history—whether motorcycles or cars. Source:

7. Mike Hailwood

“Mike The Bike,” as Hailwood was known, is the other British rider who challenges John Surtees in the debate for greatest racer of all time. Mike Hailwood dominated the sport of motorcycle racing between 1958 and 1967, winning a total of four world championships, and nine championships in different classes of motorcycles. Like John Surtees, Mike Hailwood transitioned from motorcycles to Formula 1 racing. However, any hope he had of becoming a F1 champion were dashed by his death in 1981 in a car crash. Ironically, Mike Hailwood did not die on the race track. He was killed driving to get fish and chips with his children when a truck made an illegal turn and collided with his car. Daughter Michelle, aged nine, was also killed in the accident. Mike Hailwood’s son David survived the accident. The truck driver who made the illegal turn was fined £100 for the incident. Source:

6. Michael Doohan

Australian rider Michael Doohan is considered one of the great motorcycle riders of all time. He won five back-to-back MotoGP titles from 1994 through 1998. Only Giacomo Agostini with eight titles and Valentino Rossi with seven have won more premier class MotoGP titles. Michael Doohan rode for the Honda race team throughout his career, and it proved to be a dominant era for Team Honda, and left a legacy which only a couple of riders have come close to matching. Michael Doohan was more than your typical motorcycle rider. He had a knack for setting up his bike and had a great insight into the 500cc class of motorcycles. Many people consider Michael Doohan to be a mechanic as much as a rider. Source:

5. Casey Stoner

He retired relatively young and only won two world championships, but Australian racer Casey Stoner is considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle drivers in history. A two-time MotoGP World Champion in 2007 and 2011, Casey Stoner was known for his ability to ride any motorcycle beyond its limits, producing wins on the inferior Ducati bike after both Honda and Yamaha had made major advancements in developing their motorcycles. Stoner was also known for having exceptional control of the motorcycles he drove, even at breakneck speeds. On May 17, 2012, at the French Grand Prix, Casey Stoner announced that he would retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season, saying that he no longer enjoyed competing in the sport. Many people felt that he retired too soon and could have accomplished more had he raced for a better team than Ducati. Source:

4. Wayne Rainey

Arguably the best American motorcycle racer of all time, Wayne Rainey dominated the sport in the late 1980s and early 1990s, winning the MotoGP World Championship three times and the Daytona 200 once. A calculating and deliberate rider, Wayne Rainey was praised for his smooth racing style and cool demeanor. Wayne Rainey likely could have won more championships if he was not in an accident in 1993 that ended his career. Wayne Rainey was leading in championship points during the 1993 MotoGP series when he crashed at the Italian Grand Prix in Misano, sliding into the gravel trap at high speed and breaking his spine against the raked surface designed as a safety feature for race cars. The crash left Wayne Rainey permanently paralyzed from the chest down. Source:

3. Jorge Lorenzo

MotoGP is arguably most popular in Spain, and in that country everyone knows the name Jorge Lorenzo. The 2010, 2012 and 2015 MotoGP World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo is like royalty in his native Spain. Riding for Team Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo, in 2012, became the first Spanish rider to win multiple premier class titles. And, with 61 career wins to his name, Jorge Lorenzo is fifth on the all-time wins list. And he is not even 30 years old. This phenomenally talented racer could end up as the best ever motorcycle racer when all is said and done with his career. Jorge Lorenzo began his professional racing career at age 15 and has been a sensation ever since. To date he is the most successful Spanish motorcycle rider of all time, with more to come. Source:

2. Valentino Rossi

Italian motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi is still racing today, and he is one of the most successful racers of all time, with nine Grand Prix World Championships under his belt—seven of which are in the highest premier class. He started his motorcycle career by winning two titles at the lower levels of MotoGP before moving into the higher premier class, where he won seven world titles in quick succession. Valentino Rossi has led the way in the current modern era of MotoGP, and is still going strong heading into the 2016 season. Valentino Rossi brought not only success but excitement, thrills and glamour to MotoGP, and is viewed by many people to be a rock star in the sport. In Italy, Valentino Rossi is one of the biggest athletes and celebrities. Source:

1. Giacomo Agostini

The greatest motorcycle race driver of all time is Italian Giacomo Agostini. Nobody has equaled his success in MotoGP. During his career from 1964 to 1977, Giacomo Agostini tallied 122 Grand Prix wins and 17 World Championship titles, most of them in the 500cc class of motorcycles. Although seven of his world title wins were in the 350cc class of bikes. Regardless, the 17 championships make Giacomo Agostini the most successful rider on two wheels ever. Indeed, his 122 grand prix wins is a record that will be hard to break for anyone. Today, Giacomo Agostini is a legend and ambassador for the sport of MotoGP. Source:
Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.