Top 10 Best MotoGP Riders of All TimeSpanning from 125cc to the current MotoGP, Grand Prix Motorcycle Road Racing is a thrilling sport.
Honestly, I don't know where to start! The man is simply a maverick of the sport and doesn't get the credit he deserves for making MotoGP what it is today. I have never once heard Vale bad-mouth his bike or lose faith with the team. He just gets on with the job at hand and makes his fans proud. The consistency he has shown in riding at the top for 20 years is remarkable, and the racing ability/craft he possesses will never be seen again. If there is someone you want in a last lap battle, it's Valentino Rossi! I salute you, Valentino, for all the great memories you have given me and the millions of fans around the world. The 9 times world champion. The greatest of all time. The Doctor. Valentino Rossi.
Unlike the days when G. Agostini was racing, the sport today is much different, much more "advanced". Whether we are talking about the bikes themselves, the safety gear, or track improvements, etc., the riders require more skill to push these bikes to the limit. The amount of concentration and reaction times are more critical. These guys have to be bang on every lap, every race, year after year. Therefore, I would have to put my vote on Valentino Rossi, who has proven to win more titles at a higher level of racing in this sport's history.
Marc Marquez is the most naturally-gifted rider in the history of two-wheeled racing. He can do things with a bike that even other professional riders don't understand, let alone replicate in their own riding. With a remarkable six Grand Prix World Championships under his belt before turning 25, including four at the highest tier, he is on course to be the most successful rider in the highly competitive modern era of GP racing, and the new "GOAT". When he is on form, he can only be beaten by his own mistakes. He is utterly fearless, blisteringly fast, and yes, ruthless on the track - as are all great champions.
Marc Marquez will do whatever it takes to win. I know, everyone tries to, but Marquez has the tools to make it stick. The Honda (RC213V) may not be a match for the Yamaha (YZR-M1), but Marquez is more than a match for any other rider. At just 24, he already has six world titles (including four in MotoGP). The talent level in the premier class of motorcycle road racing has never been as high as it is today, yet Marquez keeps winning. If he can avoid serious injury, he will likely surpass Rossi's title count. As an old MXer, Marquez makes me wish I was a better road racer. Only King Kenny Roberts has had that effect on me before. One look at a Marquez "saves" highlights film will illustrate this point far better than any text possibly could.
The guy can ride like no other! What he did on the Ducati has only been enhanced this year as the greatest of all time (Rossi) follows a long list of top-class riders who could not make it work, unlike Stoner. His performance at Honda as the 2011 World Champ and his ability to ride sideways around corners, in the wet, from the front, from behind, and turn on the lap times show he is quite unique in his ability to get the extra 0.5 sec out of a MotoGP bike. He might not be the most charismatic, but he is the fastest guy ever to ride in MotoGP/500 top flight. He is the Real Deal, and if he has a few more years like this one, he will not only be the fastest ever but statistically be the best ever as well.
Stoner is the best rider of all time. His ability to win with any bike is unmatched. Stoner can better control and win with a lesser quality bike, whereas Rossi had to have the perfect and best bike in the world to win his races. Stoner can push any bike past its limits and has a natural ability to adapt to a bike that is simply unrivaled. Stoner often went against the grain. He beat the "best of all time" consistently and won with a harder-to-control and lesser quality bike to boot. Had he remained with Honda, it's no doubt he would be winning races easily for years to come.
Undoubtedly, Jorge Lorenzo is the most composed rider on the track. No one can lead from the front like he does. He is the best starter and race leader in MotoGP. Most riders you see will make mistakes under pressure when someone passes on the inside or outside, but Jorge waits. When the rider coming from inside goes wide, Jorge pounces. Just one mistake from you, and Jorge is back in front yet again.
It's really sad to see him waste his time at Ducati and Honda, though it was his personal decision and motive. However, his years at Yamaha are a treat to watch. #99Xfuera The man who made Ducati and Honda bow down to a relatively slower Yamaha... I began to like MotoGP watching the era of Lorenzo, Stoner, Rossi, and Pedrosa. I have been a fan ever since!
Lorenzo is amongst the greatest. He got a championship in the Marquez era and was the teammate that dethroned Rossi. He was beaten to the 2013 championship because he was rammed by Márquez on the final corner of the Spanish GP. That race really was the one that decided the championship, the race that decided who got 4 points more.
The greatest ever. I think it is pretty clear. This obsession with only the newer riders/drivers being the best ever is media hype and loving statistics. Jim Clark won just two world championships before his death, yet how can you, with a straight face, compare him to Hakkinen, Alonso, Hamilton, et al.? Stirling Moss won none, but was he a greater driver than these recent champions? Perhaps. Tony Brooks, an F1 driver of the '50s, is a good friend of my father's, and I asked him to rate today's drivers versus yesterday's. He felt there was no need, but he did grin and say, "In yesterday's cars, today's drivers would not be able to cope with the demands placed on them." Ago is the best ever.
The all-time best premier class rider. He won 122/224 races or 54.5%. He raced at the IOM TT circuit when it was part of the world championship, something modern riders in MotoGP would never even imagine doing.
The fact that he's currently No. 5 on this list is an indication of people's lack of historical perspective.
Currently at number 1 is, unsurprisingly, VR, a brilliant rider but with 114/342 or a 33.3% win rate, and who has raced for 22 years compared to Agostini's 15-year career.
Numbers don't lie, and the Little Samurai has an impressive win record. Bad luck and injuries really prevented him from winning a world title in the premier class, to go with his 3 world titles in lower classes. Had he been a little less fragile, he no doubt would have won at least two titles in the premier class. In 2012, he had more wins than either Stoner or Lorenzo, who are both above him on this list.
Very nice and good-hearted. Capable of being fast but probably no more championships for him with the current presence of capable riders.
I like his style: smart, no exaggeration, calm, and he has a good story of his life, like Rossi.
I met Mike on many occasions and got to know him. He always had time for a chat. He was one of the few who could win world championships on just about any bike, from 125 Desmo Ducati through to the awesome Honda sixes, and everything in between. He also had a very good, albeit short, F1 career, gaining three podium finishes, if my memory is holding up, before an accident damaged his left foot! He came back after some 8-10 years out of bikes and won a world championship. Okay, it was over one race, but it was at the IOM TT. I wonder how many of today's MotoGP riders could swap bikes at one meeting and win? It's always difficult to compare across the decades, but for me, Mike will always be at the top.
Mike Hailwood never threw a tantrum and threw his toys out of the cot like some spoilt brats that are racing today. He was, and still is, the greatest rider of all time. Having said that, this survey is like comparing apples with pears. Technology in Mike's days was a lot different than what it is today. What would happen if you put Rossi on one of Mike's machines, or vice versa? Mike was, and still is, a force to remember. The Greatest.
Doohan was a masterful rider, in a day when GP bikes were evil two-stroke machines, with no electronics to prevent riders from being launched to the moon. Only the best of the best, like Doohan, could consistently dominate the GP scene from as early as 1992 to 1998. Truly the thunder from Down Under.
Like no other, Mick mastered and won five consecutive championships on the hardest, most lethal machines of GP history - with a big bang engine! He probably could have had at least another two, if not for his unlucky accident in practice.
Almost killed in an accident when he first started out, but came back to win 5 world titles against some of the best riders in the history of the sport. A dead set champion.
Way too low on this list. The fact that he's placed below Casey Stoner is laughable. We're talking about the first man (and up until the past season, the only man) to win in his rookie year. We're also talking about a 2-time AMA Grand National Champion, and a guy who won the 500cc championship three years in a row. In terms of natural riding ability, there are next to none who can come close to King Kenny. To anyone who just started watching GP and doesn't have a way of watching any of the 78-83 seasons: I feel bad for you.
I share the opinion that Roberts Sr. is rated too low. With the help of champion Kel Carruthers, and influenced by the style of Jarno Saarinen, Roberts broke new ground in MotoGP (then the 500cc class, of Grand Prix motorcycle racing). Bringing the savvy that American dirt trackers learned on the high-speed clay miles, Kenny was unafraid of a sliding motorcycle. It changed MotoGP forever...
The most underrated potential champion. He is simply an underrated talent. He has more wins pairing up with Rossi.
If Suzuki gives him a good bike, he could give the Tech 3 guys a battle in the championship standings.
Rides fast on a slow Yamaha bike compared to Honda and Ducati this 2019 season.
One of the greatest ever. Godspeed, Kentucky Kid.
One of the best racers.
Won the title in one of the most memorable seasons and should probably be around 18-20.
The first to put the knee down... he was the genius... today using his style to take results... OK, 46 is one Doctor, but Jarno was a genius.
Saw him ride. The man leaned the bike over so far it was remarkable. Great rider.
Passionate and talented rider. Right talent, right place, and great know-how in motorsport.
The 'strokers' were the hardest bikes to ride at this 'F1' level with their all-or-nothing powerband. Freddie was the only guy I ever saw who could consistently, and alternately, slide both front and rear tyres, multiple times around a single corner. Watching them take turns stepping out of line underneath him as he scythed his way around a corner was simply mesmerising. Such control, and from one so young... Freddie was without doubt the master, and I would have him way further up this list!
Top ten easily, not as good as Lawson for me, but still top ten. This list needs looking at seriously, don't you think? Spencer below Stoner, ha ha! Or Doohan, get real. People comment on the sport, don't guess or throw names about. It's wrong and disrespectful.
This list was obviously made by someone who was born in the 1990s and knows nothing about what happened before he was old enough to watch TV. It's Ago, Hailwood, Roberts, Rossi, Spencer.
A great rider. Shame his head messed him up to achieve much more.
I've got Rainey 7th on my list, but some of the company in your top ten don't belong. I don't recall Doohan beating Rainey. Did he? No, I'm sure Rainey was top dog, and Doohan was there. He ain't 4th. He ain't top ten. That's crazy. Pedrosa in the top ten, ha ha, next! Stoner? No, sorry, he's good but not top ten, just outside, I'd say. Facts are facts.
The best of the best during the peak of 500cc GP racing. Remember when these bikes were flicking riders through the air on a regular basis? Rainey endured his share of high-sides and still won consistently against the greatest collection of riders in the sport, including Doohan, Gardner, Lawson, and Schwantz. All legendary riders in this time period.
Take a look at a picture of him riding through the Corkscrew with the two wheels at 5 cm above the ground, without any electronic device such as traction control. Kind respect, Mr. Wayne.
We were robbed of some potentially really exciting racing when Marco was taken from us. A real talent and true racing grit the guy had. Was really saddened to see him go.
RIP Super Sic.
Miss you so much, SUPER SIC. Will always remember your choreographed chaos, old school riding style.
A champion who will never come back...
Probably, him and Mamola are the most exciting riders to date, maybe McCoy just behind. Yet, what a rider! Schwantz set the world alight and came as a double act with another guy called Rainey. We were spoilt, and meeting Schwantz was great. Though not enough accolades to make the top ten for me. Still, he's the most gifted rider, just not professional enough. Should've won more.
For me, he was the fastest, just look at the 1989 season. All the greats of that era were there: Lawson, Rainey, Doohan, Gardiner, Spencer, and Mamola. Yet Schwantz, on far from the best bike, had 9 pole positions, 8 fastest laps. I remember the season well and always thought he was the fastest in that era and certainly the most exciting.
Simply the best rider. On equal equipment, Schwantz would be unrivaled. I appreciate his loyalty to Suzuki. It's a testament to his character and perseverance.
An all-time great on and off the track. He brought motorbike racing to the attention of the British public. A massive loss to the sport.
Growing up, he was a hero to all young boys. He just epitomized cool. A great personality, great rider, taken far too early.
One of the best. Lots of great riders. He is my favorite. Only because I crashed and broke lots of bones, but still raced.
Never on the fastest bike. Total commitment, pass or drop it, real racer...
Legendary wet track racer.
Eddie Lawson is certainly in the top three of all time. To have won 4 titles (world championships), the most by any American rider, really showed the likes of Rainey and Schwantz how it's done. Also, Eddie is the benchmark that all look up to. To have won world titles back to back on different equipment is a statement only a few can lay claim to. It is also well known that the 2-stroke era bikes were harder to master than the current crop of 4-stroke machines. Rossi and Agostini sit at the same table as Lawson. All others look up to these 3! History and the credit of their wins, by whom they beat, the machinery used, and the longevity of dominance in the sport, still echoes today.
Steady Eddie should be in the top 10! He won titles on multiple brands and was always competitive. Not to mention, he went against some of the best who ever raced.
Should be higher up, he just got on and won every week without making a drama about it. I guess talent and results without showmanship don't count here.
Amazing bike control, and the undisputed King of the TT. MotoGP riders look at the TT course and will not race it. So, to win it over as many years as Joey did, you have to be one of the best ever. He should be in the top 5.
Never top 10, but a bloody hero all day. Road racing's best ever... not the track, though.
He drove a van full of food to orphanages in the Balkans in times of need. A selfless, amazing man is number 1.
People often forget that Max Biaggi started riding only at the age of 17 or 18, much later than Valentino Rossi and other riders of his era, who usually began in early childhood, around the ages of 4 to 7. Remarkably, he has never finished worse than fifth in any championship, with the sole exception being WSBK in 2008. In the 250 cc category, he won four titles in six seasons. During his eight seasons in MotoGP/500cc, of which only five were with a factory team, he finished six times in the top three, with his medal tally being 0-3-3.
To sum up, Biaggi spent 14 full seasons in MotoGP, achieving ten top-three finishes (4-3-3). Adding his six seasons in WSBK, his total in 20 seasons at the world level is 6-3-5. In all these 20 seasons, he was beaten by his teammate only twice, in 1992 and 2005.
He should definitely be in the top 10!
Max deserves a lot more credit. If it wasn't for the actual greatest rider of all time, VR46, Max would have won three top-class championships and been a seven-time champ. He even gave Vale some work, even in Vale's prime. He just wasn't the same type of racer. Although, in my opinion, he was the fifth or sixth greatest rider of all time, behind (in reverse order) 5) Stoner (whom I can't stand, but can't deny), 4) Marquez (yes, already. He's a three-time champ covering all three classes, and this year is in the bag, so he's a four-time champ too and has slayed the big boys), 3) Lorenzo (who's getting schooled by the Doc on his own bike this season), 2) Agostini (best stats behind only...), 1) Vale (who needs to find enough career and fight to pull off 20 more GP victories, although that seems an impossible feat with the existence of Marquez. Without Marquez, VR46 would have five wins this season and another podium.
Four 500cc Championships, three 350cc Championships, four Senior Isle of Man TTs, and two years unbeaten, all within a five-year period.
Left the sport with the best win percentage of all time before going on to win a Formula One World Championship and a Can-Am Sports Car Championship.
Awesome on both 2 and 4 wheels. An achievement that will never be equalled! I was also lucky enough to have met him very briefly at the Festival of Speed. What a true gent and an awesome champion.
The only man to win car and bike world championships, and his win percentage from starts was over twice that of Rossi or any other modern MotoGP rider.
Aggressive but smooth, Wayne Gardner should have won more titles than he did, due to bad luck. The Japanese don't call him Mr. 100% for nothing. He should have thrown a leg over a Grand Prix bike sooner, but HRC were focused on "Fast Freddie" instead. In his prime (balls out), he was unbeatable. He could shake off a massive near highside as if it was nothing and go on to win. One of the greats.
Aussies are tough (not Casey, though, sorry) and Gardner is the epitome of this. Beating legends to his title and winning with the highest competition is worthy of praise. I hold him higher than Doohan, even with five titles.
One of the best from the golden era. Mister "never give up, never give in"!