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4 great riders who never won the MotoGP World Championship

Dani Pedrosa never managed to win the MotoGP Championship
Dani Pedrosa never managed to win the MotoGP Championship
Kredy

Every rider on the MotoGP grid would say that winning races on a consistent basis would help you land the championship in one season or the other. However, that is not the case for an unfortunate few as these motorcycle riders could not claim a MotoGP World Championship even after claiming a slew of victories in the premier class.

It wasn't that these riders couldn't make it in the MotoGP class, as all the riders on this list had tremendous potential and proved it time and again during their stints in the lower divisions.

Nevertheless, fate didn't allow them to claim that elusive championship, and in this article, let us look closer at the four motorcycle riders who never won a MotoGP World Championship despite putting race-winning performances on multiple occasions.


#4 Sete Gibernau

Sete Gibernau finished second in the MotoGP Championship twice
Sete Gibernau finished second in the MotoGP Championship twice

Sete Gibernau never won the championship gold in the premier class despite having extensive racing experience both in the 500c and the MotoGP era.

After having a bunch of mediocre seasons in the 125cc and the 250cc class, the Spaniard busted onto the 500cc scene in 1997 with a Honda motorcycle. However, Gibernau had to wait until the 2001 season to secure his first win at the premier class in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

The shift to the four-stroke engines the following year didn't seem to make a difference to Gibernau as the Spanish rider challenged Valentino Rossi for the championship in 2003 and 2004 but was bested by the Italian on both the occasions.

The remainder of his MotoGP career saw him fight for a place in the midfield before retiring from the sport in 2006. A comeback in 2009 didn't last long either as his team withdrew from the competition before the season came to a close.

In the premier class, Sete Gibernau started 84 races, secured 24 podiums and claimed 8 race wins.

#3 Loris Capirossi

Loris Capirossi finished third in the 2006 MotoGP World Championship
Loris Capirossi finished third in the 2006 MotoGP World Championship

After a fantastic 125cc debut in 1990 that saw Loris Capirossi claim the championship gold, the Italian regained it the following year.

Between 1992 and 2001, Capirossi's career oscillated between the 250cc and the 500cc class, with him winning the 250cc championship in the year 1998. A third-place finish in the 2001 500cc championship laid down a perfect platform for the MotoGP class that began the following year.

The Italian rider couldn't quite replicate the form that he had shown in the lower divisions and could never manage to put himself in a tough fight for the championship. A third-place finish in the 2006 MotoGP Championships with 229 points, just 23 points behind the champion Nicky Hayden, was his best finish in the premier class. The rest of his MotoGP years saw him battle for only a place in the midfield.

With a career that lasted over two decades, Loris Capirossi secured 99 podiums, and 29 race wins from 328 starts. Interestingly, he is the first Grand Prix rider to start in more than 300 races.

#2 Dani Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa had an intense battle with Jorge Lorenzo for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship
Dani Pedrosa had an intense battle with Jorge Lorenzo for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship

Dani Pedrosa made his 125cc debut in the year 2001, and at the end of the 2003 season, the Spaniard was crowned as the champion of that class.

Following the success, Pedrosa moved to the 250cc and won the championship in his debut season, becoming the youngest ever 250cc World Championship in Grand Prix motorcycle racing history. He successfully defended his 250cc title the next year, before moving to the MotoGP class in 2006.

Pedrosa paired with the Repsol Honda team throughout his 13-year-long MotoGP career and managed to secure a second place on three different occasions. His best chance to clinch the championship came in the 2012 season, where he lost out to his fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo by just 18 points.

In 295 races, Dani Pedrosa secured 153 podium finishes and claimed 54 race wins.

#1 Max Biaggi

Max Biaggi never won a MotoGP championship despite winning the 250cc championship four times
Max Biaggi never won a MotoGP championship despite winning the 250cc championship four times

Born in 1971, Max Biaggi is probably the greatest motorcyclist who never managed to win the MotoGP championship in his career.

The Italian was a sensation in the 250cc class as he managed to clinch four successive championships from 1994 to 1997. Then, Biaggi moved to the premier class but failed to reciprocate the success in the eight years that he spent in this division.

His first 500cc season in 1998 saw him finish second to Mick Doohan. Max Biaggi continued his run of form for the next four seasons, but it simply was not enough for the Italian to claim the top spot in the premier class.

The dawn of the MotoGP era didn't change his fortunes as it ushered in a new era of dominance by Valentino Rossi, which ensured that Biaggi would never claim the championship gold until his retirement from the sport in 2005.

Max Biaggi secured 111 podiums and claimed 42 race wins during his stint in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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