FIM, International Motorcycling Federation governs and holds Motorbike racing Championships. The first instance where 500cc bikes were included was in 1949 and Leslie Graham of Great Britain was the Champion that year. Today MotoGP is divided into 3 classes - the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP Premier Class. Moto3 Class is comprised of 250cc bikes, Moto2 class bikes are mandated to have 600cc engine capacity and the premier MotoGP class bikes can have upto 1000cc engine displacement. Since 1949, we have had 365 race winners across all the 3 classes and 26 MotoGP champions. We take a look at 5 riders with the most MotoGP starts :
#5 Dani Pedrosa
A common fixture of the MotoGP paddock for several years, Spaniard Dani Pedrosa has exhibited tremendous consistency over the years across all classes. The youngest 250cc champion of all-time, Pedrosa announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2018 season. He has been a member of Team Repsol Honda throughout his career. From 2006 until 2017 he won at least one race in every season. With 112 podium finishes and 31 race wins in 213 starts as of the 2018 Thailand GP, Pedrosa is 5th on the list of riders with most starts.
#4 Loris Capirossi
Italian Loris Capirossi made his 125cc debut in 1990 and won the Riders' Championship in his rookie season and went to defend his title in 1991. He made the switch to 250cc class in 1992 and in 1998 he won the 250cc World Championship with Team Aprilia. During his MotoGP career, he was part of 4 different teams - Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki. He is the first man to have logged 300 starts across all 3 classes. He finished his MotoGP career with 217 starts.
#3 Nicky Hayden
Late American Nicky Hayden nicknamed 'The Kentucky Kid' won the 2006 MotoGP Championship and he remarkably stopped the juggernaut of Valentino Rossi who had won 5 Championships in a row. Hayden made his MotoGP debut in 2003 and he finished 5th in the Championship that year and was named 'Rookie of the Year'. The 2006 MotoGP was one of the closest Championships and Hayden pipped Rossi on the final race of the season to be crowned champion. Hayden retired from MotoGP in 2016 and finished with 218 starts.
#2 Alex Barros
In 1986 at the age of just 15, Brazilian Alex Barros made his 80cc class debut. In 1990, he became the youngest rider at the time to participate in the 500cc class. He has had wins across 500 cc and MotoGP classes. He also has won a Superbike World Championship race in 2006. Alex started in 245 MotoGP races.
#1 Valentino Rossi
The only person in Motor-racing history to win Championships across 4 different classes, Italian legend #46 Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi has won Championships in 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP classes. The winner of 7 MotoGP Championships, 89 race victories and 196 podium finishes, Rossi is by far the most popular rider that the sport has ever had. Approaching 40 hasn't deterred him from pursuing his dream of winning the 8th Championship. As of the 2018 Thailand Grand Prix, Rossi has 319 race starts.