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MotoGP: Top 5 Riders with most race wins

Arjun
Double-world champion Casey Stoner who retired in 2012, won a total of 38 races.
Double-world champion Casey Stoner who retired in 2012, won a total of 38 races.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of MotoGP. The first season of the motorcycle racing Championship was held in 1949 under the administration of Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM, International Motorcycling Federation). Prior to 1949, independent racing events were held all over the world but it was only in 1949 that FIM standardized the rules and regulations, wherein, races held in certain circuits were officially recognized. Since then MotoGP has come a long way.

Today races are held all over the world, from America in the West to Malaysia and Thailand in the East. It truly epitomizes the vastly global appeal that the sport now commands - almost on par with F1. Probably MotoGP commands a more loyal fan base than F1 in countries like Spain and Italy.

Since the year 1997, 3 classes of motorcycles have been approved for racing. They are the 125cc, 250cc and the 500cc class which is commonly referred to as MotoGP or the premier class. Sadly these bikes are not available to the public.

Since inception, we have had 26 different champions with Italians and Spaniards predictably dominating the charts. We focus our attention on the top 5 riders with the most MotoGP race wins to date:


#5 Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez - 5-time MotoGP World champion
Marc Marquez - 5-time MotoGP World champion

Spanish rider Marc Marquez who goes by the nickname 'The Ant' is one of only 3 riders to have lifted titles in all 3 classes. Known for his aggressive racing, especially his ability to maneuver corners putting himself at constant risk of crashing out, Marquez has perfected the art over the years. The youngest ever MotoGP world champion is an accolade which Marquez achieved in his debut MotoGP season in the year 2013. Since then Marquez has been MotoGP's most consistent rider.

Titles in 2014 were followed by a hat-trick of titles from 2016 to 2018. The Spaniard is the hot favorite to extend his winning spree in 2019. As of the 2019 Grand Prix of The Americas, Marquez has won 45 races.

#4 Jorge Lorenzo

Triple world champion Jorge Lorenzo will look to win his first title since 2015 with Team Honda
Triple world champion Jorge Lorenzo will look to win his first title since 2015 with Team Honda

Just like his compatriot Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo too was hugely successful right from the word go. Making his debut in the 125cc class in the year 2002 at the age of 15, Lorenzo quickly rose through the ranks. He was the 250cc Rider's champion in 2006 and 2007. He made his MotoGP debut in 2008 as a member of Team Yamaha. 8 successful years with Yamaha ensured that Lorenzo won the Riders' Championship thrice in 2010, 2012 and 2015.

Lorenzo ended his partnership with Team Yamaha and went on to sign for Team Ducati. Two frustrating seasons ensued where Lorenzo was not in title contention. He signed a 2-year contract with Team Repsol Honda in 2018. It would be fascinating to see the on-track battle between Lorenzo and teammate Marquez. Lorenzo has won an impressive 47 wins till date.

#3 Mick Doohan

Mick Doohan - 5-time MotoGP champion also holds the record for most starts from pole position
Mick Doohan - 5-time MotoGP champion also holds the record for most starts from pole position

Mick Doohan made his professional racing debut in the year 1989 as a member of Team Honda. Doohan took over the baton from fellow Aussie legend Wayne Gardner as the leader of the Australian motorbike riders. Doohan won 5 successive MotoGP World titles from 1994 to 1998. In 1997, inarguably his most dominant season and probably one of the greatest individual displays ever seen in a single season, Doohan set 4 remarkable record - 12 wins in a season, 12 starts from pole, in fact, all 12 in succession and most points tallied in a single season at 340.

In a glittering 10-year career, Doohan started 137 races winning a very impressive 54 races. He stood on top of the podium 95 times.

The first turn at the Philip Island Grand Prix circuit is named after him.

#2 Giacomo Agostini

One of the perennial MotoGP greats just going by the sheer number of records which he set -Giacomo Agostini
One of the perennial MotoGP greats just going by the sheer number of records which he set -Giacomo Agostini

'Ago' as he was fondly called, Italian Giacomo Agostini is the 'most decorated MotoGP rider of all-time.' Agostini holds the all-time record of 122 Grand Prix wins and 15 World Championship titles across the 350cc and 500cc classes. Agostini's rivalry with Mike Hailwood is the stuff of legends. The two men brought out the best in each other with the resulting effect producing some of the most memorable motorcycle races of yesteryears.

He won the premier 500cc class a record 8 times including on 7 successive occasions between 1966 and 1972 as a rider of Team MV Agusta. His last Championship came in 1975 with Team Yamaha. He won a total of 68 MotoGP races.

Post his racing career, he transitioned to being a successful race manager of world champions like Eddie Lawson and Kenny Roberts.

#1 Valentino Rossi

The face of MotoGP - Valentino Rossi
The face of MotoGP - Valentino Rossi

Undoubtedly the sport's most famous face is Italian motorcycle racing legend -Valentino Rossi. A man who has been a regular fixture in MotoGP races for more than 2 decades and still has the desire, and motivation to achieve glory even in his 40's.

Valentino Rossi is one of three riders to have won a Championship title across all three classes. He won the 125cc class Championship in 1997 and the 250cc class Championship in 1999.

He won the MotoGP Championship successively between 2001 and 2005. This was a period of domination unlike ever seen in previous years. He has won a total of 7 Riders' Championship titles till date lagging fellow Italian Giacomo Agostini by just one title in the all-time charts.

He is the only rider to have accumulated more than 5000 Championship points. He has stood on the podium a record 196 times including on 23 consecutive races between 2003 and 2004 - another world record. 'The Doctor' #46 Rossi has won a total of 89 Grand Prix races as of the 2019 Grand Prix of the Americas. Having gone winless in 2018, the 40-year old Rossi will look to put an end to his barren spell this season.

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Edited by Kaushik Das
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