The debate surrounding who the best GP rider is of all time is one of those topics that no one ever agrees on. However, we decided to discuss it anyway. Looking at all classes within the GP, ever since the world championship as early as 1949, we compiled a list of drivers that we consider to be the best in the world.
1. Giacomo Agostini – Total Wins: 122
It’s no surprise that Agostini is at the top of our list. He leads the table in terms of championship wins as well with a total of 15 titles between 1966 and 1975. He is a champion on both 500s and 350s for 5 years running between 1968 and 1972. You can also add 10 TT victories to his name as well.
2. Valentino Rossi – Total Wins: 112
Valentino Rossi is obviously not the greatest in the world when it comes to all-time victories. Not yet, anyway. Valentino Rossi’s winning rate was slowed once he joined Ducati, so imagine where he’s win record would be if he didn’t spend two fruitless years with Ducati. He still races harder than ever, and with another ten wins, he will match our number one rider. Valentino Rossi is leading the table when you count his world-class wins of 86.
3. Angel Nieto – Total Wins: 90
Angel Neito’s ranking on our list will undoubtedly spark a debate as most of his wins took place on a 50cc machine. He never managed to win a single race on a 250cc and never even raced on a 500cc. However, no one can argue with the fact that he made the podium a total of 90 times and managed to win 13 championships during his career that spanned for a total of 22 years.
4. Mike Hailwood – Total Wins: 76
Hailwood has a total of 76 wins in his career, and 37 of them were achieved while riding a 500cc. This places his in fourth position on our list of the best GP riders in the world.
5. Jorge Lorenzo – Total Wins: 60
Lorenzo is another rider that will eventually rank much higher on our list once he decides to retire. Lorenzo also had quite a battle throughout his career against other opponents. Imagine the number of victories he could have claimed if it wasn’t for Marquez, Rossi, and Stoner? More than half of his victories have been on MotoGP bikes.
6. Mick Doohan – Total Wins 54
Doohan is a rider that managed to achieve more than his already-impressive record sheet. If he didn’t suffer awful injuries during his career and spent most of his racing days against other opponents like Schwantz and Rainey, he could have been much higher on our list. Every single win that Doohan achieved was achieved on a 500cc bike. When it comes to top-class wins, Doohan ranks in third place.
7. Phil Read – Total Wins: 52
Phil Read is the most successful rider in Britain when it comes to championships and GP titles in 500cc, 250cc, and 125cc classes. A total of 11 wins were made while driving in the 500cc class.