Motorcycle Racers

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Motorcycle racing is one of the most exciting sports in the world, and motorcycle racers are not just admired but almost revered by their fans for taking up such a dare devil sport! The sport of racing motorcycles is one that requires the rider to be exceptionally alert and attentive as every second counts. A small mistake doesn’t just mean the difference between a win and loss, but could every well mark the difference between life and death. The major categories of motorcycle racing are road racing, off road racing and track racing. Some of the other categories are drag racing and hill climbs. Due to the excitement it offers, motorcycle racing is a popular sport that attracts people of all ages though only a few actually have the skills, capability and the resources to become a professional racer. Motorcycle racing is one of the deadliest sports ever with several motorcyclists all over the world dying in accidents but that doesn’t seem to take away the thrills this sport brings! This section provides you information about the life and works of various famous motorcycle racers from all over the world.

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 1 
Valentino Rossi
(Italian motorcycle road racer)
Valentino Rossi
6
Birthdate: February 16, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tavullia, Italy

Valentino Rossi is an Italian motorcycle road racer. Having won nine Grand Prix World Championships, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers ever. Apart from being a famous racer, Valentino Rossi also owns the Sky Racing Team VR46, which competes in the Moto3 and Moto2 classes.

 2 
Carey Hart
(American Professional Motorcyclist and the First to Perform a Back Flip on a 250cc Motorcycle)
Carey Hart
8
Birthdate: July 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seal Beach, California, United States

Carey Hart is an American retired motorcycle racer and freestyle motocross competitor. Hart achieved popularity when he became the first motorcyclist to successfully execute a backflip maneuver during a competition on a 250cc motorcycle. He currently competes in off-road racing. Carey Hart is also known for founding the Hart & Huntington Tattoo & Clothing Company. 

 3 
Marc Márquez
(Spanish Professional Grand Prix Motorcycle Road Racer)
Marc Márquez
10
Birthdate: February 17, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cervera, Spain

Marc Márquez is a Spanish professional road racer best known for his association with Repsol Honda. Having won eight Grand Prix World Championships so far, Márquez is counted among the most successful motorcycle racers in the history of motorcycle racing. The most successful and popular Spanish rider in MotoGP history, Márquez is also counted among the greatest innovators of MotoGP.

 4 
Guy Martin
(Motorcycle Racer)
Guy Martin
10
Birthdate: November 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
 5 
Nicky Hayden
(American Professional Motorcycle Racer)
Nicky Hayden
4
Birthdate: July 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States
Died: May 22, 2017

Nicky Hayden was an American motorcycle racer best remembered for winning the 2006 MotoGP World Championship by breaking Valentino Rossi's five-year streak. Hayden met with an accident while riding his bicycle in 2017 in Italy and died of traumatic brain injury at the age of 35. In 2018, he was inducted posthumously into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

 6 
Travis Pastrana
(American Professional Motorsports Competitor Known for His Racing Series 'Nitro Rallycross')
Travis Pastrana
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Motorsports competitor and stunt artist Travis Pastrana has won several X Games gold medals, in categories such as motocross, supercross, and freestyle motocross. He launched a reality show called Nitro Circus, which later became a media company. He also hosts and extreme sports event and has been part of NASCAR.

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 7 
Jorge Lorenzo
(Spanish Retired Professional Motorcycle Racer and Five-Time World Champion)
Jorge Lorenzo
7
Birthdate: May 4, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palma, Spain

Jorge Lorenzo is a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer. He is the winner of the 2010, 2012, and 2015 MotoGP World Championships. Previously, he had won the 2006 and 2007 250 cc World Championships. In the late 2010s, he suffered from multiple injuries and announced his retirement from road racing competition in 2019.

 8 
Dan Wheldon
(British Racing Driver & 'Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame' Inductee)
Dan Wheldon
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Emberton, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: October 16, 2011

Dan Wheldon was a British racing driver best remembered for winning the IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship title in 2005 for Andretti Green Racing (AGR). He is also remembered for winning the Indianapolis 500 twice. Dan Wheldon was killed at the age of 33 while competing in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship when his car collided with a fence post.

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 9 
Burt Munro
(New Zealand Motorcycle Racer Who Set an Under-1,000 CC World Record)
Burt Munro
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Invercargill, New Zealand
Died: January 6, 1978

New Zealand motorcyclist Burt Munro made three world records, traveling in his Indian motorcycle from New Zealand to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the U.S., and the one made in 1967 still remains unbroken. The 2005 film The World's Fastest Indian, based on his life, featured Anthony Hopkins as Munro.

 10 
Casey Stoner
(Australian Retired Professional Motorcycle Racer)
Casey Stoner
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Southport, Queensland, Australia
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 11 
Barry Sheene
(Motorcycle racer)
Barry Sheene
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 10, 2003
 12 
Marco Simoncelli
(Italian Professional Motorcycle Racer)
Marco Simoncelli
3
Birthdate: January 20, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cattolica, Italy
Died: October 23, 2011

Marco Simoncelli was an Italian motorcycle racer. From 2002 to 2011, Simoncelli competed in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing and won the 2008 Grand Prix Championship. While competing in the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix on 23 October, Simoncelli lost control over his motorcycle and was run over by other vehicles on the track. He died of wounds at age 24.

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 13 
Dani Pedrosa
(Spanish Grand Prix Motorcycle Racer)
Dani Pedrosa
5
Birthdate: September 29, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sabadell, Spain
 14 
Joey Dunlop
(Motorcycle racer)
Joey Dunlop
3
Birthdate: February 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Armoy, Northern Ireland
Died: July 2, 2000
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 15 
Carl Fogarty
(Motorcycle Racers)
Carl Fogarty
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Blackburn, Lancashire, England, UK
 16 
John Surtees
(British Motorcycle Road Racer and Racecar Driver)
John Surtees
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tatsfield
Died: March 10, 2017

John Surtees was a British motorcycle road racer and racecar driver. He won the Grand Prix motorcycle World Championship title on seven occasions and the 1964 F1 World Championship title, becoming the first person to win World Championships on both four and two wheels.

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 17 
Adam Petty
(Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver)
Adam Petty
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Trenton
Died: May 12, 2000

Adam Petty was an American racing driver best remembered for his association with NASCAR racing. Born into the famous Petty family of racers, Adam Petty was a fourth-generation racer in the NASCAR racing scene. Adam died at the age of 19 when his car hit the outside wall during a practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in May 2000.

 18 
Giacomo Agostini
(Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver)
Giacomo Agostini
3
Birthdate: June 16, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brescia

Giacomo Agostini is an Italian world champion Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He amassed 122 Grand Prix wins and 15 World Championship titles in a career spanning 17 years. Industry experts consider him one of the greatest Grand Prix riders of all time. In 2010, he was named an FIM Legend for his motorcycling achievements.  

 19 
Jonathan Rea
(Northern Irish Professional Motorcycle Racer)
Jonathan Rea
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Larne, Northern Ireland

Northern Irish motorcycle racer Jonathan Rea began his career with motocross and then switched to circuit racing later. He made history when he became the first racer to win six WorldSBK titles, that too, back-to-back. He earned the second place in the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award race.

 20 
Andrea Dovizioso
(Motorcycle racer)
Andrea Dovizioso
5
Birthdate: March 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Forlimpopoli

Andrea Dovizioso is a motorcycle racer who won the 125cc World Championship title at the 2004 Grand Prix. With 62 MotoGP podiums and 15 victories, Dovizioso is one of the most eminent MotoGP riders of the modern era. He is the only racer to win a MotoGP race in three separate decades, having won races in 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s.

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 21 
James Stewart Jr.
(Motorcycle racer)
James Stewart Jr.
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bartow, Florida, United States

James Stewart Jr. is an American retired motocross racer best known for competing in the AMA Supercross Championships as well as the AMA Motocross. Over the course of his racing career, James became renowned for his speed, innovation, and athleticism which earned him the moniker The Fastest Man on The Planet.

 22 
Mike Hailwood
(One of the Few Men to Participate at Grand Prix Level in Both Car and Motorcycle Racing)
Mike Hailwood
2
Birthdate: April 2, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Great Milton, Oxfordshire, England
Died: March 23, 1981
Counted among the greatest racers of all time, Mike Hailwood was one of the few men to participate at Grand Prix level in both car and motorcycle racing. A nine-time world champion, Mike Hailwood also won 76 Grand Prix races in his motorcycle racing career. In 2001, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
 23 
Michael Doohan
(Motorcycle racer)
Michael Doohan
3
Birthdate: June 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia
 24 
Mick Doohan
(Former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion)
Mick Doohan
0
Birthdate: June 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gold Coast, Australia
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 25 
James Toseland
(English Singer-Songwriter, Pianist, and Former Motorcycle Racer)
James Toseland
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sheffield

Retired English motorcycle racer James Toseland is also a talented pianist and sings for his rock band, Toseland. While he had a promising career in racing, having participated in the Superbike and MotoGP World Championships, he switched to music after a wrist injury ended his racing career.

 26 
Max Biaggi
(Motorcycle racer)
Max Biaggi
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome

Max Biaggi is an Italian retired professional Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He is a former racing world champion who won the 2010 and 2012 World Superbike Championship. He also won the 250cc World Championship four consecutive times. His brilliant racing career earned him the nicknames 'il Corsaro' ('the Corsair') and 'the Roman Emperor.' 

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 27 
Lorenzo Bandini
(Italian Motor Racing Driver Who Raced in Formula One)
Lorenzo Bandini
6
Birthdate: December 21, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Al Marj, Libya
Died: May 10, 1967

Formula One racer Lorenzo Bandini had started his career as an apprentice mechanic at 15, after his father’s death, and gradually began racing motorcycles and then moved on to cars. He sustained deadly injuries at a horrific car crash during the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix, and died three days later.

 28 
Mark Donohue
(Formula One driver, Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver)
Mark Donohue
2
Birthdate: March 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Summit
Died: August 19, 1975

Also known by monikers such as Captain Nice, Mark Donohue was not just a skilled race-car driver but also a qualified engineer. A major force behind the Penske Racing team during he 1960s and the 1970s, he is remembered for his win at the Indianapolis 500 event.

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 29 
Chad Reed
(Motocross rider)
Chad Reed
2
Birthdate: March 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kurri Kurri, Australia
 30 
Daijiro Kato
(Motorcycle racer)
Daijiro Kato
2
Birthdate: July 4, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saitama
Died: April 20, 2003
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 31 
Kevin Schwantz
(Former Motorcycle racer who was the world champion of the 1993 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kevin Schwantz
2
Birthdate: June 19, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Former motorcycle road racer Kevin Schwantz began his competitive career as a trials rider, gradually progressing to motorcross before taking up road racing, eventually accumulating 25 wins in the Grand Prix Motorcycle racing. Naturally talented, but highly aggressive, he became second most successful American road racer; but was forced to early retirement due to accumulated injuries incurred throughout his career.

 32 
William Kissam Vanderbilt II
(Motor Racer, Sailor)
William Kissam Vanderbilt II
1
Birthdate: October 26, 1878
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: January 8, 1944

William Kissam Vanderbilt II was an American yachtsman and motor racing enthusiast. Born into the popular Vanderbilt family, William developed an interest in yachting and horse racing. He participated in yacht racing in 1900 and won the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup. A racing enthusiast, William owned many fast cars and launched an international auto racing event called the Vanderbilt Cup.

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 33 
Franco Morbidelli
(Motorcycle rider)
Franco Morbidelli
2
Birthdate: December 4, 1994
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 34 
Pol Espargaró
(Grand Prix motorcycle racer best known for winning the 2013 Moto2 World Championship)
Pol Espargaró
4
Birthdate: June 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Granollers, Spain
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 35 
Aleix Espargaró
(Motorcycle racer)
Aleix Espargaró
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Granollers
 36 
Kenan Sofuoğlu
(Five-Time Supersport World Champion Turkish Racer)
Kenan Sofuoğlu
1
Birthdate: August 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kuzuluk, Akyazı, Sakarya Province, Turkey

Retired Turkish motorcycle racing star Kenan Sofuoğlu is a 5-time winner of the Supersport World Championship. A string of injuries, including a hip injury, ended his racing career. He later joined politics with the Justice and Development Party, or the AK Party, and represented the Sakarya Province in the Turkish parliament.

 37 
Marco Melandri
(Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver)
Marco Melandri
5
Birthdate: August 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ravenna

Marco Melandri is an Italian former motorcycle road racer who won the 2002 250 cc World Championship title. He also won MotoGP races in 2005 and 2006 before competing in Superbike World Championship in 2011. Although he retired from racing after taking part in the Superbike World Championship in 2019, Marco Melandri made a brief return in 2020.

 38 
Eddie Lawson
(Former four-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion)
Eddie Lawson
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Upland, California, United States

Eddie Lawson is a retired Grand Prix motorcycle racer who was a four-time Grand Prix World Champion. His record of consistently finishing in the points and not crashing earned him the sobriquet Steady Eddie. In 1999, he was made an inducted of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

 39 
Conor Cummins
(Motorcycle rider)
Conor Cummins
0
Birthdate: May 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Douglas, Isle of Man
 40 
Phil Read
(Motorcycle racer)
Phil Read
1
Birthdate: January 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bedfordshire, Luton, England
 41 
Shoya Tomizawa
(Motorcycle racer)
Shoya Tomizawa
1
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Asahi
Died: September 5, 2010
 42 
Dan Kneen
(Motorcycle rider)
Dan Kneen
0
Birthdate: June 26, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Douglas, Isle of Man
Died: May 30, 2018
 43 
Tom Sykes
(Motorcycle racer)
Tom Sykes
1
Birthdate: August 19, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Huddersfield

British motorcycle racer Tom Sykes began his career with the British Supersport Championship. He later represented WorldSBK and Kawasaki, and eventually moved on to the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team in 2019. He was inspired to join motorcycle racing by his grandfather, who lent him his 600cc Ninja for weekend races.

 44 
Christian Estrosi
(Politician, Motorcycle racer)
Christian Estrosi
1
Birthdate: July 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice
 45 
Helene van Zuylen
1
Birthdate: August 21, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 17, 1947
 46 
Geoff Duke
(Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver)
Geoff Duke
1
Birthdate: March 29, 1923
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St Helens
Died: May 1, 2015
 47 
Hiroshi Aoyama
(Japanese Retired Grand Prix Motorcycle Road Racer)
Hiroshi Aoyama
1
Birthdate: October 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ichihara, Chiba, Japan
 48 
Dave Molyneux
(Motorcycle rider)
Dave Molyneux
0
Birthdate: November 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Douglas, Isle of Man
 49 
David Knight
(Motorcycle racer)
David Knight
0
Birthdate: May 31, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ballaugh, Isle of Man
 50 
Joe Leonard
(American Professional Motorcycle Racer)
Joe Leonard
1
Birthdate: August 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States
Died: April 27, 2017

Joe Leonard was an American racecar driver and motorcycle racer. In 1954, he won the A.M.A. Grand National Championship Series before going on to win it again in 1956 and 1957. After achieving 27 wins, Leonard retired from motorcycle racing and focused on auto racing. Leonard was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.