Top 5 All-Time Rivalries in MotoGP

We highlight five of the greatest rivalries in MotoGP’s history. Click here and relive them with us.

Top 5 All-Time Rivalries in MotoGP

Can acculturation lead to contempt? It seems so in competitor face-offs. When enemies have a history, the stakes are higher and emotions are more potent. The desire to defeat a long-standing rival has frequently resulted in thrilling victories, dramatic last-second outcomes, commercial success and even life-or-death situations. At the very least, these consequences also apply to sporting rivalries. Whether or not a championship is on the line, it’s always a big game when rival sports teams or players face each other again.

All sports have rivalries, and motorcycling is no different. The sport has been littered with them over the years, some more intense than others. These are rivalries where the oddsmakers for Online Sports Bets need help to separate the racers.

The heated struggle for the World Championship title has seen some of the greatest rivals clash, from Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini to Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz, or Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene to Carl Fogarty and Scott Russell. Here, we examine five of the very best rivalries.

Valentino Rossi vs. Sete Gibernau

In the mid-2000s, the competition between Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau was breathtaking. Gibernau wanted to establish himself as the top Honda rider, while Rossi was trying to show that the RC211V wasn’t why he won three titles in a row. When Rossi won the M1 consecutively in 2004 and 2005, the two competed for race victories, and Gibernau came close both times. Many would never forget Rossi forcing Gibernau to run wide in the final corner of the last lap of the 2005 Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez to win. After that, the two could not agree on anything, and Gibernau eventually quit the MotoGP.

Valentino Rossi vs. Marc Marquez

Strangely, Rossi was one of Marquez’s greatest heroes as a young boy. That’s hardly surprising, given that the two have much in common, including a flare for the dramatic, a showman-like demeanor and exceptional riding skills. They were even pals in Marquez’s formative years. So the Italian asked the other flat-tracker to visit the fabled VR46 Ranch. The point at which everything went awry was in Sepang at the end of 2015. Rossi attacked his Honda adversary after what he perceived as Marquez having tampered with the Rossi/Lorenzo title race at Phillip Island the week prior. The race ended with Rossi in the stewards’ room and Marquez in the gravel after they came to blows on the track.

Wayne Rainey vs. Kevin Schwantz

The American team’s fierce rivalry began when they competed against one another in the AMA Superbike series back home and continued when they entered the 500cc World Championship in the late 1980s. Rainey and Schwantz made no effort to conceal their mutual dislike, and they frequently fought on the track as they sought to win at any cost. However, since 1993, when Rainey had a paralyzing accident that ended his professional career, he and Schwantz have been close friends.

Valentino Rossi vs. Max Biaggi

Rossi was the up-and-coming star in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He engaged in a protracted conflict with fellow countryman Max Biaggi. The two had competed against one another in lower-level motorcycle racing competitions. When they advanced to the grand prix division, tensions flared. There was team rivalry between the two riders because Biaggi rode for Yamaha and Rossi for Honda, and there was also interpersonal conflict. Highlights include Rossi giving Biaggi the middle finger at the opening race of the 2001 season after believing he had elbowed him off the track. The two got into a fight later on in the same year. Still, there isn’t enough room to mention them all here.

Carl Fogarty vs. Scott Russell

Since Carl Fogarty and Scott Russell’s feud in the early 1990s, there has never been such fierce competition in World Superbike (WSB). The two were WSB competitors: Russell, an American, won the championship in 1993 while riding a Kawasaki Ninja ZXR-750. Fogarty (‘Foggy’) began his reign in 1994 while riding a new Ducati 916. Even handshakes had been repeatedly declined by the two. According to legend, Foggy named his pet pig after his main competitor. Their ferocious animosity was even transported to America for the 1994 Daytona 200 event, which Russell won. They both turned away from one another on the podium and at the post-race news conference. They even grabbed the microphone and dragged it away from each other as they responded to inquiries.

Date Of Update: 05 April 2023, 11:47