Regarding sports, rivalries are another component that contributes to the spectacle and helps generate new fans.
This is true regardless of the sport being discussed or the level of competition. This is not an exception in motorsport; quite the opposite.
Over the course of its more than seven decades of existence, the intense dogfights that have taken place in the race’s final laps have caused spectators to leap from their seats and couches.
As this is one of the raisons d’être of the championship that is considered the best on two wheels, we at Motorbli are going to look back at the seven most memorable rivalries that have occurred throughout the history of MotoGP.
Although some occurred more recently than others, they all represented a turning point in the history of motorcycling.
After we have gotten ourselves warmed up with the introduction, it is time to get down to business and discuss the all-out battles that have set MotoGP apart from the other competitions in the realm of motorsport. Here we go.
These legendary racers competed against one another in the premier 500 cubic centimeter class throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s.
However, before participating in the MotoGP World Championship, they were already familiar with one another.
The two people from the United States first connected while competing in the AMA Superbike National Championship and the Transatlantic Trophy.
Both riders entered MotoGP in the year 1988, and during the time that they competed there, they gave memorable battles.
The one at Suzuka in 1989 stands out in particular because on the Japanese track; both riders exchanged a lot of overtakes in the final stretch before crossing the finish line.
They were able to bring Yamaha and Suzuki to very high levels of success, which resulted in Rainey winning three world championships and Schwantz winning one, even though Schwantz won one more race (25 to 24) than his fellow countryman and competitor.
During the 1993 Italian Grand Prix, held at the Misano circuit, Wayne Rainey was involved in a terrible accident that ultimately resulted in him using a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
This put an abrupt end to their long-running competition.
In one fell swoop, the allure of beating his competitor was snuffed out for Schwantz, and he ended up retiring two years later, in 1995, after the first three races of the championship. Rossi vs. Biaggi
Once again, other riders from the same country, this time from Italy, experienced both success and failure in the premier class of MotoGP.
Especially in the early years of Il Dottore, when they were among the greatest, Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi had a difficult time of it.
Rossi’s comb, which he presented to his rival at Suzuka in 2001 after the Roman had pushed him into the grass earlier on the finishing straight, has already been written into the annals of racing history.
During the same year, they also got into an argument before reaching the podium at the Grand Prix of Catalonia.
It was because there were more people from Rossi’s team than were permitted to be present at the prize-giving, as the Roman explained to a media outlet.
However, both gave beautiful duels for victories, such as in Welkom 2004 and Mugello 2005, which fell on the side of the nine-time champion.
Welkom 2004 marked the first victory of Tavullia with Yamaha, and Mugello 2005 saw both of them fall.
The negative feelings that once existed between the two parties have faded into the background with time.
When Rossi announced his retirement, Biaggi wished him well in his new life, wished him the best of luck in his new endeavors, and left the door open for the two of them to have a glass of wine together.
Mick Doohan was the most dominant rider in MotoGP during the 1990s, as evidenced by the fact that he won the world championship five times in a row between 1994 and 1998.
However, he encountered a formidable opponent on his team, Repsol Honda, in the form of the Spaniard Alex Crivillé.
This prevented him from winning the race. Despite their troubled relationship, which reached its worst point in 1996, the two continued to live together for a significant amount of time.
It was not for nothing that it was when the first Spanish champion of the premier class was in a better predisposition to beat him and, as a result, when the status of the Australian was most in jeopardy.
Moments from that season will live on in people’s memories, such as the victory of the Spaniard by only two thousandths in Brno, the fall on the last lap of Crivillé in Jerez when people had entered the track in mass during the duel between the two, or when both touched in Eastern Creek (Australia) and went to the ground.
These are just some of the memorable moments from that season. The Catalan’s crown was finally won in 1999, even thoDoohan not take it because he had been involved in a severe accident at Jerez that forced him to retire.
After sustaining a fall in Assen seven years ago, he re-injured the right leg that he had come so close to amputating.
Valentino Rossi did not comprehend why Yamaha, the company whose logo features tuning forks, was looking for a highly competitive teammate for him after he had completely transformed the company’s fortunes by winning the titles in 2004 and 2005.
Jorge Lorenzo was a two-time world champion in the 250 cc class when he turned 21 and moved to the MotoGP class.
The Spaniard had no intention of acting as Rossi’s squire. He quickly demonstrated this disinclination by claiming the pole position in his first Grand Prix and going on to win the Estoril race.
On the other hand, in that first year of 2008, he could rein in his momentum, but in 2009, he had to put in a lot of effort to keep the “99” from making its debut in the premier class and touching the metal.
In that year, they left for posterity an exciting head-to-head duel in Montmeló in which they passed and passed each other several times until Rossi saw a gap in the last corner of the final lap where no one dared to give, and he took the upper hand.
This exciting head-to-head duel will be remembered for a long time—a stroke of genius to win that championship.
Nevertheless, in 2010, there was no color. After Lorenzo suffered a severe injury during the practice for the Mugello race, the battles were over for a few years, except for a brief parenthesis in Motegi, where Lorenzo came within a hair’s breadth of winning the championship.
When Il Dottore realized that Yamaha was going to place their bets on Lorenzo, he decided to leave for Ducati; however, he was never able to compete with the best riders while he was riding for Ducati, and it wasn’t until 2013 that they were able to compete against one another again.
We cannot know what would have taken place in Valencia in 2015 if the Italian hadn’t been awarded a penalty following Marquez’s infamous kick.
Before Marc Marquez arrived on the scene, there was no question that Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa were the most accomplished Spaniards in motorcycle racing.
Long before either of them made it to MotoGP, the Spaniard and the Catalan faced off against one another in competition.
The circumstances were very similar to those that surrounded Schwantz and Rainey.
In addition to this, the fact remains that they competed for victories in both the 125 and the 250 cubic centimeter categories.
When Pedrosa won his second title in the category and the third of his palmarés, it was the only season in which they competed in the quarter-liter class.
This was also the season in which Pedrosa won his second title in the category and the third of his palmarés.
In 2005, although Lorenzo could not win a single race and was left with honey on his lips multiple times, he did not back down from his assertion that he was superior to Pedrosa.
It took the good Lorenzo a few years to prove that his words were not far from the reality since he beat him twice in MotoGP when they played for the title: in 2010 and 2012.
In the latter, he came closer than ever to the often Honda rider at the time. Still, a crash in Misano ruined his chances, which he had earned, for instance, by claiming a significant victory in Brno against Lorenzo with an incredible overtaking maneuver in the final corner.
Casey Stoner rose to prominence as a MotoGP rider thanks to Ducati, the Italian manufacturer whose bike he rode to victory in 2007.
This victory was Stoner’s first and only championship to this point.
A circumstance that came as a surprise to Rossi, who had, except for the year 2006, been in complete control of the championship in recent years.
For Il Dottore, it was a reality check that made him focus more and more on physical preparation, as he acknowledged in the docuseries dedicated to him by the championship for his retirement.
And so he did regain his throne in 2008, in addition to the psychological game that gave him such an advantage over his competitors throughout his career.
According to the Australian driver, the overtaking maneuver in the Corkscrew at the limit of the Italian driver caused him to “lose respect” for the nine-time world champion.
If there is one race between the two that stands out as particularly memorable, it is the one that took place at Laguna Seca.
In 2011, when Stoner was already working for Honda, there was another tense moment between them when Rossi threw Stoner to the ground during the Jerez race. Rossi won the race.
The rain had made the track more difficult, but Il Dottore still managed to get around it.
When he went to apologize to the Australian, he told him that the famous phrase “your ambition is bigger than your talent” was dedicated to him specifically.
Even though they never competed for a championship until the very end, the battles between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez were historically significant.
This was especially true in 2015 when they competed in Argentina, the Netherlands, and Malaysia.
In Termas de Rio Hondo, it was already glimpsed that something was going on between the two with that touch that ended with the Cervera rider on the ground, and it exploded in Sepang with that kick that, with penalty, took away from him his tenth title and gave it to the Italian.
Both of these incidents occurred after a touch that resulted in the Cervera rider falling to the ground.
When there were such significant things at stake, the young Marquez admired Rossi, but as demonstrated, admiration is put to the side when important things are at stake.
Marquez was the one who threw Rossi in Argentina in 2018, and even though he was penalized for it, the reaction from the Yamaha pit when he went to apologize was hostile.
They never agreed, and it appears that this will continue to be the case.
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