10 Best MotoGP Races to Watch in History
BettingFellow is dedicated to all things related to sports betting. Even though most of our site is dedicated to football predictions and guides, we have to admit we have a certain soft spot for MotoGP and motogp betting. It’s a criminally underrated sport in general, but especially among online punters. If you’re looking for a new way to broaden your horizons and try something new, we wholeheartedly recommend getting into MotoGP.
However, online MotoGP betting is no less tricky than any other sport. You need a deep understanding of the sport if you ever want to turn a serious profit. Actually, watching and enjoying the sport can give your potential wagers a big boost. With dozens of teams, strategies, and decades of history, though, picking up a new sport to enjoy is not as easy as it sounds. Most newbies have no idea where to start.
If you’re looking for races that will let this motorsport sink its teeth into you, look no further. Below, we’ll list some of the most exciting races in the history of MotoGP. If these don’t get you hooked on the world’s greatest motorcycle races, nothing will. And if you decide to try your hand at betting on MotoGP races, all the better. And the best part? You can watch full MotoGP races for free, right on the official website.
Without further ado, let’s get into the races.
- 1983 Swedish Grand Prix – Anderstorp
- 2018 Dutch TT – Assen
- 1994 Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka
- 2017 Australian Grand Prix - Phillip Island
- 2015 Australian Grand Prix - Phillip Island
- 2005 Spanish Grand Prix – Jerez
- 2007 Catalan Grand Prix - Catalunya
- 1988 Czechoslovak Grand Prix – Brno 250cc
- 2012 United States Grand Prix – Laguna Seca
- 2019 British Grand Prix – Silverstone
1983 Swedish Grand Prix – Anderstorp
Few riders left as big of a mark on the sport as Kenny Roberts. After becoming the first American ever to win a Grand Prix championship, he went on to finally break the FIM monopoly over motorcycle racing. This led to a new era of professionalism in the sport that improved the position of riders. His career was marked by many memorable moments, but perhaps none could match the drama of the 11th round of the 1983 season.
First, the setup. As part of Yamaha’s team, Grand Prix legend Roberts was neck-to-neck with Honda’s Freddie Spencer in terms of championship points. Each had won 5 of the previous 10 Grand Prix races. While Spencer had 2 points over Roberts, the latter had the momentum of 4 consecutive triumphs.
Calling the final outcome a nail-biter would be a complete understatement. The whole season is the stuff of legend and was easily the closest battle in the two decades preceding it. Throw in the fact that the two riders were neck-to-neck right up until the last second, and you’ll see why this race is a must-watch for any true MotoGP fan.
In one of the most controversial moves in the sport’s history, Spencer’s more nimble the-cylinder Honda managed to get inside of the Yamaha. Both riders ran off-track, which led to Spencer winning by a margin of barely more than a tenth of a second.
If you want a taste of the historic excitement of MotoGP, this is a great place to start.
2018 Dutch TT – Assen
Let’s turn the clock all the way forward to recent history – the 2018 Championship’s eight-round in Assen on July 1, 2018. Some call this the greatest MotoGP race of all time. Others are more conservative by naming it the most exciting bout of the decade. No matter how you look at it, though, this race brought all the blood pumping excitement of the sport to the forefront.
The TT Circuit in Assen is generally beloved by the fans of the sport. It has quick straights, sharp corners, twists, turns, and everything you need for a great race. It’s also referred to as “The Cathedral of Motorcycling” – partly because it’s a fine course, partly because it’s the only track that has hosted the Grand Prix since the series was created in 1944.
As for the 2018 iteration, we’ll give you some numbers. 8 riders constantly vied for the leading spots, and 5 of them took the leading position at different times. Featuring more than 100 overtakes, the race was finally decided in the last few seconds. It’s everything MotoGP can be and more, making the 2018 Assen race a must-watch for aspiring fans.
1994 Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka
The reality of MotoGP, like most other sports, is that most events are dominated by one or two participants. There’s often a hard favourite and only a select few serious contenders. Motorsports are not as chained to this rule of thumb as some other sports, but it’s true nonetheless.
True excitement, however, emerges when multiple top-notch drivers compete for a race whose results are important for the season. One such race happened on April 24th 1994 on the famed Suzuka racetrack. This race was most notable for the four-way battle between several riders who have since become legends, including Mick Doohan, Luca Cadalora, and Shinichi Ito.
Shining above the rest, however, was the home hero Norifumi Abe. Everyone loves a good underdog story, but Norick’s fighting spirit is one of the most recognizable tales of MotoGP history. Entering the race as a complete wildcard and obvious underdog, he took the lead after an exquisite qualification and stayed there for most of the race. Sadly, Abe crashed his 500cc Honda on lap 19. He didn’t win the race, but instead won the hearts of fans worldwide. In fact, Valentino Rossi often names this race as one of his favourites, citing Abe’s tenacity as an inspiration.
2017 Australian Grand Prix - Phillip Island
Another modern classic, the sixteenth round of the 2017 season was one for the history books. Lauded as arguably the best motorcycle racetrack in the world, Phillip Island almost always delivers some of the most exciting races in any given season. In fact, the 2015 competition was another noteworthy example, and we’ll get into it a bit further down this list.
The 2017 version, however, is the perfect example of what we talked about in the previous entry. However, this time, no less than 7 riders were leading the procession. At no point in the race was victory assured for any of them, which lead to 40 minutes of pure adrenaline. The final time difference between some of them was down to a hundredth of a second. If you’re not sold on the 2017 Phillip Island MotoGP race yet, there’s more.
The leading racers passed each other more than 70 times. The fighting was so fierce that none of the leading groups came off without rubber tire remains on their racing suits. Bikes came out cracked, visors damaged, but all contenders were smiling both at the podium and off it. Despite the on-course aggression, all the participants were privy to the fact that they were making MotoGP history.
2015 Australian Grand Prix - Phillip Island
We’ll list this one while the previous entry is still fresh in your memory. Also, this will all serve as a reminder of the fact that we’re living in the golden age of motorbike racing. Why? Among others, the four guys who shined throughout the 2015 season’s sixteenth round: Marc Márquez Valentino Rossi, Andrea Iannone, and Jorge Lorenzo. To be fair, Lorenzo and Iannone have since retired, but the competition around the very tip of the spear of MotoGP riders has only grown denser since.
These four vied for the pole position throughout the competition’s 40-minute runtime. Just when Marquez or Lorenzo seemed to be able to pull ahead and make a gap, the others would reel them back. Iannone’s pass in lap 11 was one of the most memorable moments of the decade. Though still fresh from MotoGP 2, he fearlessly swooped by the two leaders to take the lead.
Márquez eventually claimed the win, but that’s not what the race is remembered for. Commentators later stated that there were 52 passes between the top 4 – a course record at the time.
2005 Spanish Grand Prix – Jerez
The Spanish Grand Prix represents the opening round of every MotoGP season. That’s something to always look forward to – though these first laps tend to be a bit dry. As with most long-haul sports competitions, the temperatures rise as the end comes closer into sight.
However, the 2005 rendition is often cited as a turning point in MotoGP racing. The heated duel between Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau is said to have opened the floodgates for physical contact during races to become standard. It’s thus a very controversial, and somewhat infamous clash.
The shortened version is simple – after a 40-minute toe-to-toe battle, Rossi pushed Gibernau off-track on the last corner of the race, snatching an upset victory at the height of their rivalry. Since then, contact – often aggressive and purposeful – is a standard part of almost every major MotoGP event. Whether you agree with these “innovations” or not is up to you. Either way, the 2005 Spanish Grand Prix sent echoes through the sport that we feel to this day.
2007 Catalan Grand Prix - Catalunya
Some races, however, go into the history pages on the back of being staging grounds for epic duels and fierce rivalries. The Catalunya race in 2007 is one such instance, as one of the most exciting examples of the Rossi vs. Stoner rivalry.
We’ve dedicated plenty of space in this article to Rossi, one of the sport’s living legends. Stoner, however, represented an entire era of MotoGP. He was famed for his ability to push his bike above and beyond its perceived limits. Stoner once and for all proved that skill is more important than equipment, even in motorsports.
That fateful day in 2007, he also defeated Rossi by 0.069. It was the culmination of a long and hard-fought battle and is definitely worth watching.
1988 Czechoslovak Grand Prix – Brno 250cc
Though the most powerful bikes often get most of the attention, what is today Moto2 can be just as exciting. To be fair, Moto2 races these days have stronger engines than the MotoGP equivalent of the 80s era, but our point still stands. You don’t need cutting-edge bikes to enjoy a race – just spirited riders.
This bout is mostly famous as the rivalry between Sito Pons and Juan Garriga. Garriga rushed 10 places forward to earn the win, which marked a sort of high-water mark of his sadly short career. The impressive results led to a move up to the 500cc class, which turned to be a huge mistake. Still, it’s one hell of a race despite the relatively small engine capacity.
2012 United States Grand Prix – Laguna Seca
This list so far mostly contained famed, dramatic races that in one way or another impacted the history of motorcycle racing worldwide. If you’re interested in betting on motorcycle races, though, that’s not what you’ll be watching most of the time. The average race is more often just a clean-cut, prime example of what premier riders are able to do.
That said, there are excellent examples of how the ‘average’ race is worth watching even without major crashes or drama. The first to pop into our minds as long-time MotoGP fans is the tenth round of the 2012 season. This was the closing season of Casey Stoner’s illustrious career, who was the reigning champion at the time. Health issues prevented him from claiming another trophy, but the whole championship showcases what the best MotoGP racers can do even past their prime. The US Grand Prix is a shining example with some stellar driving, breath-taking overtakes, and a satisfying finish.
2019 British Grand Prix – Silverstone
Lastly, we just had to bring this one up while it’s still fresh in our memory. It’s no small claim to say that we’re living in one of the greatest eras of motorcycle racing ever, but it’s one we’re glad to stand behind. In this case, we have some numbers to back it up, too. Alex Rins won the bout with just 0.013 over Marc Márquez, making this one of the closest finishes in the history of motorbike racing. That’s quite an achievement in a sport where a split second can make all the difference.
Beyond that, the twelfth round of the 2019 season is a joy for spectators, especially for those interested in the technical side of racing bikes. It’s a classic tale of David and Goliath – the manoeuvrable Suzuki’s fast corner-turning versus the Honda’s unbridled power.
There are even more elements to love, though. After all, it ended with the underdog snatching the victory by the skin of their teeth with a last-corner overtake. Top MotoGP racing all-around.