Here Are The Top 5 Most Successful British MotoGP Riders
As MotoGP heads to Silverstone for the 2022 British Grand Prix, we have a look at the Top 5 most successful British riders in MotoGP.
5. Phil Read
Phil Read at the 1973 International GP in Silverstone – Image provided by Motorsport Images
The oldest surviving MotoGP World Champion as of date is Phil Read. A multi-talented personalit, Read enjoyed considerable success in motorcycle racing as well as Endurance racing.
He made his competitive debut at 350cc level at the Isle of Man in 1962. In 1964, he won the 250cc World Championship as a rider of Team Yamaha.
His crowning moment would come in 1973 when he won the 500cc World Championship to become the first rider to have won the title in three different classes.
During his career, the British wrapped up an incredible 121 podium finishes in just 152 races winning 52 times.
4. Barry Sheene
Barry Sheene at the 1973 International GP in Silverstone – Image provided by Motorsport Images
Barry Sheene made his debut in 1970 as a 20-year old in the 125cc class. He would finish the season second as a rookie.
After competing in the Formula 750 Championship in 1972 and 1973, he made the switch to the 500cc class for 1974.
That year he managed to secure his first victory at the Dutch Grand Prix. Two years later, the Brit took home an incredible five wins and became World Champion.
The following year Sheene went on to defend his title on more time. Til this day, he is the last British premier class Champion. He retired in 1984 with 23 wins from 102 races.
3. Geoff Duke
Geoff Duke meeting F1 legend Sir Stirling Moss – Image provided by Motorsport Images
Not only is Duke a legend in Grand Prix Racing, but he has also reached legendary status in the Isle of Man races. Including both, Junior TT and Senior TT races, The Brit won a total of six TTs.
As a memeber of Team Gilera, Duke won successive Championships in the 350cc class (1952 and 1952) and the premier class (1952, 1953, 1954 and 1955).
Retiring in 1959, Duke wrapped up a total of 89 races, finishing on the podium 50 times and winning 33 races.
2. John Surtees
John Surtees – Image provided by Motorsport Images
Starting from 1956, Surtees went on a title winning spree coming first in the 500cc Championship in ’56, ’58, ’59 and 1960. He would also triumph in the 350cc class in ’58, ’59 and 1960.
He retired from motorcycle racing in 1960 to make the switch to Formula 1. Remarkably he won the Driver’s Championship in 1964.
To this date, Surtees is the only person to have won both, the MotoGP title and the Formula 1 Driver’s Championship.
1. Mike Hailwood
Mike Hailwood in 1973 – Image provided by Motorsport Images
Mike Hailwood was a towering force in Grand Prix motorcycle racing during the 1960s. In 1961, he made history winning races in three categories in the time of a week at the Isle of Man TT.
After signing with Team MV Augusta for the 1962 500cc World Championship, the brit managed to win four titles in consecutive years.
Till the end of his career, Hailwood would wrap up 152 races, winning 76 of them and finsihing 112 times on the podium.