MotoGP riders celebrate 70 Years of the World Championship

by Joshua Close
MotoGP Riders Celebrate 70th Anniversary

The current crop of MotoGP riders gathered on the grid at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this evening to celebrate the championship’s 70th anniversary.

All of the riders were suited and booted, lining up on the grid in their respective teams. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta joined the paddock on the grid.

On 13 June 1949 the very first race in what would go on to become the MotoGP World Championship took place. This was the 350cc race at the Isle of Man. In addition to this race, the 250 and 500 World Championships also debuted.

The first 350cc race was won by British rider Freddie Frith. He won all five races that season and therefore secured the title. However, at the end of the year he retired from racing.

Les Graham secured the first 500cc Championship. Bruno Ruffo became the first 250cc champion, and Nello Pegani was crowned 125cc champion.

Alongside the celebrations on the circuit, Dorna revealed some interesting facts and statistics from the last 70 years.

70 Years of MotoGP

  • Firstly, 929 Grand Prix events have staged since the 1949 opener.
  • In total, these events have held a total of 3114 races for solo classes of Grand Prix racing. 
  • 117 different riders have clinched at least one world title in any solo class.
  • Giacomo Agostini has the most titles (15).
  • 372 different riders have stood on the top step of the podium across all solo classes.
  • Agostini has the most race wins (122).
  • 111 different riders have won only one Grand Prix race. Danilo Petrucci joined this list at Mugello.
  • 718 different riders have finished on the podium in all solo classes of Grand Prix racing.
  • Valentino Rossi has the most podiums (234).
  • The winners in solo classes have come from 29 different nations. Italy leads the way with 811 victories.
  • 30 different countries have hosted a Grand Prix race. Spain leads the way with 400 races.
  • Honda is the most successful manufacturer in Grand Prix racing with 776 races.

Catalan GP Schedule

The weekend’s action in Barcelona begins on Friday (14 June 2019) with Free Practice 1 at 08:55. Free Practice 2 begins at 13:10.

Saturday’s (15 June 2018) action begins at 08:55 with Free Practice 3, with Free Practice 4 at 12:30. Qualifying 1 begins at 13:10 and Qualifying 2 at 13:35.

Sunday’s warm-up (16 June 2019) will begin at 08:40. Most importantly, the race begins at 13:00.

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