Jorge Lorenzo, Max Biaggi and Hugh Anderson MBE are set to become the newest members of the MotoGP Hall of Fame in 2020 starting with the five-time champion at Jerez.
Many would see Jerez as a fitting venue for Lorenzo, as he made his Grand Prix debut 17 years ago at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto and where the last corner bares his name.
The recently retired Spaniard took his first win in 2003 and went on to accumulate 47 wins in MotoGP and 68 in total.
“To be named a MotoGP Legend makes me extremely happy. When I began competing in this world, what I really aspired to do was to get into the World Championship.
To be able to win races and then five World Championships is something that far outweighs what I expected, and to be a MotoGP Legend is something even more difficult to achieve.”
Lorenzo’s status as a legend is unquestioned, and had a career many could only aspire to have that resulted in rides for Yamaha, Ducati and Honda at different stages.
“To be named a Legend means, apart from the titles, that you’ve left a mark on the people and history of this sport.
I’d like to thank Dorna and the FIM for their support all these years, and for having included me in this special group of select riders.”
Biaggi will then follow Lorenzo into the hall of fame with his induction scheduled to take place at Mugello.
Biaggi’s Grand Prix career started in 1991 when he competed in the 250cc class. The Italian took his first victory the following season, before a dominating run that saw him win championships from 1993 through 1997.
The now 48 year-old moved up to the premier class in 1998, where he accumulated 13 victories and was a runner up in the championship three times.
Success for Biaggi was still to come as he moved to WorldSBK, where he won the championship twice in 2010 and 2012 before retirement.
Biaaggi could not be more proud to have his name among the list of greats saying: “I’m honoured to become a MotoGP Legend and know that my name will be up there forever with other important racers like Agostini, Aspar, Nieto, Sheene…
I’m happy that my racing legacy will always be remembered and it’s a good feeling that knowing all of my years of hard work are still being recognised, even today. I would like to thank everyone who decided to give me this honour.”
Finally, we have New Zealand’s Anderson, who will be the final inductee towards the end of the 2020 season.
Anderson debut in the MotoGP paddock came in 1960 as he competed in both the 500cc class, and 350cc class.
In 1963, Anderson took on the challenge of competing in both the 125cc and 50cc world championships, which paid off as he claimed both titles.
“How I felt when receiving the news? At first, apprehension: do my relatively modest achievements warrant this honour?
Will I, can I, do justice to this invitation? Some hours later I felt a feelgood sensation envelope me.
A gratification that after all this time the modern world has not forgotten the past and the riders of a very much different era still have some value. A question of the history of our sport being recognised at the highest level. Thank you.”
Fair to say these are three hugely deserved hall of fame inductees for 2020, and join a long list of greats to have their achievements and dedication to the sport recognised.