Motor Sport Magazine's Hall Of Fame: Vote For The Greatest Motorcycle Racers To Be Inducted

The debate over who is the greatest racer of all time is one that rages on endlessly, with arguments being made for Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi as the two most successful riders, while others argue that it should be Freddie Spencer for winning in two categories at the same time in the modern era, or Casey Stoner for winning on the Ducati, a bike no one else could, or Mick Doohan, for dominating the class as no one has done since.

Instead of discussing which one rider is the greatest, the respected British publication Motor Sport Magazine has set up their own Hall of Fame, to honor many of the great legends of racing. As Motor Sport Magazine is primarily focused on four-wheeled sport, the Hall of Fame is currently filled mostly with the luminaries of Formula One, such as Jackie Stewart, Colin Chapman, Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda, along with a few of the greats from other branches of car racing, such as Colin McRae and Mario Andretti.

This year, the focus is on motorcycle racing, however. In recent weeks, MotoMatters.com contributor Mat Oxley has made the case in his blog for riders such as Geoff Duke, Barry Sheene, Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson to join the trio of motorcycle racers already in Motor Sport Magazine's Hall of Fame. Those three – Giacomo Agostini, John McGuinness and John Surtees – need no explanation of their place in the Hall of Fame.

This year, more motorcycle racers are due to be inducted, and you can vote on who you think should join them. The list of candidates contains all of the legends of the sport you might expect, and more. The choices are: the greats from the early period of Grand Prix racing, Geoff Duke and Mike Hailwood; Grand Prix racing's first superstar Barry Sheene; Kenny Roberts, the man who revolutionized 500cc two stroke racing, and knocked Sheene off his perch; Freddie Spencer, the rider who in turn displaced Roberts, and is perhaps the most naturally talented racer ever to swing a leg over a racing motorcycle; the greats of the Golden Era, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Mick Doohan, Kevin Schwantz; Valentino Rossi, widely regarded by many fans as the greatest racer of all time; Casey Stoner, the man who beat Rossi, and gave Ducati their first ever MotoGP title; and Joey Dunlop, a man who can rightly claim to be the greatest roads racer of all time, and still has a special place in the hearts of many racers around the world.

To hear a thoughtful and considered opinion on the names on the list, you can listen to the special episode of the Motor Sport Magazine Podcast, featuring Mat Oxley and former Grand Prix racer Jeremy McWilliams. Once you've heard what they have had to say, you can vote for the riders you believe deserve to be in the Hall of Fame here. Given their status and their ability, the only shame is that you cannot vote for them all.

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Comments

There can only be one. Mike Hailwood. The number of different bikes he raced on & won with, is far greater than any other racer. Admittedly there are those that have won on 2 different manufactures & they should be considered, but really non come close.

Surely if it's opened up to both, the only person to have won the title in f1 and won the 500 cc championship should be in (if he isn't already!)

Wayne Gardner should be in there. A 500cc World Champion, and four (4) times winner of the Suzuka 8 Hour MotorCycle Race.

The Suzuka 8 Hour Race is one of the toughest races on the calendar.

Wayne did a lot to improve the image of motor cycles and bike racing in Australia.

Mario Andretti's 6 wheeled f1 car? It just seems odd to be the lone f1 car with 6 wheels. Had it been present Era... It wouldve caused lot of trouble...

With two sets of,smaller, front wheels you get more tyre contact, and the disadvantage is more unsprung weight.

It's this sort of thing that I think is missing from modern racing; the biggest experiment I can remember in motogp was Ducati's carbon frame. Of course, they didn't have the money to do it right, so now no one will touch a carbon frame (until people forget).

He would have been 4 time champion if he hadn't gotten sick one year then injured another.

And VR would've had 10 if his bike hadn't broken down in 06. Or Doohan another couple if he hadn't had a career ending crash. Ifs and buts, the joy of racing.

Of the more modern era and including two strokes, its hard to go past fast Freddie Spencer.

1. he was the youngest to win a 500 tittle in 81 (at 20 years old)
2. he won the 250cc and 500cc tittles in 83 (getting off one and onto the other) and
3. also won the Daytona and various other events also in 83.

The part I liked about Freddie was the ability to ride fast around a bad bike, and do things that just seem impossible to us mere mortals. The first time I saw Stoner ride at the island, I was shocked, it could have been Freddie..

Why is Stoner not on my list? He is faster than any other rider I have seen, he can ride a bad bike when others tried and failed, he has won on two different brands in his first year with them, but he gave up because he did not want the ancillary commitments (really? - mental toughness, the others on this list have it in spades), one day he himself will wake up and go "I'm too old, why didn't I stick with it, what I have missed out on".

If he comes out of retirement and wins again he goes straight to my number one! Not that he cares what I think.