As the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorcycle racing and the oldest motorsport World Championship in existence, MotoGP is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the very first World Championship race, with the current crop of MotoGP riders dressing up to commemorate the occassion. The first race win was in the 350 cc category at the Isle of Man TT (IoMTT) in 1949, where British rider Freddie Firth took the crown riding a Velocette.

Taking an overall five wins in the category, Firth went on to become to first 350 world champion, retiring from racing immediately after. The first winner of the World Championship race classifications as we used to know it, the 500, was Les Graham, riding an AJS, while the 250 class was taken by Bruno Ruffo on a Moto Guzzi while Nello Pagani won the 125 class riding a Mondial.

Across 70 years, a total of 929 Motorcycle Grand Prix races have been run from 1949, comprising of a total of 3,114 races in the solo category. In terms of World Championships, 117 different riders have at least one world title to their name, making it a very select club.

The rider with the best win record is racing legend Giacomo Agostini of Italy with 15, eight in the 500 cc class and 7 in the 350 class, from 1966 to 1975. He is followed by Spaniard Angel Nieto with a total of 13, seven in the 125 and 6 in the 80/50.

Crowd favourite Valentino Rossi comes in third in overall championship ranking with 9 wins, seven in 500 cc and one each in the 250 and 125 cc classes. Another race legend, Mike Hailwood, ties with Rossi for number of championship wins, with four in 500 cc, two in 350 and three in 250, along with Carlo Ubbiali with nine wins in the 350 and 250 class.

In terms of podium places, 372 riders have won first place on the top step, with Agostini the most successful winner, standing at the top 122 times, followed by Rossi with 115, Nieto with 89, Hailwood with 76 and current MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez with 73.

Of the total of 372 race winners, 111 different riders have only one GP race win in their resume, going back to 1949. The most recent single race winner is Danilo Petrucci who won the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello this year riding the Ducati Desmosedici GP19.

The rider with the most podium finishes in all classes is Rossi, with 234, followed by Agostini with 159. Dani Pedrosa, who retired from MotoGP in 2018, has 153 race wins to his credit, followed by Jorge Lorenzo with 152 and Nieto with 139.

Ranked by nation, Italy has won 811 world championship races across all categories, with Spain coming in second with 609. Great Britain draws up third with 383 race winners, with Germany (East and West) with 191 and Australia rounding out the top five winning nations with 180 wins.

The MotoGP world championship has been held in 30 countries since 1949, with the majority of races held in Spain, 400 races, and Italy, with 347. Honda is the most successful manufacturer in the world championship, grabbing a total of 776 race wins, with Yamaha’s 502 wins giving it second, followed by Aprilia with 294, MV Agusta with 275 and Suzuki with 157.