We are going to know those who after finishing the 2019 season are the riders in history with the fastest laps in the race, focused on the premier class of 500cc / MotoGP.
It is one thing to be the fastest one lap in practice to seek pole position and quite another to achieve it in the race. Where the points are played and the pressure is higher, many laps must be achieved at a high pace to escape or maintain a privileged position. Only the best can make a fast lap when the red light goes out.
Fast laps in the race tend to come in the first few laps for various reasons. The first is that the tires are at their best, allowing the riders a better grip. It is also usually a key moment in which some try to come back and leaders tend to pull hard to clear the way. A common strategy in the past of Yamaha riders like Rainey or Lorenzo, which in MotoGP 2019 we have seen in Quartararo or Vinales.
Midway through the race, unless there is a chase to the leader that allows a fast lap, the situation stabilizes and only the strongest can ride a fast lap at the end. I remember seeing Schwantz do something like that, at Suzuka ’93 for example, also Valentino Rossi who liked to play with his rivals a lot. And how can we forget Marc Marquez’s fastest lap at Phillip Island 2015 to beat Jorge Lorenzo in the penultimate corner? Let’s go with the TOP 6 of riders with the fastest laps in the 500cc / MotoGP race:
1: Mike Hailwood (37 fastest laps)
“Mike The Bike” is always one of the best when it comes to talent and sheer speed. Throughout his sports career, he competed with many brands, standing out in his 500cc beginnings with Norton, later with MV Agusta where he won his four world titles in the premier class, to finish his sports career during two unforgettable seasons at Honda. With the brand of the Ala Dorada, he won the 250cc and 350cc world championships, finishing runner-up in the 500cc… brushing the title against Agostini.
2: Dani Pedrosa (44 fastest laps)
Recently some “subject” in social networks told me how a “loser” like Dani Pedrosa might have been considered a legend. To begin with, it is not just a personal consideration, but the MotoGP championship itself has recognized this. Finally, we are talking about a pilot who, although he indeed lacks the crown in the premier class, due to the circumstances that we know well enough, is usually among the 10 best in history in almost all the most important statistics. And this is just one more example: the fifth rider with the fastest laps in MotoGP in all of history.
3: Mick Doohan (46 fastest laps)
The fourth rider in history with the fastest laps in 500cc / MotoGP is none other than five-time world champion Mick Doohan. Not at all surprising to find the Australian here, is it? When she picked up the pace she was a true steamroller in the race, which her rivals often only saw at the start and later… on the honor lap.
4: Marc Marquez (56 fastest laps)
The next protagonist on the list continues to advance positions each season. In fact, in 2019 he has achieved 12 fastest laps in the 19 races, dominating as widely as in victories. How far can it go? In almost all the most important statistics he only has the same two champions ahead.
5: Giacomo Agostini (69 fastest laps)
So we got to the 8 times 500cc champion, Giacomo Agostini. The Italian with MV Agusta dominated the premier class with an iron fist from 1968 to 1972, without rivals who came close to his talent and especially his mechanics. Winning then almost all the races he contested, making the fastest lap consequently for his overwhelming dominance.
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6: Valentino Rossi (76 fastest laps)
Valentino Rossi seemed stuck in the 75 fastest laps and it is that he did not increase his locker since Le Mans 2016, but in the penultimate race of the just finished season, he managed to be the fastest one lap in the Sepang race, raising his record to 76. For many, the best rider in history is at the moment the rider with the fastest laps in MotoGP / 500cc in history.