Who could emulate Rossi to become a Champion in their 30s?

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Aprilia, Honda, motoGP News

Who could emulate Rossi to become a Champion in their 30s?

The Italian is the only rider in the MotoGP™ era to win a title while in their 30s – here’s who could join him in achieving the feat in 2023

In the MotoGP™ era, only one rider has managed to get his hands on the premier class world title after reaching the age of 30. A famous Italian called Valentino Rossi is their name.

Heading into the 2023 campaign, a number of candidates could join the nine-time World Champion. Two of them have been race winners in the last couple of years, and one of them has recently turned 30 years of age – Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). If Marquez was to win this year’s MotoGP™ World Championship, he and Rossi would stand alone in being nine-time World Champions who have won a title in their 30s. Will he have an RC213V capable of propelling him to a title bid though? Only time will tell. That’s one of the big questions heading into this year. 

"I'm still trying to understand my maximum" - Marc Marquez

Another entrant is 2022 title challenger Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing). After falling agonisingly short last season, the 33-year-old will be chasing podiums, wins and a first Grand Prix title harder than ever on an RS-GP machine that right now seems to be well in the hunt for glory again. The rise of Espargaro and Aprilia has been a compelling story, and one that looks set to continue into 2023. 

And there’s more. Aleix’s younger brother Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) all have a chance of becoming part of an illustrious list of riders to win a premier class title in their 30s. All three will be hoping 2023 is the year they can claim a maiden premier class victory, and it’s a trio that certainly have points to prove over the pending months. 

Of course, it isn’t just Rossi that boasts such a record. The Doctor might be the only rider to have done so in the MotoGP™ era, but there are some phenomenal names to have done it before the Italian took the Grand Prix world by storm – eight of them to be precise.

In the 1950s, Libero Liberati, Geoff Duke and Leslie Graham were three pioneers to win titles in the 30s, while a little later down the line, 15-time World Champion Giacomo Agostini and seven-time World Champion Phil Read achieved the feat. Three more riders who possess 12 Championships between them have also continued to reach the peak of their powers in their 30s: Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Mick Doohan.

Will one of the current MotoGP™ crop add their name to the list? Round 1 in Portugal will be the first indication as to what might lie ahead in 2023. 

The best moments from Valentino Rossi's magical career

Read more here


Wolfman Peak Tail Bag WP | Gear Review

The Wolfman Peak Tail Bag WP is a 6.5L waterproof, rack-mounted motorcycle tail bag with an 840D nylon exterior and RF-welded seams. MSRP is $169.99. (Story and photos by Moshe K. Levy, aka Moto Mouth Moshe) Wolfman’s Peak Tail Bag WP provides a compact but versatile...

Royal Enfield SG650 Concept | First Look Review

Unveiled at EICMA 2021, the Royal Enfield SG650 Concept blends neo and retro design elements. In recent years, Royal Enfield has deftly toed the line between modern and retro. The all-new Meteor 350 calls back to brand’s mid-century cruisers while the Google-powered...

The Speedshop roars into action for a series of adventures on BBC Two

Photo: Mark Riccioni Following a successful pilot, The Speedshop returns for 6×60 episodes with former Special Forces operator Titch Cormack designing and building bespoke motorbikes and cars from his “souped-up man-cave” on Poole’s picturesque waterfront. This series...

2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 World GP 60th Anniversary Preview

The newest member of Yamaha’s sportbike line, the YZF-R7 will come in special World GP 60th Anniversary dress in 2022. (Yamaha/)In celebration of 60 years of World Grand Prix competition, Yamaha is releasing a number of anniversary edition sportbikes for the 2022...

Longhaulpaul: Ep. 15 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Longhaulpaul (Paul Pelland) and his Yamaha Ténéré 700 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Our guest for Episode 15 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Longhaulpaul (Paul Pelland), a long-distance motorcyclist who is Chasing the Cure: riding one million miles to...

2021 KTM 200 Duke, 390 Duke, 890 Duke, and 1290 Super Duke R | Comparison Review

KTM’s line of naked bikes has steadily evolved over the past 25 years. We assembled the latest lineup of Dukes (left to right: 200 Duke, 390 Duke, 890 Duke, and 1290 Super Duke R) for a side-by-side evaluation. Photos by Kevin Wing. KTM rose to prominence with its...

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R Track MC Commute Review

In the motorcycle world, few streetbikes garner the type of attention as Suzuki’s Hayabusa. Long, low, and fast, the GSX1300R is the standard for motorcyclists looking to get somewhere quickly. The ’22 Hayabusa represents a modernized gentleman’s sportbike. Suzuki did...

Elf Total Classic Car Engine Oil HTX Collection Multigrade 20W50 5 Litre Tin

HTX collection 20W-50 is a customized solution for old and young vintage vehicles with engines made in original state with or without turbocharger, especially those made since 1950. The excellent viscosity balance permits low-wear starts even after longer...

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim) (Royal Enfield/)UpsThe beginner cruiser market gains one more competitorImpressive, well-balanced handlingEngine power may not be jaw-dropping, but its mild-mannered delivery and lack of vibration provides a very relaxed...

Form And Function: Ashley Watson’s Waxed Cotton Jackets for Motorcyclists

From the green hills of the Central Hemisphere comes Ashley Watson. Ashley is a designer who has been itching to update the laminated fabric of traditional motorcycle gear into a more classic, sustainable choice  – and he’s gone and done it with waxed cotton. ...