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MotoGP title showdowns: 1949-2012

A rundown of the 15 previous premier-class title showdowns...
The official pre-race media statistics for this weekend's Valencia MotoGP finale includes the following rundown of the 15 previous premier-class championship showdowns.

Rookie Marc Marquez and reigning double champion Jorge Lorenzo will decide the 2013 title on Sunday...

1950 - Going to the final race of the year at his home race at Monza, Umberto Masetti riding a four-cylinder Gilera had a marginal lead in the championship over Geoff Duke riding a single-cylinder Norton. Duke won the race, but Masetti did just enough by finishing second to clinch the title by a single point.

1952 - Again Umberto Masetti arrived at the final race of the year with a narrow lead in the title chase over the 1949 champion Les Graham (MV Agusta) and Irishman Reg Armstrong (Norton). Graham won the race which took place over 48 laps of the Montjuich circuit in Barcelona, but once again Masetti did enough to clinch the title by finishing second.

1957 - Libero Liberati (Gilera) won the final race of the year at Monza to take the title from Bob McIntyre (Gilera). Liberati had crossed the line first at the Belgium GP earlier in the year, but had been disqualified for changing his machine without notifying the officials. After the end of the season Liberati was re-instated as winner of the Belgium GP, meaning he had in retrospect won the world title before arriving in Italy for the final race.

1966 - Two of the greatest rivals of all time Mike Hailwood (Honda) and Giacomo Agostini (MV Agusta) were neck and neck arriving at the final race of the year at Monza. The two rivals battled for the lead early in the race until Hailwood's Honda failed, allowing Agostini to cruise home to take the first of his eight 500cc world titles.

1967 - In a repeat of the previous year, Hailwood and Agostini went into the final race still battling for the championship as the grand prix competitors visited Canada for the one and only time. Hailwood won the race to give him the same points total as Agostini, each having won five races. Agostini took the title due to his three second-place finishes to Hailwood's two.

1975 - Giacomo Agostini was once again involved in a final race shoot-out with a British rider, this time it was Phil Read, who had taken over as the number one rider at MV-Agusta and won the title for the previous two years. Read won the final race of the year at Brno but Agostini riding a Yamaha cruised home in second place, finishing over one minute behind Read, to clinch the title and become the first rider ever to win the premier-class crown on both two-stroke and four-stroke bikes.

1978 - Kenny Roberts (Yamaha) had just an eight point lead over Barry Sheene (Suzuki) going into the final race of the year at the old 22 km Nurburgring circuit. Roberts finished in third place, just ahead of Sheene, to become the first American rider ever to win the premier-class title, and the last rookie rider to do so.

1979 - Kenny Roberts once again arrived for the final race of the year battling with a Suzuki rider for the world title, this time young Italian Virginio Ferrari, at the Le Mans circuit. After leading in the early stages of the race Ferrari crashed out, which gifted the title to Roberts for the second year running.

Tagged as: Valentino Rossi , hayden

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November 06, 2013 2:32 PM

@herewego Hayden won two races, Assen and Laguna Seca. What sealed the title was only one retirement from Hayden and a worst finish of 9th. Rossi however won 5, but retired from 3, and had 14th at Jerez and a 13th at Valencia. A title of consistency (rider and machine reliebility) and largely keeping out of trouble


November 06, 2013 3:26 PM

Hayden fans (and there are a lot) will of course deny it but he won the championship not because of how fast he or the Honda was, but because of how many times the Yamaha flat out stopped working for Rossi. It was like Spies' run 2011, every race the bike ******* up.

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