MotoGP »

Final round title showdowns: 1949 - 2005.

Although it is possible for Nicky Hayden to clinch the 2006 MotoGP World Championship in Portugal this weekend, the most likely scenario is that the title chase will go all the way to the final race in Valencia.

Since the Motorcycle Grand Prix world championship was introduced in 1949, there have been thirteen occasions that the premier-class title has been decided at the final race of the year.

Those were:

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. Geoff 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). Les 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.

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.

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.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden and Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP, 2006
Former rivals Kenny Roberts Sr. [left] and Randy Mamola at Suzuka.
Wayne Rainey leads Mick Doohan during the 1992 500cc season.
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
Lorenzo and Rossi after final race for Yamaha
Sepang final Turn (pic: Peter McLaren)
Bulega, Pons seal CEV titles
This year’s British MotoGP round at Silverstone will include two classic races
Extra run-off at Mugello`s final turn for 2015
Marc and Alex Marquez celebrate titles in home town (pic: Repsol)
Miller leads final corner, Moto3 race, Australian MotoGP 2014
Phil Read presents Yamaha with first title certificate
Marquez, Pedrosa review Repsol Honda`s title-winning bikes [pic credit: Repsol Media Service]
Jorge Martinez `Aspar` celebrates final win at Argentina in 1994 (pic: Aspar).
Aspar signs DRIVE M7 title sponsorship deal (Aspar)
Cervera celebrates Marc Marquez`s title victory (pic: Repsol).
Burgess and Rossi on the grid for final time, Valencia MotoGP 2013
Burgess on the grid for final time, Valencia MotoGP 2013

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.