has compiled its list of the top ten MotoGP bikes of the four-stroke era (since 2002).
Deciding the criteria to judge each bike was no easy task, but we finally settled on a simple 'back of an iPhone' formula, combining podiums with the number of different riders the bike was successful for.
The first part of our formula therefore awarded 'Podium Points' for each 1st (3 points), 2nd (2 points) and 3rd (3 points) place achieved by each bike during a racing season.
We chose podiums because race wins alone would probably measure individual rider talent instead of overall bike strength/dominance, while the more finishing positions that are included (top six, top ten etc), the greater the bias towards manufacturers with the most bikes on the grid.
Then, in order to show the range of riding styles each machine could accommodate, the second part of the scoring system awarded 3 'Bonus Points' for each different rider that finished on the podium.
The total score for each bike (Podium and Bonus) was then divided by the number of races held in that season, in order to compare bikes from different years.
So our quick formula was as follows:
Final Score = (Podium Points + Bonus Points)/Number of Races
Here is our top ten...
1. 2003 Honda RC211V
15 (5 riders x 3 points)
Final Score: 6.06
The 2003 Honda RC211V emerged as the clear winner of our 'Best MotoGP bike' list - and it's not difficult to see why.
The 2003 RCV won 15 of the 16 races it entered and swept all three titles with Valentino Rossi
(Riders'), Repsol Honda (Teams') and Honda (Constructors').
Looking specifically at our points system, the 2003 RCV came out on top over earlier and later RCV models - plus machines from Yamaha and Ducati - because of its unrivalled domination of the podium, combined with rostrum success for five different riders.
RCV competitors filled all three podium places at six events during 2003 - a figure not approached by any other bike during the four-stroke era - and, of the 48 podiums places on offer that year, 38 went to Honda riders.
The majority of those podiums were claimed by Rossi (16, every race), Sete Gibernau
(10) and Max Biaggi (9), who finished first, second and third in the championship.