How have the previous all-Champion MotoGP™ pairings fared?
The eight-time King Marquez and the 2020 World Champion Mir will team up joining the likes of Rossi & Lorenzo, plus Stoner and Hayden
Marc Marquez and Joan Mir have been officially launched as Repsol Honda’s 2023 riders during their Team Presentation in Madrid on Wednesday. The 2020 MotoGP™ World Champion will step into the famous squad and ride alongside the six-time premier class King. As a result, the Spanish pair will make up only the fifth all-Champion line-up in MotoGP™ history. Ahead of the dynamic duo taking to the track together at the opening round of 2023 in Portimao, we take a look at the four previous all-star pairings across the MotoGP™ era.
CASEY STONER AND NICKY HAYDEN
In September 2008, American Nicky Hayden was confirmed to be leaving Honda after six seasons and was set to join Australian Casey Stoner at Ducati. The 2006 and 2007 MotoGP™ World Champions became the first teammates to both hold a premier class title since the MotoGP™ era began in 2002. Throughout their two-year partnership, Stoner clinched seven victories and a further 10 podium finishes whilst Hayden struggled to adapt to the much-different Desmosedici after a decade with Honda. The late, great Kentucky Kid picked up two podiums in 2010, including a third-place finish behind race winner Stoner at Aragon – the only time the pair stood on the podium together in the red of Ducati.
VALENTINO ROSSI AND NICKY HAYDEN
At the end of the season, Casey Stoner left for the Repsol Honda leaving a space free in the factory Ducati squad. In came nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, teaming up with Hayden for the second time in his career after they spent a year together at Honda in 2003. Furthermore, the pair were reunited as teammates with Hayden now a World Champion himself thanks to his 2006 title. It was a tough two years for the Bologna factory, though, with Rossi only managing three podium finishes and Hayden just the one in their 36 races together.
VALENTINO ROSSI AND JORGE LORENZO
By far the most famous all-Champion pairing in MotoGP™ history, their rivalry is forever etched in premier class folklore. Rossi returned to the factory Yamaha squad with Lorenzo having just clinched the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship, his second premier class title, adding an extra element to their already frosty relationship from 2008 to 2010. The pair would fight it out from 2013 to 2016, finishing 1-2 in seven separate races, with the main flashpoint coming in 2015. The fight for the World Championship went down to the final round for the first time in nine years with the pair split by only seven points. Lorenzo would go on to take the title, his third premier class crown, but, by the time he left for Ducati at the end of 2016, it was honours even after pair had finished above eachother in the Championship standings on two occasions each.
JORGE LORENZO AND MARC MARQUEZ
It was billed as the Repsol Honda dream team, but it quickly turned into a nightmare. Jorge Lorenzo jumped from Ducati to Honda and, as a result, linked up with Marc Marquez for the first time ahead of the 2019 MotoGP™ World Championship. The pair had been fierce rivals ever since Marquez entered the premier class in 2013, so a lot was made over how they’d be able to coexist. In the end, Marquez would go on to have the most dominant season of his career, winning the title with a record-breaking 420 points, whilst Lorenzo had a year to forget with a string of crashes and subsequent injuries forcing him to retire at the end of the season.