After the decades 1980’s and 1990’s we give you below three of the best riders in the first decade of this century. Again it is all no more than our opinion, so feel free to agree or disagree.
Casey is born in Australia in 1985 and starts racing at very young age. He soon decides he wants a full-pro racing career and moves to the UK. In 2002, at the age of 17, he competes his first championship race. In 2007 Casey becomes MotoGP World Champion for Ducati, with ten victories that season. Being just 22 years old, he thereby became the youngest World Champion ever in the MotoGP. During 2008 and 2009 Stoner remained a strong contender, winning multiple races, but not being able to consistently challenge Valentino Rossi and Yamaha for the title. In 2011 however he was World Champion for the second time. It was said, that his greatest talent was, that he could ride any motorcycle beyond its perceived limits.
He completely surprised the Moto GP racing world in 2012, when he decided to stop his racing career. Later, in an interview in 2020 he told more about his personal secret: for years he suffers chronic fatigue due to anemia, which among other things made him decide to stop in 2012 as a moto racer. In 2013 he made a move from two to four wheels as a car racer in the Australian Dunlop V8 supercar series.
In the period 2016 – 2018 Casey still was a test and development rider for the Ducati Moto GP team. As he found Ducati did not do enough with his feedback, he left the racing world completely at the end of 2018.
This Italian motorcycle road racer widely considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all times. He won nine Grand Prix World Championships, seven of which in the premier class.
After graduating to the premier class in 2000, Valentino won the 500cc World Championship and 8 Hours of Suzuka with Honda in 2001. He became the last satellite rider to win the title to date. He also won the MotoGP World Championships this time with Factory Honda Team in 2002 and 2003. He continued his championships in 2004 and 2005 after he left Honda and joined the Yamaha-team. In 2006 he lost the title, due to a crash in the final round at Valencia. Valentino ended third overall in 2007, but regained his title in 2008 and in 2009. The 2010 season was marred by a broken leg and no title defense. He left Yamaha to join Ducati and replaced Casey Stoner for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but endured both losing seasons.
Nicolas Hayden began racing motorcycles at a very young age. Maybe therefore people called him ‘Nicky” instead. His nickname also was the Kentucky Kid. His road racing career started in the CMRA before progressing to the AMA Supersport Championship, followed by the AMA Superbike Championship. He won the AMA title in 2002 and the Repsol Honda team asked him to race for them in the MotoGP in 2003. He won the GP World Championship in 2006. A tragic accident hit him on May 17, 2017. Nicky got hit by a driver while riding his bicycle in Italy. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and died five days later at the age of 35 in a local hospital. In 2018 Nicky was posthumously inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2018.