15 Great Motorcycle Racing Battles And Victories

Epic edge-of-the-bleachers contests that still get our hearts pumping.

Álex Rins
Nail-biting action at the British Grand Prix between Spaniard Álex Rins and his fellow countryman, five-time MotoGP world champion Marc Márquez, inspired reflection on other significant racetrack duels of the past, both pavement and dirt.Dorna

Álex Rins' thrilling come-from-behind victory over Marc Márquez in the 2019 British Grand Prix at Silverstone prompted us to think back on some of the great motorcycle races we've witnessed over the years. This list is a compilation of video clips posted by various series, including MotoGP, Supercross, Pro Motocross, MXGP, and American Flat Track. Did we miss one or more of your favorite series or races? Leave your comments at the bottom of the page.

1. Álex Rins Beats Marc Márquez At The 2019 British Grand Prix

After 20 laps of hard racing, just 0.013 second separated Álex Rins from Marc Márquez at the finish of the 2019 British Grand Prix. The factory Suzuki rider entered the final corner second but crossed the finish line first. A glance over his left shoulder at the current MotoGP point leader simultaneously asked, “Did I pass him?” and answered, “Hell, yeah, I sure did” with a victorious gloved fist pump in the air.

2. Chad Reed And Ricky Carmichael Square Off At 2003 Dallas Supercross

Chad Reed and Ricky Carmichael battled throughout the 250cc main event in this “Supercross Rewind” from April, 2003. Following heavy contact at the start, fast top-class newcomer Reed waited patiently for an opportunity to pass Carmichael, who was defending his Dallas winning streak. When the move finally came, Carmichael fought back for a heated but respectful race between the two factory riders with Reed reaching the checkered flag first.

3. Valentino Rossi Versus Casey Stoner At Laguna Seca In 2008

Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner danced around each other in this incredible head-to-head battle from 2008 at Laguna Seca Raceway. Stoner, the ’07 MotoGP world champion, went back and forth with his Yamaha rival, describing the passing maneuvers as “some of the most aggressive I’ve had in a long, long time.” Rossi even ran off track at the Corkscrew, prompting this comment: “I have to try and stay in the front because here it is difficult to overtake.”

4. Jason Anderson Runs Down Cole Seely At 2014 Anaheim Supercross

“He was full on! He was committed!” That’s how television color commentator Jeff Emig described Jason Anderson’s final-lap, come-from-behind 250cc Supercross victory over Cole Seely at the opening round of the 2014 series in Anaheim, California. Anderson was forced to first overcome slower traffic to catch race-leader Seely, but then he also put an aggressive block pass on the Honda rider in the penultimate corner to claim victory.

5. Andrea Dovisioso Nips Marc Márquez At The Red Bull Ring

Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Márquez took cardiac-arrest-inducing on-track action to new levels at the Red Bull Ring in 2019. In this multilingual clip, one of the commentators took the excitement almost literally, even stating that it would “give [him] a heart attack. It’s so great.” Ultimately, Dovizioso took the inside line at the final corner and pulled ahead of Márquez on the home straight to give Ducati its fourth consecutive victory at the predominantly right-hand Spielberg circuit.

6. Dani Pedrosa Fends Off Jorge Lorenzo At 2012 Czech Grand Prix

Dani Pedrosa finished second overall in the MotoGP world championship three times—2007, 2010, and 2012. This clip from ’12 shows the Spaniard at the top of his game. “Lorenzo is going to have to make a very brave move,” Nick Harris noted on the broadcast. And that he did, the Yamaha rider sweeping under his Honda-mounted countryman. Pedrosa somehow retook the lead and held on for what is surely one of his most memorable MotoGP victories.

7. Hayden Brothers First, Second, And Third At 2002 Springfield TT

History made! The Hayden brothers—Tommy, Nicky, and Roger—demonstrated their dirt-track prowess by sweeping the podium at the 2002 Springfield TT held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Nicky, on his way to that year’s AMA Superbike title, won the race, with Tommy second, and Roger third. Having won TT, short track, and half-mile main events, “The Kentucky Kid” was missing only a mile victory to join flat track’s legendary “Grand Slam” club.

8. James Stewart Chases Down Justin Barcia At 2014 Toronto Supercross

Swallowed by the pack at the start of the 450cc main event in Toronto, James Stewart was forced to pass many strong riders to reach the front of the field. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider smoothly picked his way toward the leading duo of Justin Barcia and Ken Roczen. Stewart first caught Roczen, then swept past Barcia with five laps remaining, and held fast to get his 49th career Supercross victory.

9. Andrea Dovisioso And Marc Márquez Last-Lap Compilation

Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso have often faced each other head on. In Austria in 2017, Márquez tried to go outside, but Dovisioso stopped the Spaniard in his tracks. The Japanese GP then saw the two riders put rubber to a rain-slicked tarmac; another Dovizioso win. In Qatar, Valentino Rossi follows the pair, but the battle was really between Dovizioso and Márquez. When it comes down to the last lap, Dovisioso almost always delivers the goods.

10. Jeffrey Herlings Topples Tony Cairoli In 2018 Great Britain MXGP

Stunning Matterley Basin in Winchester—just look at that gorgeous dirt!—was the site of this British MXGP showdown between Red Bull KTM teammates Jeffrey Herlings and Tony Cairoli. In the first moto, the Dutchman reeled in the leading Italian. The pair tangled and Cairoli fell, remounting to finish in the runner-up spot. Herlings had to work his way through traffic in moto 2, but he caught and passed Cairoli to take the double.

11. Eli Tomac And Trey Canard Duke It Out At Budds Creek In 2014

Eli Tomac and Trey Canard created a Honda sandwich with the Suzuki of James Stewart at the beginning of this clip from at Budds Creek in 2014. The pair later saw red in their own battle for the final spot on the podium behind far-in-front 450cc moto 2 winner Ryan Dungey and his KTM factory teammate, Ken Roczen. Tomac came out on top, finishing third with Canard fourth, exactly the opposite result of moto 1.

12. Jay Springsteen Goes Head To Head With Chris Carr At Sacramento Mile

Technically, Jay Springsteen and Chris Carr weren’t racing in this five-lap exhibition at the 2014 Sacramento Mile. But anytime these two great champions with 10 AMA Grand National titles between them go bar to bar on Harley-Davidson XR750s, well, all bets are off. Springsteen initially favored an outside line, while Carr kept to the inside. Both wanted top honors, but Springer got a better run out of turn 4 and drafted Carr for a photo finish.

13. Tim Gajser Gets The Better Of Tony Cairoli At 2016 Lombardia MXGP

After winning the MX2 title in 2015, Slovenian teen Tim Gajser moved up to the MX1 class to take on arguably one of the greatest motocrossers of all time, eight-time world champion Tony Cairoli. In Lombardia, Italy, the pair were locked in an intense battle for the top position on the podium in the first of two motos. Scrubbing for the lead, blocking corner exits, and bar-to-bar drags were all part of the show. Gajser won both races.

14. Shayna Texter Edges Kolby Carlile At 2018 Meadowlands Mile

American Flat Track star Shayna Texter has cemented quite a reputation for herself, particularly on half-miles and miles, where she continues to rack up race victories in the hard-fought Singles class. At the 2018 Meadowlands Mile held in the shadow of New York City, Texter and 2017 AFT Singles champion Kolby Carlile put on a show for the ages, racing nose to tail and side by side with Texter taking the win by fractions of a second.

15. Blake Baggett, Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen Duel At Hangtown In 2012

In this epic 250cc moto 1 fight at the 2012 season-opening Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, California, Ken Roczen held the top spot until Justin Barcia and Blake Baggett closed on the German for a final-lap shootout. The three riders representing three different motorcycle manufacturers—KTM, Honda, and Kawasaki—brought the crowd to its feet, with Baggett showing incredible speed when it counted and stealing victory from Roczen.