THE MotoGP QUESTION: Which Sports Star Do You Admire the Most?

We asked eight riders who their favorite sports star are outside of MotoGP.

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi: "I follow all kind of sports, but motorsport remains my favorite. In particular, I like rally. Whenever it was possible, I did some rally races. When I will have more time, I would like to do some more."

Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo: "I have always admired Michael Jordan and Ayrton Senna. They were Sportsmen with a capital S. They were the reference in their sports. They were known worldwide, they had a special talent and a strong personality. I also like football players like Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I love football and these two guys raised the bar in their sport."

Ayrton Senna race action
Leo Messi
Andrea Dovizioso

Andrea Dovizioso: "Alessandro Del Piero because he is a champion, but also a person who I like a lot and I've been lucky enough to know him. Del Piero was world champion with the Italian football team in 2006 and he played as a striker."

Alessandro Del Piero
Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden: "I like basketball quite a lot and Michael Jordan was my hero when I was growing up. I like him, but I also like cycling."

Michael Jordan
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez: "Leo Messi. I think he is the best football player ever. He is a star and he also plays for my favorite team, Barcelona. With them, he won the Champions League four times. When I was a kid, I was also very good at playing football and a local team chose me. They wanted me to play for them. I had to choose about my future and I decided for the bikes. Like Messi, I was very small when I was a kid."

Leo Messi headshot
Scott Redding

Scott Redding: "I don't really follow sports outside of motorcycle racing, but I've read Mike Tyson's autobiography and his single mindedness and dedication to achieving his goals impressed me."

Mike Tyson
Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith: "I admire Ricky Carmichael. He changed the dynamics of a motorcycle racer, especially in motocross. He was one of the first to hire a trainer, he took the preparation seriously, and he paid his trainer to be with him every day. He was the initiator, and I have a lot of respect for that. And I also I admire him so much because he really dominated the sport for a long period. Having such a strong determination every day when you have won so many titles really impresses me."

Ricky Carmichael
Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro: "I have never been the kind of guy who has a favorite sports star. I love all kind of sports and I admire all the athletes. I have a lot of respect for the marathon runners, for all the effort that this discipline requires, but I also admire the concentration of a surfer before jumping on his board or a tennis player when he has to face a very demanding opponent. I love in particular surfing and kite surfing, and in this discipline the star is Gisela Pulido, who has dominated since she was a kid. The surfer I admire is Aritz Aranburu.

Gisela Pulido

Photo #1

Valentino Rossi.Yamaha Photo

Photo #2

Jorge Lorenzo.Yamaha Photo

Photo #3

Andrea Dovizioso.Ducati Photo

Photo #4

Nicky Hayden.Honda Photo

Photo #5

Marc Marquez.Honda Photo

Photo #6

Scott Redding.Honda Photo

Photo #7

Bradley Smith.Yamaha Photo

Photo #8

Pol Espargaro.Yamaha Photo

Photo #9

Ayrton SennaCourtesy of Ayrton Senna

Photo #10

Ayrton Senna.Courtesy of Ayrton Senna

Photo #11

Leo Messi.Courtesy of Leo Messi

Photo #12

Leo Messi.Courtesy of Leo Messi

Photo #13

Alessandro Del Piero.Courtesy of Alessandro Del Piero

Photo #14

Michael Jordan.Courtesy of Michael Jordan

Photo #15

Mike Tyson.Courtesy of Mike Tyson

Photo #16

Ricky Carmichael.Courtesy of Ricky Carmichael

Photo #17

Gisela Pulido.Courtesy of Gisela Pulido