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11 days ago

Time to win

Moving up to the premier class is a big step, getting on top of the podium is an even bigger leap that can take some time.

At the 2016 Dutch GP Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) won his first MotoGP™ race, becoming the first new winner since Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Miller’s win came on his 25th premier race start, but how does this compare to the time it took the established greats to venture up to the top step?

Marquez reset the expectations for rookies in the MotoGP™ World Championship, the Spaniard showing that you don’t have to have years of experience under your belt to win the title. In 2013 Marquez won on just his second race start, making the new Circuit of the Americas his own and getting the ball rolling on his championship challenge.

2013 Americas Grand Prix: MotoGP™ Full Race

The man he would go on to beat for that 2013 title, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), had a similarly strong start to his premier class career. It took Lorenzo just three races to win, the factory Yamaha rider claiming victory in the 2008 Portuguese GP after already wowing people with his Qualifying performances.

2008 Portuguese Grand Prix: MotoGP™ Full Race

Like his factory rivals, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was fast from the off. The Spaniard won his fourth MotoGP™ race in his debut season, the 2006 Chinese GP. The Shanghai circuit may be gone from the calendar, but ten years on Pedrosa is still striving for victory.

2006 Chinese Grand Prix: MotoGP™ Full Race

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took some time to get himself to the top step compared to his factory counterparts. ‘The Doctor’ debuted in the 500cc class in 2000, having to wait nine races until he won. At the 2000 British GP Rossi arrived after three thirds, the Italian one of eight different winners that year.

2000 British Grand Prix: 500cc Full Race

Few riders can boast a better premier class debut than Max Biaggi, the ‘Roman Emperor’ winning his first ever 500cc race. With four 250cc championships to his name, there was no doubting Biaggi’s speed but when he lined up on the grid for the 1998 Japanese GP, no one knew exactly how fast he’d be.

1998 Japanese GP Review

Miller is one of several riders who moved up to the MotoGP™ class with high expectations behind them. Of this ‘new generation’ Miller is the first to win, Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) still winless after 59 race starts. Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) joined the MotoGP™ class alongside Miller in 2015 but is yet to take a win after 26 starts. He’s expected to join the elite ‘aliens’ and with a factory Yamaha ride lined up for 2017, his first win could be closer than we think.