Two men have won titles on different machinery since the beginning of the MotoGP™ era in 2002: Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Casey Stoner. But the ranks of those to have won races? That just went up to six, with Jorge Lorenzo’s masterclass at Mugello writing him into the record books to join the likes of the two men with whom he shared the podium.
The first of the era, however, was Max Biaggi. The ‘Roman Emperor’ took two wins for Yamaha in 2002 when the MotoGP™ era began, before he moved to Honda the year after – and kept winning. His first win for the rival Japanese marque was at Donington Park.
Then there is, of course, Rossi. One of the most famous moments in the history of the ‘Doctor’ was Welkom 2004, when the rider from Tavullia won his first race for Yamaha – arriving fresh from having taken the crown with Honda. He never won on a Ducati, but his Honda and Yamaha wins give him another entry in the record books, shared, though it is, with Biaggi.
The next? Rossi’s next arch-rival and the only other man to have MotoGP™ crowns on two bikes: Stoner. A winner for Ducati in 2007 – the first and, so far, only rider to have taken the crown for the marque – the Australian switched to Honda for 2011 and won his first race with the Repsol-sponsored squad, as well as then taking the title that same year.
Number three is Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) who, like Stoner, has won for Honda and Ducati. Winning on a Repsol Honda in 2009 at Donington Park, it was quite a wait for the Italian to join the ranks, but he did – taking victory on a Ducati at Sepang in 2016 to become one of the nine winners that year. He’s added a few more trophies since then, too!
Another of those nine winners became the next winner on different machinery: Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Taking Suzuki’s first win in nearly ten years when he was victorious at Silverstone in 2016 – also his first win – the Spaniard, like Rossi, won on his Yamaha debut, but for him it came at Qatar in 2017.
Finally, then, the new name on the list: Jorge Lorenzo. After Sunday’s stunning victory at Mugello, Lorenzo joins the ranks with the unique accolade of being the only one to have won with Yamaha and Ducati. It took him 24 races, too - remarkably quickly compared to some of his contemporaries. Dovizioso won after 71 races, Andrea Iannone after 64...and Rossi never did. Something to savour, but will it be something to repeat? Time will tell, but next time out it’s another track where the five-time World Champion has a top record – the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.