SportMotoGPGallery: riders who returned to MotoGP after leaving the...

Gallery: riders who returned to MotoGP after leaving the championship

(Click on ‘Full version’ at the end of the article if the photos do not appear)

Jurgen Van Den Goorbergh – 2005

Jürgen Van Den Goorbergh - 2005

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It was 2005 and in the second race the Konica Minolta Honda’s regular driver, Makoto Tamada, was injured. The team brought back Jürgen Van Den Goorbergh, who had left the championship in 2002, for the next two races. He scored in both, and was even 6th in China.

Photo by: Fabrice Crosnier

Troy Bayliss – 2006

Troy Bayliss - 2006

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Sete Gibernau was injured in the penultimate race of the year in Portugal. Ducati replaced him in Valencia with newly proclaimed WorldSBK World Champion Troy Bayliss. The Australian returned to MotoGP in a big way and won his only race in the category.

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Olivier Jacques – 2007

Olivier Jacque - 2007

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The 250 champion ceased to be a regular MotoGP rider in 2003. After several substitutions with Kawasaki in 2005, the team hired the Frenchman again in 2007 as Nakano’s replacement, but after a difficult start to the season, the Villerupt rider announced his retirement definitive.

Photo by: Kawasaki Racing Team

Tadayuki Okada – 2008

Tadayuki Okada - 2008

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At 41, Honda called Okada to test the new pneumatic valve engine they were developing at the Italian Grand Prix. The Japanese had played his last season in 2000.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Sete Gibernau – 2009

Sete Gibernau - 2009

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Gibernau was injured in the penultimate race of 2006 and was unable to say goodbye to the championship. After two years away, Francisco Hernando’s team, ‘the pocero’, offered him to become a regular driver again. The training problems meant that the project barely lasted half a season and the Barcelona native put an end to his career.

Photo by: XPB Images

Carlos Czech – 2010

Carlos Checa - 2010

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Checa switched to WorldSBK in 2008, where he was champion in 2011. As a reward for his good results there, Ducati rewarded him at the end of 2010 by replacing Kallio, who had been fired from the Pramac team.

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

John Hopkins-2011

John Hopkins - 2011

7 / 18
‘Hopper’ lost his place in MotoGP in 2009. After his time in WorldSBK, he joined Suzuki as a tester in 2011 and in Jerez he had to replace the injured Bautista.

Photo by: Crescent Suzuki

Chris Vermeulen – 2012

Chris Vermeulen - 2012

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The 2009 French GP winner was called up three years later to replace Edwards at NGM Mobile Forward Racing on the same stage.

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

Tony Elias – 2015

Toni Elias - 2015

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Toni Elías had a complicated farewell to MotoGP. After several ups and downs to Moto2, in 2013 he switched to WorldSBK. However, in 2015 he joined AB Cardion and later Forward Yamaha as an eventual replacement.

Photo by: NGM Forward Racing Team

Marco Melandri – 2015

Marco Melandri - 2015

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The Italian switched to WorldSBK in 2011, racing for Yamaha, BMW and Aprilia. His good work with Noale brought him back to MotoGP with them in 2015, but after a few races he was dropped from the RS-GP.

Photo by: Aprilia Racing

Anthony West – 2015

Anthony West - 2015

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The Australian was a regular MotoGP rider in 2007 and 2008. He later raced in Moto2, but in 2015 he was called up by AB Cardion to replace the injured Abraham.

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

Nicky Hayden – 2016

Nicky Hayden - 2016

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Hayden moved to the WorldSBK championship in 2016 with Honda. Curiously, at the end of the season a series of injuries led him to make several substitutions in MotoGP with Estrella Galicia and Repsol Honda.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Sylvain Guintoli – 2017

Sylvain Guintoli - 2017

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Guintoli was a MotoGP rider between 2007 and 2008, after which he headed to WorldSBK, where he was even champion in 2015. However, in 2017 he joined Suzuki as a tester and Rins’ injuries led him to replace him in three races.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Brock Parkes – 2017

Broc Parkes - 2017

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The Australian was a Paul Bird Motorsport rider in 2014, after which he had several appearances in the British Superbike Championship and in the Endurance World Championship. Last year at Phillip Island he filled in for the injured Folger.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Stefan Bradl – 2018

Stefan Bradl - 2018

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Bradl changed MotoGP for WorldSBK in 2017. He then became a Honda tester and at the 2018 German Grand Prix he had to get on the bike of the injured Morbidelli.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Dani Pedrosa – 2021

Dani Pedrosa - 2021

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Dani Pedrosa announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of 2018. From then on he joined KTM as a tester and until the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix he rejected the possibility of making any wild card .

Photo by: MotoGP

Cal Crutchlow – 2021

Cal Crutchlow - 2021

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Cal Crutchlow barely took half a year to return to MotoGP after announcing his retirement. After becoming a Yamaha tester in 2021, the brand called him to replace the injured Fran Morbidelli from the Styrian Grand Prix.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Andrea Dovizioso – 2021

Andrea Dovizioso - 2021

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Three-time MotoGP runner-up Andrea Dovizioso took a sabbatical at the end of 2020, but his ‘retirement’ only lasted a few months. After signing as an Aprilia tester in 2021, at the end of the summer he accepted the offer from the Petronas team to prepare for his definitive return in 2022.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Surely their names sound familiar to you, but their colors not so much. And it is that these 17 riders were regulars in the World Championship, but after being away from MotoGP for several years, for one reason or another they had to get on the bike again for several races. Discover below the story behind each one’s return. Who will be next?

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