SportMotoGPThe great motorcycling families: Márquez, Doohan, Dunlop and more

The great motorcycling families: Márquez, Doohan, Dunlop and more

The first brothers who managed to get on the same podium in a race at the highest level were Juan Carlos and Eduardo Salatino . In the 1962 Argentine 500cc Grand Prix, only Benedicto Caldarella was faster than them, who finished the race in second and third position.

That feat has only been repeated once more in the history of this championship. On this occasion, the 1997 Imola City Grand Prix was the host. Mick Doohan won the race for the fourth of his five world championship titles, while Nobuatsu Aoki and Takuma Aoki completed the podium.

Of course, Mick is not the only Doohan to have made his mark in the world of motorsport, and there are several recognizable names that are linked to more than one driver from the same family.

Alex Marquez, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda, MotoGP Sepang test 2020

Alex Márquez and Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda, at the MotoGP test in Sepang in 2020

Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez (brothers)

They may be the most recognized brothers today. Marc Márquez needs no introduction, with six MotoGP titles to his credit, as well as successes in Moto2 and 125cc. Of his 148 participations in MotoGP, he has been on the podium 99 times, which represents a 67% success rate.

Of those 99 appearances in the privilege drawer, 59 have been race wins, and he would surely have racked up more by now were it not for a prolonged absence caused by the fractured humerus he suffered at the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix.

In his pursuit of what would have been his fifth consecutive title and his seventh in MotoGP, he attempted to return to riding just a few days after the operation, but ended up aggravating the injury to such an extent that he was forced to miss the rest of the season.

While all this was happening, the youngest of the saga, Alex Márquez , made the leap to MotoGP as Marc’s teammate at Honda. The brothers competed together for just 22 laps before the defending champion’s injury in Jerez, leaving Alex – Moto3 and Moto2 champion in 2014 and 2019 respectively – at the helm of the team. He achieved the only two podiums for Honda in 2020, achieving two second places in the French and Aragon grands prix.

Luca Marini, Valentino Rossi, MotoGP 2020

Luca Marini and Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi and Luca Marini (half brothers)

Valentino Rossi is another figure that transcends MotoGP. The Italian driver is a seven-time champion and, in 372 race appearances, has been on the podium 199 times, 89 of which were victories. Before reaching the premier class in 2000, Rossi had already won the 125cc and 250cc championships.

Il Dottore has a half-brother on his mother’s side, Luca Marini , who is 19 years his junior. The youngster has shown a promising start to his sports career, completing five seasons in Moto2 between 2016 and 2020, after participating on occasion in the World Championship as a wildcard , always under the supervision of Valentino and, as of 2018, in his own team. .

His Moto2 runner-up finish in 2020, when only Enea Bastianini surpassed him, earned him a seat in MotoGP with Avintia and shared a track in competition with his half-brother for the first time. In 2022, Rossi stepped up from his role as a retired rider and Marini is one of only two riders on his works team in MotoGP.

Pol Espargaro, Aleix Espargaro, Valencia MotoGP 2020

Pol Espargaró and Aleix Espargaró

Pol Espargaró and Aleix Espargaró (brothers)

Pol and Aleix Espargaró are the third set of brothers active in the premier category of motorcycling, along with the Márquez and the Binder.

Pol was Moto2 champion in 2013, and made the jump to MotoGP the following year with the Tech3. The youngest of the brothers, who has always stood out for finishing races, made the leap to the new official KTM team in 2017 and achieved his first podium a year later.

The 2020 season was the one where he finally took off: he finished on the podium five times in the pandemic-shortened campaign, finishing fifth in the standings, his best finish to date. He became a factory Honda rider in 2021, but has not been able to improve on the result he achieved with the Austrian team.

His brother Aleix is two years older, although he has not been as successful as his little one. He rode with Honda for various teams in the 125cc class and then with Aprilia in 250cc, before making his MotoGP debut with the Pramac in 2009.

A year later, he was able to contest the full season, and since then he has always been present in the premier class, with the exception of one season in Moto2 in 2011. Since then, he has raced with Aspar, Forward Racing, Suzuki and Aprilia in MotoGP. .

Thanks to the category’s concession system, Aprilia has taken a step forward and Aleix has become one more contender for the title for the 2022 season.

Leon Haslam, Ron Haslam, World Superbike testing 2019

Leon Haslam y Ron Haslam, en un test de WSBK en 2019

Ron Haslam and Leon Haslam (father and son)

Ron Haslam had a successful racing career in the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The British driver won the British TT Formula I title in 1979 and 1982 (despite its name, it was a class of motorcycling), the British MCN Streetbike title in 1981 and the ITV World of Sport Superbike in 1984.

In addition to winning two world championships in the form of the Formula I TT crown in 1979 and the Formula III TT championship a year later, Haslam also won the Macau GP seven times, the race record, and savored the victory at the Isle of Man TT. As if that were not enough, he accumulated 107 participations in grand prix and climbed to the podium nine times.

It’s clear that motorcycle racing ability was hereditary in his case, as Ron’s son, Leon Haslam , has since built a successful career of his own. After being crowned British Superbike Champion with Bournemouth Kawasaki in 2018, Leon has returned to the national championship.

Haslam has won 46 races of his 204 starts in the class to date, and has regularly challenged for podiums and World Superbike wins riding Ducatis, Hondas, Suzukis, BMWs and Aprilias over the years. In 2010 he was runner-up to Max Biaggi , which remains his best championship finish.

Michael Dunlop, Goodwood Revival 2016

Michael Dunlop en Goodwood Revival 2016

Joey Dunlop, Robert Dunlop, Michael Dunlop and William Dunlop (brothers, sons/nephews)

The Dunlop family is arguably the greatest dynasty in motorsport, yet few have known such tragedy. It started with Joey Dunlop , whose 26 Isle of Man TT wins – including three hat-tricks in 1985, 1988 and 2000 respectively – remain a record.

He won the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times, in just 20 years, and won the Formula TT championship five times in a row between 1982 and 1986. Sadly, he lost his life in a 125cc race in Estonia in 2000, at the age of 48 years.

Joey’s brother, Robert Dunlop, also raced at the Isle of Man, contesting 23 TTs and winning five of them. He recovered from a career-threatening accident in 1994 and went on to rack up a record 15 North West 200 wins in 2006. However, Robert lost his life at the event in 2008 following a fall in practice.

Surprisingly, his son Michael won the inaugural race of the North West 200 just two days later, dedicating the victory to his late father. Now with 19 TT wins, Michael is third on the all-time list behind John McGuinness (23) and his uncle Joey. He was the first man to set a sub-17 minute lap time at Snaefell Mountain Course , setting an average speed of 214km/h at the Senior TT in 2016.

Michael’s brother William was also a TT regular, scoring a handful of podium finishes. However, his life was tragically cut short after a crash at the Skerries 100 in 2018, aged just 32. He, Joey and Robert Dunlop are buried together near Garryduff Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

Nicky Hayden, Imola World Superbikes 2017

Nicky Hayden, WSBK en Imola en 2017

Nicky Hayden, Roger Lee Hayden and Tommy Hayden (brothers)

Nicky Hayden became MotoGP champion in 2006, breaking Valentino Rossi’s five-year winning streak while riding for Honda. Hayden’s career in the premier class had begun in 2003 with the Japanese team, with whom he achieved the vast majority of his 28 podium finishes over a 13-year career.

Surprisingly, for a world champion, Hayden only won three grands prix – including two in the year he clinched the title – as he had limited success following his switch to Ducati in 2009.

He also participated in the World Superbike Championship, taking his only victory with the Ten Kate Honda team in Malaysia in 2016. The American rider would have surely gone further, but he died in a collision with a vehicle while cycling in Italy. in 2017, with only 35 years.

Both of Nicky’s brothers, Roger Lee and Tommy , have also raced motorcycles, and the three of them stood on the podium together at the 2001 Springfield TT. Roger Lee made one-off appearances in MotoGP in 2007 and 2010, and was Supersport champion at the first of those years. Tommy Hayden was AMA Supersport champion in 2004 and 2005, and Roger Lee was runner-up in both years.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, Kenny Roberts Sr, Kenny Roberts Jr

Carmelo Ezpeleta con Kenny Roberts Sr and Kenny Roberts Jr

Kenny Roberts, Kenny Roberts Junior and Kurtis Roberts (father and sons/brothers)

Kenny Roberts boasts one of the highest win rates of any driver in Grand Prix history, taking part in 60 Grands Prix between 1974 and 1983, winning 24 of them. Two of these victories came in the 250cc class, while he achieved the rest in the 500cc class.

He won the 500cc championship in his debut season in 1978, becoming the first American winner of the title, and defended his crown in 1979 and 1980. By the end of his career, he had amassed 44 podium finishes and started from pole position 22 times. . Roberts was also famous for revolutionizing the way a 500cc two-stroke was ridden.

His son, Kenny Roberts Jr. , emulated him in 2000, beating Valentino Rossi in the fight for the 500cc world championship with Suzuki, after being runner-up the previous year. Kenny claimed all eight of his wins between 1999 and 2000, and although he continued in MotoGP until mid-2007, he only finished on the podium a handful more times.

His younger brother, Kurtis, rode in both Grand Prix and Superbike races between 1997 and 2007. He took part in 34 MotoGP races , but never finished higher than 12th. The brothers briefly raced together on their own private team in 2007, with Kenny racing as a wildcard before replacing his brother entirely for the remainder of the season. This was the last time two brothers raced for the same team until the Marquez brothers emulated it in 2020.

Mick Doohan, Thailand MotoGP 2018

Mick Doohan, GP de Tailandia 2018 de MotoGP

Mick Doohan and Scott Doohan (brothers)

Mick Doohan is another motorcycle racing legend. The Australian was crowned world champion five times between 1994 and 1998. To date, only Giacomo Agostini, Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez have won more premier class titles.

Mick entered four races riding for the Marlboro Yamaha Dealer Team in WSBK in 1988, winning three of them and finishing 12th in the championship, despite not appearing in the other 14 races of the 18-event season. His 500cc career began with Honda in 1989, where he remained until his retirement in 1999, following an accident at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mick’s brother Scott also competed in motorcycling. He started in a 500cc race in 1994 and contested several World Superbike Championship races between 1989 and 1992.

Giacomo Agostini, MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix 2017

Giacomo Agostini, 2017 MotoGP GP de Espana

Giacomo Agostini and Felice Agostini (hermanos)

You can’t talk about motorcycling legends and not mention Giacomo Agostini . The Italian is the most successful motorcycle racer of all time from a statistical point of view, having won the 500cc championship eight times between 1968 and 1975 (seven consecutively), as well as the 350cc championship in seven consecutive occasions from 1968, to add a total of fifteen titles .

Of his 223 starts, he won 122 races and stood on the podium 159 times, setting 117 fastest laps. Between 1968 and 1971, he won every race, in both categories, except four, in which he retired.

To top it off, he took part in the Isle of Man TT eight times and was victorious in 10 events, won seven races at the Ulster Grand Prix, and even raced Formula 1 cars in non-championship events. , for a brief period in the late 1970s.

Giacomo’s brother, Felice Agostini, also made some forays into motorcycle racing, taking part in a handful of Grands Prix in the 125cc, 250cc and 350cc classes between 1975 and 1978. His best result was the Spanish Grand Prix, in his last year of competition, finishing fifth on a Morbidelli.

Carlose Checa, World Superbikes 2013

Carlos Checo, WSBK 2013

Carlos Checa and David Checa (brothers)

Carlos Checa ‘s greatest career achievement came in 2011. Aboard an official Althea Racing Ducati, Checa won 15 races out of 26 starts on his way to the WSBK title that year, and managed another six podium finishes. times.

Between 1993 and 2007 he was a regular on the podium in the highest category of grand prix racing, including two wins , and his fourth place in 1998 was his best result in the world championship.

For his part, his little brother, David Checa , followed in his footsteps and headed to the Superbike World Championship, passing briefly through MotoGP in 2005. However, his greatest successes have come in the Motorcycling World Endurance Championship, where he was crowned champion in 2004, 2014, 2017 and 2019.

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Viñales, when he was a Yamaha Factory Racing rider

Maverick Vinales and Isaac Vinales (cousins)

We already have three sets of brothers in MotoGP in 2022, but is there a chance that cousins will also arrive on the grid? Maverick Viñales, who was Moto3 champion in 2013, has competed in the premier class for the last eight seasons , achieving nine wins and dozens of podiums so far. He has been third in the standings twice, in 2017 and 2019.

Maverick is the cousin of Isaac Viñales , who is just over a year older. He got on the podium in Moto3 and made the jump to Moto2 in 2016, but he didn’t have the necessary impact to graduate further to the highest level. In 2019 and 2020 he raced for Kallio Racing in the Supersport World Championship, with a second place finish at Magny-Cours his best result to date. Isaac moved to WSBK in 2021, so a MotoGP debut alongside Maverick seems out of the question, at least for now.

Maverick also had another pilot cousin, the young Dean Berta Viñales (from the SSP300 World Championship) who unfortunately passed away in 2021 after an accident.

Eugene Laverty, World Superbikes 2020

Eugene Laverty, WSBK 2020

Michael Laverty, Eugene Laverty and John Laverty (brothers)

Irishman Michael Laverty was the British Supersport Champion in 2007, and won British Superbike Championship races for Relentless Suzuki, Swan Yamaha and Samsung Honda between 2010 and 2012. He got a shot at MotoGP in 2013 with Paul Bird Motorsport, however, his two full years only produced four points finishes.

Michael’s brother Eugene , five years his junior, has had a bit more success in his career. His own two-year stint in MotoGP began in 2015 with the Aspar team, which switched from using Hondas to Ducatis in 2016.

In his second season, he finished in the points on a regular basis, and just missed the podium in the second round, held in Argentina. Before that, he had twice been runner-up in Supersport in 2009 and 2010, and again runner-up in Superbikes in 2013.

John is the third Laverty brother to have made a living from racing, competing in the British Superbike Championship between 2008 and 2012 before turning to dealership as Eugene’s manager.

Christian Sarron, Yamaha

Christian Sarron, Yamaha

Christian Sarron and Dominique Sarron (brothers)

Christian Sarron was a French Grand Prix rider whose premier class career spanned 11 years , from 1979 to 1990. He raced sporadically in 250cc, 350cc and 500cc during his early seasons, eventually landing a full-time contract with Sonauto Gauloises- Yamaha in 1983.

After finishing second in the general classification, he took a final step the following year. He won three races and scored a further five podium finishes on his way to the title. Success helped him move up to 500cc permanently, where he regularly visited the podium, including an appearance on the top step at the German GP in 1985.

His little brother, Dominique , also made a career for himself in grand prix racing, but he didn’t reach the same heights. He spent four years in the 250cc class with Rothmans-Honda France between 1985 and 1988, with four wins and a third place overall as best results in his second season. He then spent two 500cc campaigns in 1989 and 1992 (separated by relegation to 250cc), and his best result was a ninth place finish with Bank-Yamaha in his final year.

Dominique won the Suzuka 8 Hours in 1986 and 1989, and went on to contest the Superbike World Championship in 1993. In 1994 he joined his brother and Yasutomo Nagai for the Bol d’Or 24 Hours at Magny-Cours, which they won .

Alex Lowes, Sam Lowes, World Superbikes 2018

Alex Lowes y Sam Lowes, WSBK 2018

Sam Lowes and Alex Lowes (brothers)

Born in Lincolnshire, the Lowes brothers are the only identical twins on this list. Sam Lowes made his British Supersport Championship debut in 2010, and the following year he clinched the title in a campaign that included five wins and saw the GNS Racing driver only miss the podium twice all year.

He rose to the Superpsort World Championship in 2011, and his impressive consistency over the following seasons saw him crowned champion in 2013 with the Yakhnich Motorsport team.

Since then Sam has focused on Grand Prix, spending three seasons in Moto2 and one year in MotoGP with Aprilia. In 2020 he won three consecutive Moto2 races for the first time, finishing third in the standings.

Alex Lowes ‘ trajectory has been different, with fewer opportunities in the grand prix. He made a one-off appearance in the 125cc class in mid-2006, substituting for the injured Bradley Smith for three rounds of the 2016 MotoGP season in the Tech3.

He clinched the British Superbike Championship title in 2013, and the following year made the jump to the World Superbike Championship. Since then he has achieved multiple podium finishes and a couple of wins.

His best qualifying result is third place in 2019. On the other hand, he is a three-time winner of the Suzuka 8 Hours and was part of the Yamaha factory team on all three occasions he was victorious.

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