Grand Prix motorcycle racing, known as MotoGP, is the pinnacle of bike racing. From its inaugural season in 1949 to the present day, MotoGP has been pushing the limits of motorcycle technology and the world’s most talented motorcycle racers, for over 60 years. When it comes to the best MotoGP books, there are literally tens to choose from, almost 100 in fact. However, we’ve whittled the list down to these 10 belters.
Valentino Rossi has been the dominant force in MotoGP for the past two decades and it’s amazing to see that he is still competitive in the top flight. Some of his closest rivals have entered the sport after him and retired before him – showing just how big a part he has played in the modern era of MotoGP.
However, Rossi is now losing his grip to Marquez, who at 25, is threatening Rossi’s Grand Prix motorcycle record book already.
While Marquez is the poster-boy of MotoGP for the current generation, he will, no doubt, be surpassed by another young upstart, hungry for success. And that is the beauty of MotoGP – as demonstrated by some of these book in this collection. From its first season in 1949, it has created rivalries, legends and the fortunes of manufacturers around the world.
If you’re looking for MotoGP books to inspire you, to uncover the behind-the-scenes of MotoGP or simply to understand more about the technology behind this amazing motorsport, these books below are a great starting point.
Valentino Rossi Autobiography – What If I Had Never Tried It
Valentino Rossi / 2006
Perhaps the greatest living motorcyclist of his time, Valentino Rossi is certainly one of the most entertaining. With an army of fans behind him, the charismatic Italian helped to change the face of modern day racing. His fierce determination to win, and the unnervingly rebellious side to his character, helped Rossi to encapsulate the spirit of racing drivers of old. In this autobiography he gives a candid, enigmatic and often amusing account of his rise to fame, as well as the inside story on his triumphant 2005 season. You know the legend that is Valentino Rossi, but get to know more about the man behind the charming looks and winning smile, in his own words.
A fascinating book aimed at the motorcycling enthusiast looking to garner a greater understanding of the technical aspects of motor racing today. Offering detailed analysis of the cutting-edge technology used in class leading bikes, as well as exploring the design questions and complications facing MotoGP constructors, this book explains every area of the design of the bike in easy to understand language. There are also separate chapters for each manufacturer as well as detailed information about the development of each machine from first manufacture to modern day. This is the second edition, and the book has been updated to include the developments of the first three years of MotoGP’s 800cc formula, which was introduced for 2007.
This book tells the fascinating story of the two-time world MotoGP champion and his determination to be the best. Casey Stoner exploded on to the scene, and was able to achieve more in his short career than many riders do in a lifetime. For the very first time, he tells his life story from a motorbike mad toddler in Queensland to chasing his dreams of becoming World Champion. As fearless with his opinions as he was on the racetrack, Stoner talks about his views on the politics of racing, the riders hierarchy and why he retired at 27, tuning his back on a multi-million-dollar contract along the way. A fascinating insight into one of the racing’s most colourful characters.
Feel is the fascinating story of how a small town boy from Louisiana went on to become one of the greatest motorcycle racers of the early 1980s and the only rider to win both the 500cc and 250cc GP Championships in the same year. Spencer guides the reader through the highs and lows of his career, and offers a remarkable insight into the trauma of his early years and how he channeled his frustration into riding and competing at the highest levels. An articulate and compassionate autobiographical account of his desire to over come discrimination and how he went on to become one of the greatest riders of all time.
Ring of Fire: The Inside Story of Valentino Rossi and MotoGP
Rick Broadbent / 2010
OK, so it’s 8 years old now but even though the characters aren’t all still racing – the rivalries don’t date. Ring of Fire covers the recent history of the MotoGP and details the acclaim, the heroism and the pressures of riding motorbikes at over 200mph. From the American Nicky Hayden’s triumphant win over established champion Valentino Rossi to the emergence of young Australian Casey Stoner and the fierce rivalry between Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, the book details some of the most iconic wins ever seen in MotoGP. It also delves further into the history of the sport with an interesting look at the romance and debauchery that took place in the the paddocks as far back as the 1960s. Ring of Fire is a must read for any MotoGP aficionado.
The Valentino Rossi Files: Everything I’ve ever written about VR: From 2008 to now
Mat Oxley / 2014
Former Isle of Man TT winner and MotoGP journalist, Mat Oxley, has been following the world class racing Valentino Rossi since his GP debut in 1996. During his time as a dedicated observer, Oxley has collected a wide selection of stories and snippets about Rossi from the early years of his GP career right through to 2007. Always incredibly knowledgable, sometimes whimsical and often hilarious, this collection of stories is a great read for fans of Rossi and MotoGP as a whole. Readers should also be aware that The Valentino Rossi files Files: Part 2 is also available.
This carefully curated pictorial history bursts out of the pages as it tracks the evolution of the sport. Long-time MotoGP journalist, Michael Scott, documents the racetracks, the riders and the super bikes that changed the sport throughout the years, it breaks down the developments in MotoGP, decade by decade. Jam-packed with stunning images of the sport and its champions, the book offers interesting insights from some of the best known personalities in the motorcycling world. MotoGP: The Illustrated History, is the ultimate celebration of one of the most exhilarating sports in the world.
The world champion who showed zero fear and loved the playboy lifestyle was one of the finest and most iconic riders the world has ever seen. Stuart Barker was privileged to be the only journalist to ever ride with him, giving him access to the most initiates parts of Sheene’s career. As a result, the book features interviews with some of Sheene’s closest friends, team mates and even former rivals that would not otherwise have been shared with his fans. The books documents his life story from its humble beginnings, through his days as a mechanic and works team racer to becoming a true champion with a real zest for the finer things in life. Diagnosed with cancer in 2002, Sheen shunned conventional treatments, but sadly passed away in 2003. This biography gives a deep insight into the man who was once the most famous rider on the planet.
At the tender age of 20, Marc Márquez achieved the extraordinary by becoming the youngest every world champion in his very first MotoGP season. A phenomenal rider with plenty of potential to become one of the finest in the world, his first official autobiography documents his rise from a motorbike obsessed child through to a his historic championship win. Through the words of his team mates, the family that continue to support him and even his rivals, we learn more about the man beneath the helmet, and how he came to achieve such remarkable success so early in his career. It also details tells about Marc’s vision problem that let to a staggering 175mph crash, and how even after a halt in his career, he is still earning titles and winning fans the world over.
The Fast Stuff: Twenty years of top bike racing tales from the world’s maddest motorsport
Mat Oxley / 2008
The original musings of motorbike mad Isle of Man TT winner and MotoGP journalist, Mat Oxley. The Fast Stuff documents twenty years of top bike racing tales from the world’s maddest motorsport. His rapier-sharp style makes for interesting and highly amusing reading, as he offers up his own unique perspective on the curious world of two-wheeled motorsport. Including funny and indulgent stories about the men, the machines and the mayhem behind the sport, Oxley works his magic on some the very best motorsport tales ever published by motorcycle magazines worldwide. A great read for fans of Oxley and those who relish the need for speed.