What should be the criteria to qualify as a MotoGP legend?

An induction into the MotoGP legends category is an honour given to only the best riders, in one form or another.

There are 31 riders who are given legend status ranging from the early era riders such as Geoff Duke to the latest entry, Dani Pedrosa. It seems there is not a fixed way to get into the category, or a set of criteria you must meet. This makes induction a little ranged, as you do not have to be a champion to enter. Of course, the dominating champions like Agostini, Nieto and Doohan are all included too, as multiple world champions.

This is the crux of the point, as you could easily argue some riders deserve legend status above others due to their achievements in the sport, but others have connections with fans on a human level that no amount of titles can bring you. And if riders pass away before they can cement their winning, awarding them legend status is a fantastic way to honour a rider and ensure he is not forgotten.

There was some argument as to whether Dani Pedrosa deserved legend status for example, as he never won a MotoGP class title. Yet his commitment never wavered, and but for rotten luck he would have at least one title to his name, and he was well liked by most of the fans. This means Dorna saw fit to include him as a MotoGP Legend, and he also had the honour of having Jerez turn 6 (previously called Dry Sack after the Sherry produced locally) named after him. Marco Simoncelli is also included because he was well on the road to becoming a MotoGP race winner and title contender, having his life tragically cut short at Sepang after getting his highest finish the previous week at Philip Island. On paper, both of these were just riders who never won a title, but fans of the sport know they were so much more than that.

But the point of the Legend category is that it isn’t fixed. There is no criteria because every rider is different, and it’s based purely on human emotion, not results on a sheet. The criteria should be, and is, you were chosen for a reason. MotoGP have got this spot on, and long may it continue.