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Top Photo Finishes in MotoGP

In 1999, Tadayuki Odaki beat Max Biaggi by 0.124 seconds; one of the best photo finishes in the history of MotoGP

Be it the 100-metre sprint race in the Olympics or motorcycles in the MotoGP, photo finishes have always been a part of every racing event. In MotoGP’s history, there have been several photo finishes and, in this article, we have listed the top ones. 

2006 Portugal- 0.2 seconds! Yes, that was the difference between winning racer Toni Elias and second positioned Valentino Rossi. The racer to finish third was Kenny Roberts Junior, who was 0.176 seconds behind Toni Elias. Will we ever witness a gap of 0.1 seconds? High hopes, but very unlikely. 

1999 Australia- At the Australian Grand Prix 1999, Japanese racer Tadayuki Okada finished the race ahead of Max Biaggi with a gap of 0.124 seconds. To date, the record is intact and given the differences in engines and hardware in the present-gen motorcycles; we are never likely to see a photo finish as close as this one. 

1999 Brazil- The Australian Grand Prix was not the only cheering moment in 1999 because the Brazilian Grand Prix in the same year also produced one of the best photo finishes in the history of MotoGP. The race was won by Japanese racer Norick Abe, followed by Max Biaggi and Kenny Roberts Junior. While the difference between Norick Abe and Biaggi is not known, Roberts was only 0.257 seconds away from Norick Abe. 

2006 German Grand Prix- In 2006, Valentino Rossi started 10th on the grid. Nobody expected ‘The Doctor’ to win the race, but Rossi, being Rossi, clinched the first-place podium. Behind him, title rival Nicky Hayden and Marco Maledri finished the race with a gap of 0.266 seconds. Rossi did not just win the race but that year, he also picked up the MotoGP World title. 

1993 Japan-Suzuka is one of the most special circuits in the world and in 1993, it produced one of the greatest races in the history of MotoGP. Race winner Wayne Rainey finished the race in the first position by a difference of 0.086 seconds against second finisher Kevin Schwantz. Third-placed Daryl Beattie was only 0.287 seconds away from Rainey.  

2000 Australia- Last but not the least, the 2000 Phillip Island Grand Prix also produced a nail-biting finish with Mag Biaggi taking the victory flag with a difference of 0.182 seconds between him and Loris Capirossi. Valentino Rossi finished third with a gap of 0.288 seconds. 

Rohit Chatterjee

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Rohit Chatterjee is a bona fide moto-enthusiast who has worked with several media houses in his brief career. Chatterjee mostly writes features and news articles related to automobiles and motorsports. When not working, he is found on the interstate clocking over 100kmph on his NS200!
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