Mick Doohan: Motorcycle racing's most determined competitor

Hall of Fame
Mick Doohan Honda 1991 500cc French Grand Prix

Doohan fought back from serious injury to dominate motorcycle grand prix racing

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Mick Doohan 500cc world champion 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998

Has there ever been a more determined competitor in motorcycle grand prix racing? Most top bike racers have to fight back from injury sometime in their careers but no one has come back from such horrific injuries to climb the highest heights like Doohan.

The Australian landed in Europe in 1989, when he had an ugly rookie season in the 500cc world championship. Honda’s unforgiving 1989 NSR500 hurt him again and again, so there were times when he wondered if it was all worth it.

Mick Doohan Honda 500cc 1992 Australian Grand Prix

Doohan celebrates on the podium at the ’92 Australian GP

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Mick Doohan: How I rode

Mick Doohan: How I rode

Mick Doohan raced 500 GPs from 1989 to 1999, during which time the 500 two-strokes evolved from truly malevolent machines to mostly rider-friendly missiles. His debut season, aboard Honda’s vicious…

By Mat Oxley

Instead of giving up, Doohan transformed himself – mentally and physically – for the challenges that lay haead. He won his first GP in 1990, challenged for the world title in 1991 and utterly dominated the 1992 season, until a broken leg and a botched operation ended his title challenge. And very nearly his career.

By 1994 he was pretty much back to full strength and began five years of total domination. Only two other riders have won five consecutive premier-class titles: Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi.