5. Anthony Gobert

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The Anthony Gobert story is one of incredible ups, followed by equally incredible downs, culminating in a question of “what if?” When Gobert was on a motorcycle he was pure magic, taking underpowered Kawasakis and Bimotas to the top step of the podium. He seemingly took pride in shaking up the establishment in both the Grand Prix and World Superbike paddock, and his bravado on track was evidence he didn’t hold his competition in very high regard. The record books will say he “only” won eight World Superbike races, but his immense talent was unquestionable. He would later race Yamaha and Ducati machinery in the States, consistently at the pointy end, though never able to win it all. Unfortunately, it was around this time that his life unraveled and he got caught up in drugs and substance abuse, famously falling from grace as a motorcycle racer, at one point making sandwiches at a local Subway franchise.

Had his life followed a different, more focused path, the world could have been his oyster. To see the kind of guts the guy had on two wheels, check out the video below.

  • christian

    At the start of the article, I made a guess on who is the last one. And I was right. Dani is a perfect example of a good rider, deserving the title of Alien, that is hampered by his luck.

    • fastfreddie

      I was sure it was Mamola,but as Siahaan so aptly put it,it seems fitting to be runner-up on this list too.Cheer up Randy,you’d take top honors if there ever was a top-bloke award:)

    • Goose

      Luck in racing is mostly created by the rider and his team. I don’t see Dani as unlucky, I see him as not very smart or maybe lacking in self-confidence. He makes poor decisions on the track (how many unforced crashes?) and off (letting that asshat, perennial loser Alberto Puig micro manage him for years).

      Here is a quote from Kevin Schwantz “Dani lacks nothing,” Schwantz said, “but he has too much – like Alberto Puig. Dani needs to reach another level by himself. He is like a child who cannot be freed because his parents are holding him back. I like Dani, but he’s a rider who has been with Honda for eight years and not won anything. I would like him to prove me wrong, but I don’t think that will happen”.

      Anyway, fun article. I was pulling for Randy but, once again, he is Mr. bridesmaid. I still see the big difference between Randy and Dani is that Randy enjoyed the hell out of his career, Dani doesn’t seem to be having much fun.

  • Robbie

    I have to agree with Goose in the fact that Dani isn’t unlucky. Dani is a lab experiment in the Spanish world of motorcycle racing. You could say that he was even manufactured by Puig and company. At the end of the day he just didn’t have that last few percent to be a champ. I also have to say that the scandal with him cheating on his maritime exam (quickly swept under the rug by his handlers) left a bad taste in my mouth. They say bad karma will follow you.
    A great list and many memories relived after reading. Thanks for a great article!

  • Chris Kallfelz

    “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, to many Randy Mamola is considered the greatest rider never to win it all.”

    Hear, hear…

  • Jack Meoph

    My favorite racer from these guys was Frankie Chili, watching that guy ride was always fun. Haga-san is next, and he got ripped off by a bunch of do nothing punks and shouldn’t be on this list. The Go-Show was just crazy fast, he was one of those racers that could ride around a problem with his bike. I watched most of these guys in person during the 90’s and early 2000’s, and WSBK was THE series back then. And I didn’t mind the AMA showing up for the races back then, because they were somewhat competitive when they raced the WSBK guys, and the grid was HUGE. Now, I wouldn’t go to a MotoGP race if you payed me. First with DMG and now with MotoAmerica participating, it just waters it down to such an extent that it’s not worth the money, time, or effort to go to it. I want the whole show, not the Americanized version of it.

    • Goose

      LOL, Frankie was great fun. My favorite quote from PFC was in response to the normal “How’s it going?” question. Frankie’s response:

      I Crash Too F****ing Much!

      I miss him, the newer riders are mostly too corporate.

  • Old MOron

    BTW that lead photo is hilarious, MOronic fun. Just the kind of thing that makes MO MO, and makes it the best.

    • Kevin Duke

      The graphic kudos go to our newshound and super-helpful utility man, Dennis Chung!

  • tristan50

    Pierfrancesco “Frankie” Chili.. Loved watching him ride! What he could do on an old privateer bike. What heart and skill he had!

  • Archie Dux

    Max Biaggi does not belong on this list. He has won it all, at least six times.

    Had you not included Biaggi, you might have included Regis Laconi.

  • Tavares

    I consider Haga 2000 WSBK Champion.

  • Tavares

    Biaggi is a 4 time 250 Champion, and a 2 time WSBK Champion. He wasn’t a MotoGP Champion, but a lot of talented riders weren’t either.