How much money do MotoGP riders make?

A lot of folks have been asking regarding how much MotoGP riders earn especially in 2018.

According to a rough estimated guide released by, the figures are between RM1 million up to RM44 million per season.

The top 6 riders are unsurprisingly the factory riders from Movistar Yamaha, Ducati Team, and Repsol Honda.

We all know that MotoGP riders are living their lives filled with speed and excitement. With the advancements of modern medicine and optimised lifestyles, they’re considered as some of the world’s top athletes and the money they’re making isn’t half bad either.

Based on a report released by, each and every MotoGP rider is getting paid with a world of difference between the top factory riders all the way to the hot-blooded rookies making their way into the premier class. The list provided by the site is just a very rough figure on what the riders will earn this year excluding all the extras on the side from sponsors and such.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Castrol)

Right at the bottom of the list is newcomer and the only Asian rider in MotoGP, Takaaki Nakagami. Nakagami signed a deal with LCR Honda Castrol for 2018 and is said to earn about €250,000 (around RM1.21 million). This figure is about the same as another rookie, Xavier Simeon who has signed with Reale Avintia Racing outfit.

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki ECSTAR)

The top ten highest earners start with Andrea Iannone of Suzuki ECSTAR with a cool yearly figure of $2 million (around RM7.8 million). In ninth, Cal Crutchlow from LCR Honda Castrol sits comfortably with a salary of $2.5 million (RM9.75 million) to ride his Honda RC213V as fast as he possibly can.

Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing)

Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) gets to ride the latest Ducati Desmosedici GP18 machine while earning at least $2.8 million (RM10.9 million). This figure is not that far from French hotshot rider, Johan Zarco of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 who is said to earn €3 million (RM14.5 million).

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3)

It is at this point we enter the top six factory riders revolving around Yamaha Movistar MotoGP, Repsol Honda and Ducati Team. As expected, Dani Pedrosa sits at P6 with a salary of $3.3 million (RM12.87 million) followed by a big jump to Maverick Vinales of Yamaha with a roughly estimated $5 million (RM19.5 million).

Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)

Sitting at the fourth spot is Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso with an estimated salary of $7 million (RM27.3 million). Understandably, Dovizioso’s salary is slightly lower that his compatriot Jorge Lorenzo who is said to earn an extra million which totals up to $8 million (RM31.2 million). Although Dovi was the main contender for the 2017 MotoGP world title, the process of convincing Lorenzo to move to Ducati is the main reason as of why their salaries differ from one another.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team)

Two spots left and we can sort of figure out who sits where right about now. Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi is said to earn a cool $10 million (RM38.9 million) whereas the 2017 MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez sits on the very top of the list with an estimated salary of $11.5 million big ones (RM44.75 million).

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)

All of these figures are very rough estimates pulled out by and revolves around how much the teams are paying the riders. Other things such as endorsements, sponsorships, riding gears and other factors have not been included into the mix (if they are, the numbers would be all over the place).

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)

As you can see, the highest level of racing has several demands for their respective teams. Like most other sports, those who perform will get better offers and deals. Racing some of the world’s fastest and most advanced motorcycles has its perks in which we think the experience itself outweighs the amount of money these riders earn.

Money is probably the last thing on their minds especially when the lights go out until they see that chequered flag waving. At that moment, their only goal is to be the first to cross that finishing line each and every time.

Image source: MotoGP

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A passionate individual when it comes to anything related to two wheels (or sometimes more), he enjoys the chaotic and magical world of motorsports as much as riding leisurely to the shops on his beloved Vespa. With an education-based background, he is always eager to learn and share about the poetic arts of motorcycling.

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