Top 10 racing red mist moments

We countdown the greatest ever top 10 red mist moments of all time

Sometimes the skill and cold calculation of a motorcycle racer is cast aside as the basic instinct to beat everyone else kicks in, whatever the cost. And when the red mist falls, the bikes usually follow.

Click next as Visordown charts through the top 10 red mist moments in motorcycle racing.

Bayliss V Edwards

10. Bayliss V Edwards IMOLA WSB 2002

What happened: Bayliss and Edwards fought for the title in one of the most breathtaking displays of bike racing ever seen before or since

The final round of WSB in 2002 at Imola provided us with one of the greatest displays of racing, anger, trust and speed ever seen. It came down to the final race of the final round, and either Colin Edwards or Troy Bayliss could win the title. Race two started with Neil Hodgson stealing the holeshot, though his lead lasted barely a corner, as Bayliss, on a mission, charged past. But Colin Edwards had other ideas. The pair got to the front, sweeping the rest of the field aside like they were a bunch of club racers. The lead changed hands countless times through the corners, and this continued for lap after lap.

With the chequered flag looming, Bayliss' aggressive riding looked like it was going to bag him the title. But despite pushing each other off line constantly, Edwards managed to put a bike length on Troy, who then had a slide getting on the throttle a little too keenly. Colin kept his cool and his pace to cross the line first, taking both race win and title.

Afterwards, the pair both admitted that it was the closest and hardest race they had ever had, Troy's do-or-die riding style matching Colin's precision. Both riders admitted separately that, at times, both thought they would crash, taking each other out. "That race was winning the battle and the war" gasped an exhausted Edwards.

Biaggi V Melandri

9. Biaggi V Melandri ASSEN MOTOGP 2005

What happened: Max Biaggi nearly killed Marco Melandri in practice, but was stoically defended by his mad, fist-waving uncle in pitlane

At the end of the qualifying session on the Saturday at Assen MotoGP 2005, Max Biaggi decided to stick a few practice starts in, while other front runners were still trying to stick a qualifying lap together. Illegal and obviously a little bit daft.

Marco Melandri was one such rider running at qualifying pace, and he narrowly avoided smashing into the back of Max. The pair clashed, arguing while they rode back to the pits. Back in the pits Max’s uncle Valerio, furious at Melandri’s outburst flew at him in a rage, choking him and scratching at Marco’s bird-like throat. Melandri’s team had to restrain Valerio and had him removed from the pits.

Max was fined $5,000 by the FIA for his behaviour on track and a further $1,000 for the dilapidated ding-donging antics of his uncle, who had his paddock pass removed for the remainder of the year. "I have had to pay for my behaviour in the past and it looks like I’m paying for it again," said an unrepentant Max afterwards. "I'm very sorry for my uncle's behaviour because I know he reacted instinctively only to defend me, but he’s the nicest person on earth." Max's uncle got to watch the race unfold from behind the wire.

Haslam V Sykes

8. Haslam V Sykes OULTON PARK BSB 2008

What happened: Good friends off track means nothing when the lights go out, as displayed by Haslam and Sykes at Oulton Park BSB last year.

Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes were at it hammer and tongs in 2008. After a fairly suspect incident at Thruxton early in the season, the pair clashed on track constantly and one of the biggest coming-togethers was at Oulton Park. Leon recalls the moment the mist clouded his judgement.

"I was struggling to make a clean move on Tom, the chicane before the incident he made a mistake and that put me alongside up and over the hill. Going into the chicane we were side by side at about 160mph, my best opportunity to pass would be on the brakes. He ran in extra deep and when he peeled in I was in line to T-bone him, so I let off the brakes. By doing that I clipped his front wheel with the back of my bike. I stayed on but took him down. If I’d been a bit more patient I might have found another opportunity to pass, but at the time I just saw the chance to get past and went for it."

Leon is a master of understatement. "Tom was pissed after the race, for sure. I was desperate to win and maybe I was pushing hard but in my mind I felt a lot quicker than him. He did almost exactly the same thing to me at Silverstone later that season and it was me left sat on the floor, so what goes around comes around."

James Toseland

7. James Toseland DONINGTON MOTOGP 2008

What happened: England expected. The whole world watched. And then the unthinkable happened on the very first corner. Ouch, how it hurt...

All eyes were on JT at his home round of MotoGP in 2008. His bike and leathers were emblazoned with the cross of St George. Hopes were high for the first British podium at Donington in nearly a decade. And then it all went spectacularly shit-shaped. In front of the biggest crowd Donners had seen in years, James dumped it on the first corner. "I ended up at the back of the grid for the race, leaving myself a do-or-die race," he says.

"I knew I had to take at least 10 people on the first lap to be in with a chance of getting up the front, and I could feel the pressure of the crowd, I was really feeling it. I can't remember thinking any differently, but trying to overtake half the field in the first lap isn’t something I would normally do. Pushing the bike into Redgate the rear stepped out and threw me off. I was prepared to crash in my bid to get to the front. The crash broke my hand and sheared one of the pegs off. I remounted and did 30 angry laps. The red mist had got me good, but I knew that I should have done well at that circuit. I found out afterwards that I was lapping half a second quicker with a broken hand and no footpeg than my previous best on a World Superbike."

Edwards V Hayden

6. Edwards V Hayden ASSEN MOTOGP 2006

What happened: In a much-rejoiced return to form, Colin Edwards led the GP from start - but not quite to finish, after Hayden put the frighteners on him

For 24 serene laps Colin Edwards led the 2006 Dutch TT at Assen, looking as composed as he had in his title winning World Superbike years. But this was 2006, the year Honda’s Nicky Hayden finally showed the kind of speed his early career in dirt track and superbike racing had promised. Two laps from the flag he was on Edwards like a shadow.

“Nicky finally got ahead of Colin two laps from the end using a bit of the sliproad,” recalls lifelong pundit Julian Ryder. “Edwards then reeled him back in to set up a last-lap scramble into the chicane. Hayden had passed John Hopkins on a previous lap by staying out left on the approach to the first apex, on the inside of the right-hander, and then cut inside. He was planning to do the same to Edwards on the final lap but he made a mistake, hit a false neutral and ran into the gravel. Unbelievably Edwards also made a mistake, getting on the throttle on the Astroturf and throwing himself off.”

To a roar of disbelief, Colin’s Yamaha pitched violently sideways on the green stuff before plunging into the trackside barriers.

It was a catastrophe - the win was there for Colin to take yet the sight of Hayden’s Honda caused him to grab a big - and disastrous - handful of throttle. In the background Hayden, practiced as he is in the art of dirt track, grunted through the gravel to re-join the track and take the victory.

Walker V Hodgson

5. Walker V Hodgson OULTON PARK BSB 2000

What happened: The epic battle in BSB had everyone on the edge of their seats. For the two riders involved sometimes it pitched them out of theirs...

In 2000, Chris Walker was desperate to win the BSB title on his GSX-R750. “My confidence was skyhigh on that bike” he says today. “I could get away with anything on it, as it was just so nimble. At Oulton Neil had been on fire. He won race one from the back of the grid and that made me desperate to make amends in race two.

“Neil and I ran away with it. I hit him going under him at Shell Oils and that set up Druids on the final lap - it came down to that one corner. He was on the outside and behind me when I went for the brakes. He came past and then cut across my nose. We collided and went into the gravel.”

Colin Wright, team boss for the GSE Racing squad running Neil, has a slightly different take on things: “Chris had a slide on the corner before Druids but Neil got perfect drive. He was in a good position going into the last corner but, with hindsight, perhaps he should have been a little more defensive. Then Chris comes up the inside going too fast. He was sideways and the back of his bike hit Neil - I’ve got video, photographs and solicitors letters to prove it.”

“Chris came into the GSE garage wanting to fight everybody and I told him to go and calm down. It may have been a marshal who first lodged the complaint but coincidentally he was in a Chris Walker T-shirt.”

Chris concludes: “2000 was a really great year, one I’ll never forget. I had the red mist for most of the season and there’ll be more - I’ve got to finally win that championship.”

Mick Doohan

4. Mick Doohan DONNINGTON 500GP 1993

What happened: Fresh from a win the round before, Mick Doohan wanted to show the Brit fans what he could do. Unfortunately it wasn’t winning.

The British round at Donington was set to be a screamer, and was, but for all the wrong reasons. Wayne Rainey took the lead with Lucky Strike new boy Alex Barros tailing him. Mick Doohan hoped to repeat the race win he took at San Marino in the previous round and was hounding the lead group coming under the Dunlop Bridge. As they entered the braking zone for the next corner, Doohan left things way too late and piled into the back of team Lucky Strike taking out himself, Barros and Schwantz.

Mick picked himself up and hobbled off the track leaving an injured Schwantz sat waiting for help from the marshals. The carnage was brushed aside but some of the most legendary tempers in 500cc racing simmered away back in the pits. Niall Mackenzie overheard an outraged Mick Doohan blaming Alex Barros for the whole incident. Rather than just accepting that he had gotten carried away and left his braking way too late, Mick insisted that Barros had got a lucky start and was riding up front with guys he wasn’t used to racing with. Barros apparently braked too early, leaving Mick with nowhere left to go other than over the bars.

Rossi V Stoner

3. Rossi V Stoner LAGUNA MOTOGP 2008

What happened: The closest, most hard fought battle for the lead in modern MotoGP racing ever, apart from the bit where Stoner fell off...

Laguna Seca was the decisive race of the 2008 MotoGP championship says race pundit Julian Ryder. “Rossi said as much later in the season. Casey Stoner of course later retracted much of his post-race outburst, and in truth it wasn’t so much the Corkscrew pass as another overtake earlier in the race that had really rattled his cage.

“Casey will never tell you as much but I think he thought he’d just have to turn up to win the race. He was half a second ahead in qualifying. But things changed on the Sunday morning.

“Jerry Burgess [Valentino Rossi’s long-serving crew chief] found something that made the bike really strong going into and out of that last corner. It was classic Burgess - maximising the bike for the decisive part of the racetrack and leaving the rider to sort everything else.

“And of course Rossi rode the perfect race. He never let Stoner lead him onto the start/finish straight because he knew that would be it, he’d be out of touch. He had to lead out of the last corner. Stoner was of course desperate to lead down the straight, that’s why he was overriding the last corner. Ultimately that’s why Stoner slid off there.

“After the race Stoner was seething, refusing to talk to Rossi, let alone look at him, until they were stood on the podium.”

Hislop V Mackenzie

2. Hislop V Mackenzie SNETTERTON BSB 1998

What happened: Team mates and fellow countrymen meant nothing to Hislop and Mackenzie. They were set for a one-two at Snetterton in 1998, until Niall saw red...

Join Niall Mackenzie as he recalls the most memorable red mist moments in BSB: “The biggest clash of the season came at Snetterton. Steve made a blinding start and I spent the whole race trying to catch him. I would rather have crashed trying to catch him than let him win. I finally caught him at the last corner on the last lap and let the brakes off, so he would run wide and let me through. Unfortunately he chose to keep leaning on me, which meant I had to let the brakes off causing us both to run on to the grass.”

Oops. “Terry Rymer and James Haydon were gifted a first and second on the Suzukis, pushing Steve and myself to third and fourth. I argued that Steve should have let me through, I would have won and he would have been second but our team manager, Rob McElnea, disagreed and said I just rode like a twat. I admit now it was probably not the smartest pass I’ve attempted but when the red mist takes over the sensible part of your brain can shut down. The scary thing is if I’d been close enough at the dangerous Bomb Hole section, just before the chicane, I would have had a go there and that could have been the end for both of us.”

Foggy V Chili

1. Foggy V Chili ASSEN WSB 1998

What happened: It’s our greatest-ever red mist moment, involving Foggy, Chili, a lot of bad blood and a ridiculous dressing-gown...

The bad blood that boiled over on track during the epic race at Assen in 1998 had been on a low heat for much of the season.

There were two Ducati teams in the paddock that year, both accused the other of receiving preferential treatment from the factory.

Chili had had the measure of Fogarty a couple of times that year, but Carl knew he had the edge at the super fast Assen. Carl was commanding the race but Frankie was on his tail, happy to hang on and follow. Fogarty upped the pace, but still Chili hung on. With five laps to go Foggy let Chili through only to find they were lapping 1.5 seconds slower. With Carl leading on the last lap he knew that Chili would slipstream along the back straight before trying a pass on the brakes.

“I knew what I had to do to stop him getting in my draught, so I weaved along the straight.

“I thought that Frankie was behind me when he was actually alongside me, I weaved straight into him and we touched at around 170mph, Chili went mad. I out-braked him into the last chicane, he went down and I won. Shit happens. Afterwards I was celebrating with Tardozzi and the team and he came flying over and started going crazy. I can remember shouting ‘oh fuck off you idiot’ and did a massive burnout, covering him in smoke.

“At the press office afterwards Chili stormed in wearing his housecoat and grabbed a microphone. He was pleading with everybody, telling them that I was a criminal, I stood up, stated that I wasn’t going to listen to this shit and walked out.

“It’s really hard to take an angry man seriously when he’s wearing a bathrobe.”