When you're chatting in the bar about who is, or who was, the greatest rider of all time, you always need to consider the numbers.
The numbers don't tell us everything of course, seeing as there are currently 18 Grand Prix during the season while in the past they sometimes ran barely half that number of races.
Yes, riders used to compete in more than one class in terms of engine size, but their careers were also significantly shorter.
They would start racing later and therefore finish up sooner.
All of which means that the statistics you see here below are simply to add a little fuel to your discussions.
The table shows the total number of podiums achieved across all world championship classes.
Of course, beating everyone hands down is Valentino Rossi who began his career in 1996 and is still racing 21 years later while, for example, Agostini started in 250 in 1963, but participated in fewer races and only competed for 14 years.
Ten names…and a few surprises.
Rounding out the top three, behind Rossi and Agostini, is Dani Pedrosa.
The Spaniard is followed by fellow countrymen Angel Nieto and Jorge Lorenzo, with the same number of podiums.
In sixth place is Phil Read, who won titles in 125, 250 and 500, and then the great Mike Hailwood, ahead of Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi and a name that the youngest among you may not recall: Jim Redman.
All exceptional riders who deserve our unconditional admiration.