Third in Assen, second at Silverstone – there is only one place to go for Maverick Viñales on Sunday in Austria. If the Spanish rider can grab his first win for Aprilia and just the second premier class victory for the impressive Italian factory, he will join one of the most exclusive clubs in the history of Grand Prix racing. Viñales has already achieved premier class wins for Suzuki and Yamaha. A win on Sunday would be so very special.

Since the birth of the World Championship in 1949 only four riders have won premier class Grand Prix on three separate makes of machine. Plenty have won Grands Prix or even World titles on two but three is a very exclusive club.

The first two names I thought of were not such a great problem for the old grey matter. Not only did they achieve three wins on different bikes, but one of them also took World titles on two of them. I did work out the next two although the final rider’s name came to me when I woke up in the middle of the night. Neither of them captured the ultimate prize, the 500cc/MotoGP™ World title.

So, let’s start with the obvious two. Not Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read, or Geoff Duke who all won premier class Grands Prix on two different machines. It was World Champions Mike Hailwood and Eddie Lawson who went one better.

As he did so often it was Hailwood who led the way. In 1961 he won the 500cc Senior TT in the Isle of Man riding the British Norton. Before the end of the season, he had been snatched up by Count Agusta for his MV team and Hailwood rewarded his faith with victory at Monza. Four 500cc World titles and 28 Grands Prix wins followed before Honda signed him to spearhead their 500cc challenge after dominating the smaller classes. Despite winning eight Grands Prix for the Japanese factory Hailwood finished runner-up to former teammate Agostini in 1966/67

Since his arrival into the World Championship in 1983 Lawson was always regarded as a Yamaha rider for life. The Californian won three 500cc World titles and 26 Grands Prix for Yamaha before a sensational switch to Honda for a single season in 1989. Not only did Lawson win four Grands Prix but the World title and returned to Yamaha the next year. Before retiring in 1992 Lawson added another chapter to the history books. In difficult conditions he brought the beautifully graceful Italian Cagiva machine its first ever Grand Prix win in Hungary to sign off an incredible career.

So, what about the other two. Despite finishing runner-up four times in the 500cc World Championship Randy Mamola won his 13 Grands Prix on three separate bikes. The first at Zolder in Belgium in 1980 followed by four more for Suzuki. The Californian switched to Honda in 1984 and won four Grands Prix before he joined Yamaha in 1986. He won four Grands Prix for them, and those four runner-up positions came on all three of those machines. Two on Suzuki and one apiece on Honda and Yamaha.

The middle of the night moment for me was Loris Capirossi. The Italian 125 and 250cc World Champion may have only won nine premier class Grands Prix, but he is in the club. That first win in Australia was on the 500cc Yamaha in 1996. He returned to the 250cc class to win the World title before re-joining the 500s in 2000. He won the Italian Grand Prix for Sito Pons’s Honda team. Capirossi joined Ducati in 2003 and brought the Italian factory seven wins including three successive victories in Japan.

So over to you Maverick to add to those Suzuki and Yamaha victories. The keys are in your hand to unlock the door into one of the most exclusive clubs in the 74-year history of Grand Prix racing.