Moto Grand Prix - Moto GP - the pinnacle of two-wheel racing
is the world’s premier motorcycling championship, with
a season of 18 Grands Prix in 14 countries bringing together
the world’s top motorcycle manufacturers such as Honda,
Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, Aprilia and KTM - plus an
elite crop of riders from every corner of the globe.
The motorcycles used for MotoGP are purpose-built racing
prototypes which are unavailable for purchase by the general
public and cannot be legally ridden on public roads.
The Grand Prix Road-Racing World Championship was first organised
by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
(FIM) in 1949 and has been administrated by commercial rights
owners Dorna Sports under the supervision of the FIM since
1992. It is the oldest motorsport World Championship in existence.
MotoGP began a new era in 2002 when revised regulations allowed
for the participation of bikes with four-stroke engines. For
the 2007 season the adaptation of MotoGP bikes from 990cc
engine capacity to 800cc resulted in an even more exciting
spectacle, with higher corner speeds and even more competitive
races – patterns which are continuing this year.
in the opening round of 2008, MotoGP become the first motorsports
World Championship to host a night-time Grand Prix, with the
Losail International Circuit’s state-of-the-art new
floodlight system permitting a superb start to the season
Grand Prix Weekends
On a Grand Prix weekend there are three individual races,
one for each of MotoGP’s three categories:
MotoGP – the ultimate test for the finest talents in
motorcycle racing, in which maximum engine displacement capacity
is now the aforementioned 800cc (four-stroke engines) and
the minimum age for riders is 18.
250 – the intermediate category where maximum engine
displacement capacity is 250cc (twin cylinder engines) and
the minimum age for riders is 16.
125 – the class which offers young riders the chance
to take their first step into Grand Prix, where maximum engine
displacement capacity is 125cc (single cylinder engines),
the maximum age for riders is 28 (or 25 years of age for wild-card
riders or for newly contracted riders participating in a 125cc
race for the first time) and the minimum age is 15 years old.
Races begin from a grid which is composed of three starting
positions per row (four per row in the 250cc and 125cc classes),
with starting places secured by qualifying times - the fastest
rider earning the famous pole position. The races can vary
between 95km and 130km in distance and usually last approximately
40-45 minutes, each being a spectacular sprint to the finish
line, with pit-stops being rare rather than the norm.
Tyre selection is therefore absolutely crucial and is undertaken
by the teams following consultation with their riders based
on knowledge of the track, weather conditions and the feel
of the bike during free practice, qualifying and the pre-race
warm-up sessions. A critical balance has to be found between
grip and the endurance of the tyre, as soft, ‘gripping’
tyres permit quicker speeds and faster lap times but wear
out quickly, whilst harder, less ‘sticky’ tyres
last longer but do not assist the rider in achieving maximum
the official MotoGP website