You are on page 1of 3

Grand Prix motorcycle racing refers to the premier class of motorcycle racingevents held on road

circuits sanctioned by FIM. Independent motorcycle racing events have been held since the start of
the twentieth century[1] and large national events were often given the title Grand Prix,[2] The
foundation of a recognised international governing body for motorcycle sport, the Fédération
Internationale de Motocyclisme in 1949 provided the opportunity to coordinate rules and regulations
in order that selected events could count towards official World Championships as FIM Road
Racing World Championship Grand Prix. It is the oldest established motorsport world
championship.[3]
Grand Prix motorcycles are purpose-built racing machines that are generally unavailable for
purchase by the general public or able to be ridden legally on public roads. This contrasts with the
various production-based categories of racing, such as the Superbike World Championship and
the Isle of Man TT Races that feature modified versions of road-going motorcycles available to the
public.
The championship is currently divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. All three
classes use four-stroke engines. The 2018 MotoGP seasoncomprises 19 Grands Prix, with 12 held
in Europe, four in Asia, two in the Americas, and one in Oceania.

Event format[edit]
The starting grid is composed of three columns (four for the 125 cc and 250 cc classes) and contains
approximately 20 riders. Grid positions are decided in descending order of qualifying speed, with the
fastest on the pole or first position. Races last approximately 45 minutes, each race is a sprint from
start to finish without pitting for fuel or tyres.
In 2005, a flag-to-flag rule for MotoGP was introduced. Previously, if a race started dry and rain fell,
officials could red-flag (stop) the race and either restart or resume on 'wet' tyres. Now, when rain
falls, a white flag is shown, indicating that riders can pit to swap the motorcycle on which they started
the race for an identical one, as long as the tyres are different (that is, intermediates or slicks instead
of wets)[1]. Besides different tyres, the wet-weather bikes have steel brake rotors and different brake
pads instead of the carbon discs and pads used on the 'dry' bikes. This is because the carbon
brakes need to be very hot to function properly, and the water cools them too much. The suspension
is also 'softened' up somewhat for the wet weather.
When a rider crashes, track marshals up the track from the incident wave yellow flags, prohibiting
passing in that area; one corner farther up the track, a stationary yellow flag is shown. If a fallen rider
cannot be evacuated safely from the track, the race is red-flagged. Motorcycle crashes are usually
one of two types: lowside, when the bike loses either front or rear tire grip and slides out on the "low"
side, and the more dangerous highside, when the tires don't completely slide out, but instead grip
the track surface, flipping the bike over to the "high side", usually catapulting the rider over the top.
Increased use of traction control has made highsides much less frequent.

Riders[edit]
See also: List of Grand Prix motorcycle racers

Top riders travel the world to compete in the annual FIM World Championship series. The
championship is perhaps most closely followed in Italy and Spain, home of many of the more
successful riders early in the 21st century. As for the 2011 season, 25 riders of eight nations
participated in the premier class of the championship.
Champions[edit]
See also: List of Grand Prix motorcycle racing World champions and List of Grand Prix motorcycle
racing World Champions by year

The Riders' World Championship is awarded to the most successful rider over a season, as
determined by a points system based on Grand Prix results.
Giacomo Agostini is the most successful champion in Grand Prix history, with 15 titles to his name (8
in the 500 cc class and 7 in the 350 cc class). The most dominant rider of all time was Mike
Hailwood, winning 10 out of 12 (83%) races, in the 250 cc class, in the 1966 season. Mick Doohan,
who won 12 out of 15 (80%) of the 500 cc races in the 1997 Grand Prix motorcycle racing
season also deserves an honourable mention. Valentino Rossi is the most successful contemporary
rider, having won nine titles including six Moto GP titles, and one each at 500 cc, 250 cc and 125 cc
levels.[18] The current (2017) champion is Marc Márquez.

History[edit]
A FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix was first organized by the Fédération
Internationale de Motocyclisme in 1949. The commercial rights are now owned by Dorna Sports,
with the FIM remaining as the sport sanctioning body. Teams are represented by the International
Road Racing Teams Association (IRTA) and manufacturers by the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers
Association (MSMA). Rules and changes to regulations are decided between the four entities, with
Dorna casting a tie-breaking vote. In cases of technical modifications, the MSMA can unilaterally
enact or veto changes by unanimous vote among its members.[4] These four entities compose the
Grand Prix Commission.
There have traditionally been several races at each event for various classes of motorcycles, based
on engine size, and one class for sidecars. Classes for 50 cc, 80 cc, 125 cc, 250 cc, 350 cc, and
500 cc solo machines have existed at some time, and 350 cc and 500 cc sidecars. Up through the
1950s and most of the 1960s, four-stroke engines dominated all classes. In part this was due to
rules, which allowed a multiplicity of cylinders (meaning smaller pistons, producing higher revs) and
a multiplicity of gears (giving narrower power bands, affording higher states of tune). In the
1960s, two-stroke engines began to take root in the smaller classes.
In 1969, the FIM —citing high development costs for non-works teams— brought in new rules
restricting all classes to six gears and most to two cylinders (four cylinders in the case of the 350 cc
and 500 cc classes). This led to a mass walk-out of the sport by the previously highly
successful Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha manufacturer teams, skewing the results tables for the next
several years, with MV Agusta effectively the only works team left in the sport until Yamaha (1973)
and Suzuki (1974) returned with new two-stroke designs. By this time, two-strokes completely
eclipsed the four-strokes in all classes. In 1979, Honda, on its return to GP racing, made an attempt
to return the four-stroke to the top class with the NR500, but this project failed, and, in 1983, even
Honda was winning with a two-stroke 500.
Previously, the championship featured a 50cc class from 1962 to 1983, later changed to an 80cc
class from 1984 to 1989. The class was dropped for the 1990 season, after being dominated
primarily by Spanish and Italian makes. It also featured a 350cc class from 1949 to 1982, and a
750 cc class from 1977 to 1979. Sidecars were dropped from world championship events in the
1990s (see Superside).

From the mid-1970s through to 2001, the top class of GP racing allowed 500 cc displacement with a
maximum of four cylinders, regardless of whether the engine was a two-stroke or four-stroke. This is
unlike TT Formula or motocross, where two and four strokes had different engine size limits in the
same class to provide similar performance. Consequently, all machines were two-strokes, since they
produce power with every rotation of the crank, whereas four-stroke engines produce power only
every second rotation. Some two- and three-cylinder two-stroke 500s were seen, but though they
had a minimum-weight advantage under the rules, typically attained higher corner speed and could
qualify well, they lacked the power of the four-cylindermachines.
In 2002, rule changes were introduced to facilitate the phasing out of the 500 cc two-strokes. The
premier class was rebranded MotoGP, as manufacturers were to choose between running two-
stroke engines up to 500 cc or four-strokes up to 990 cc or less. Manufacturers were also permitted
to employ their choice of engine configuration. Despite the increased costs of the new four-stroke
engines, they were soon able to dominate their two-stroke rivals. As a result, by 2003 no two-stroke
machines remained in the MotoGP field. The 125 cc and 250 cc classes still consisted exclusively of
two-stroke machines.
In 2007, the MotoGP class had its maximum engine displacement capacity reduced to 800 cc for a
minimum of five years. As a result of the 2008–2009 financial crisis, MotoGP underwent changes in
an effort to cut costs. Among them are reducing Friday practice sessions and testing sessions,
extending the lifespan of engines, switching to a single tyre manufacturer, and banning qualifying
tyres, active suspension, launch control and ceramic composite brakes.[5] For the 2010 season,
carbon brake discs were banned.
For the 2012 season, the MotoGP engine capacity was increased again to 1,000 cc.[6] It also saw the
introduction of Claiming Rule Teams (CRT), which were given more engines per season and larger
fuel tanks than factory teams, but were subject to a factory team buying ("claiming") their rival's
powertrain for a fixed price.[7] The sport's governing body received applications from sixteen new
teams looking to join the MotoGP class.[8] For the 2014 season, the CRT subclass was rebranded
Open, as the claiming rule was removed. Also, all entries adopted a standard engine control unit,
with factory teams being allowed to run any software, and Open entries using a standard software.
For the 2016 season, the Open subclass was dropped, and factory entries switched to a standard
engine control unit software.
In 2010, the 250cc two-stroke class was replaced by the new Moto2 600 cc four-stroke class. In
2012, the 125cc two-stroke class was replaced by the Moto3 250cc four-stroke class with a weight
limit of 65 kg with fuel.
According to one estimate, leasing a top-level motorcycle for a rider costs about US$ 3.0 to 3.5
million per season.[9]

Marc Márquez Alentà (born 17 February 1993) is a Spanish Grand Prixmotorcycle road racer and
four-time MotoGP world champion. Márquez races for Honda's factory team since his MotoGP debut
in 2013. Nicknamed the "Ant of Cervera", he is one of four riders to have won world championship
titles in three different categories, after Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Valentino Rossi.[1]
Márquez won the 2010 125cc World Championship,[2][3] the 2012 Moto2 World Championship,[4][5] and
the 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 MotoGP World Championships. Márquez became the first rider
since Kenny Robertsin 1978 to accomplish the premier class title in his first season, and the
youngest to win the title overall.[6] He defended his title, winning the 2014 championship with three
rounds to spare.[7] During that title run Márquez won ten races in a row. He is the older brother of
2014 Moto3 world champion Álex Márquez.[8] Márquez equalled the all-time Grand Prix record for
pole positions at the age of 23 in 2016.[9] Márquez secured the 2016 title with three rounds to spare
at Motegi.