What is MotoGP?? Part 1 – Introduction

What is MotoGP and why is the world crazy about it? If you always wanted to know this, go through this series of stories that we have planned – in very simple language….

So, from today, we are starting this new informative series on MotoGP. We will do various articles – starting from the very basics – so that by the end of the series you are well aware of the details of this format. Let’s start then…

Ever wonder where these 1000 cc monsters such as Yamaha R1M, Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, Ducati Panigale V4 S, Suzuki GSX-R 1000 come from?? Why are these machines considered to be their brands’ flagship models?? What are these special Monster Energy or Repsol liveries??

All these answers are related to a phenomenon which is known as ‘MotoGP’. 

what is motogp
MotoGP machines with their respective liveries – Ducati (Red), Yamaha (Dark Blue), KTM (Orange), Suzuki (Light Blue), Pramac Racing (Satellite – Red with White)

What is MotoGP ?

The MotoGP or Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing is the pinnacle of motorcycle road racing events which are held on road circuits sanctioned by the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme). MotoGP is considered to be the oldest established motorsport world championship that started in 1949.

MotoGP is the battlefield for the famous motorcycle brands of the world where they put their best 1000 cc machines against each other to see who comes out at the top.

It is the ultimate testing ground for man and machine where the best 24 Riders and machines in the world go head-to-head to prove they and their machines are indisputable. 

The Championship 

The championship is fought between 6 manufacturers who create their own Factory Prototypes powered by 1000 cc engines of various configurations (V-4 and In-line) which generate upwards of 250 BHP.

These manufacturers also facilitate certain Satellite Teams, which are not owned by them, and supply their machines to these teams in order to gain more information and improve their machines further. 

The championship is run on Points basis. Points are won by each Rider (finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd till the 15th position) and each Team (Team Championship) and Constructor (Constructors’ Championship).

Whichever Rider, Team and Constructor accumulates the most points by the end of the season, wins the respective championship.

ConstructorFactory MachineEngine Configuration
YamahaYZR-M1Inline-4
DucatiDesmosedici GPV-4
SuzukiGSX-RRInline-4
Honda RC213VV-4
KTMRC16V-4
ApriliaRS-GPV-4

Looking at the race prototype names from the 6 manufacturers, it is very clear from where the names of their road legal 1000 cc bikes come from. 

All the road going premium 1000 cc motorcycles from these manufacturers are inspired directly from their race prototypes which battle on the MotoGP circuits.

It is from here that the Factory Liveries of the machines come, which are then introduced to their consumer motorcycles.

what is motogp
Magnetti Marelli Electronic Control Unit (ECU) – Same unit for all Teams

Upcoming 2022 KTM RC390 To Get Adjustable Suspension [RUMOR]

The Technology 

Every technology that we see on our road bikes, ADVs, Sport-tourers, cruisers etc, comes from the battlefield of MotoGP. ABS, various frame configurations, tyres, traction control, lean-sensitive TC and ABS, wheelie-control, riding modes, slide-control, adjustable suspension and so much more, all have trickled down from MotoGP in which all these technologies have been pushed to their extreme in various critical situations. 

All the riding aids have evolved from the time of 2-stroke monsters where it was very difficult for the riders to predict and control the bikes’ behaviour.

However, by the late 2000’s the riding aids evolved so much that majority of the bike was controlled by electronics rather than the rider himself. So, after protests from many teams and riders, the FIM brought in a universal ECU from Magnetti Marelli which brought in minimalist riding aids such as wheelie control and tyre-spin control (discussed later in the article).

All the big names such as Akrapovic (exhaust), Brembo (brakes), Michelin (tyres), Ohlins & WP (suspension), Castrol, Idemitsu & Motul (various oils and lubrications) et al test their best technology on these machines.

Every constructor has contracts with these expert brands which supply them with brakes, engine oil, tyres, fuel, suspension and so much more.

Yet, Michelin is contracted directly by FIM and is the sole supplier of tyres to all the teams. Michelin makes three compounds of tyres that are utilised during the Practice, Qualifying and the Race. The compounds are – Slicks, Intermediates and Rain. 

Rules and Regulations

There are certain fixed rules and regulations which are managed and regulated by FIM. Every infringement to major blunder made by teams, riders and/or even the circuit staff and management is monitored and penalised by FIM.

One main regulation which is equal for all the teams is the use of the common Electronic Control System (ECU) made by Magnetti Marelli introduced in 2013. 

No team is permitted to use anything other than the ECU provided. All teams tune this ECU unit according to their bikes’ and the riders’ requirements to get the best performance out of their machines.

Additionally, no riding-aids such as ABS, traction-control, electronic suspension adjustment etc are allowed to be used on the prototype machines. The only parameters the teams are allowed to alter are the wheelie-control, the rear wheel-spin and engine mode.

The racing on the track is purely about the bikes’ capabilities and riders’ skill. 

what is motogp
362.4 km/h – Highest speed ever achieved – Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) on Ducati Desmosedici GP

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The Season 

The MotoGP championship is held each and every year and that is called a Season.

For the 2022 MotoGP Season, 6 Factory Teams and 6 Satellite Teams are going to take part each running two Riders, totaling 24 riders on the grid. 

Factory TeamSatellite Team
Aprilia Racing Gresini Racing MotoGP
Ducati LenovoMooney VR46 Racing
Repsol Honda Pramac Racing
Red Bull KTM Factory RacingLCR Honda Idemitsu/Castrol
Team Suzuki EcstarTech 3 KTM Factory Racing
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGPWithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP

The calendar for 2022 season has been announced which will tentatively run 21 rounds of racing spread over 9 months between March – November. 

The 2022 Season will start from 31st of January with the Shakedown Test taking place over 2 days at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. 

Additional Facts

  • The most successful rider in MotoGP history is Giacomo Agostini (122 Wins) who holds the record for most race wins in the history of the sport. Followed by him is the famous Valentino Rossi (115 Wins), Angel Nieto (90 Wins) and Marc Marquez (85 Wins).
  • India’s Buddha International Circuit (BIC) is only suitable for Formula 1 races and not MotoGP races. This is because for the speeds MotoGP bikes achieve, the run-off area is not sufficient to keep the riders safe if they fall from their bike or crashes during the running.
  • The highest speed ever achieved in MotoGP is 362.4 km/h by Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) during the Free Practice-4 at the 2021 Qatar GP. 
  • The three big manufacturers – Kawasaki, BMW and MV Agusta – do not compete in MotoGP. They are only competing in the World Superbike Championship (WSBK).

So, which team are you going to root for this season?? Which rider do you think will win the championship??

Let us know your opinion about the upcoming season.

And go ahead, ask us all your burning questions regarding the races, championships, technologies etc. that you have.. 

We will answer them all….

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