Google Ads
martes, septiembre 19, 2023
HomeCarsWhy MotoGP Is Important For Every Rider

Why MotoGP Is Important For Every Rider

MotoGP is the premier global motorcycle championship. The tightness of the competition, the investment poured into development, and the speeds that riders achieve on their prototype bikes is unparalleled.

Google Ads

In MotoGP, the best riders in the world duke it out in over 20 circuits around the world to determine which rider and constructor goes home champion. But behind the glamour and feats found in MotoGP, a lot of the development that goes into the bikes makes its way into production motorcycles. Let’s take a closer look at how MotoGP plays an important role in every rider’s journey.

RELATED: 10 Of The Most Incredible MotoGP Bikes Ever Made

The Origins Of Grand Prix Racing

1949 MotoGP

The MotoGP of today can trace its roots back to the 1904 Paris Coupe Internationale des Motocyclettes. This race gave birth to the Fédération Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes (FICM) which turned into the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) by 1949. Stemming from the FICM, the FIM eventually established a six-race World Championship calendar to supplant the European championship. The first year of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix included the Isle of Man TT, Spa-Francorchamps, and even Monza!

While the Isle of Man TT was a prestigious event in itself, the FIM worked towards bringing in the same amount of recognition and competition into the World Championship. The era’s best manufacturers joined in, including AJS, Norton, Triumph, Moto Guzzi, Gilera, BMW, and Velocette just to name a few. The battle was tight between the Brits and the Italians, specifically AJS and Gilera, with the former eventually winning the championship in the 500cc class by a single point.

Google Ads

The series has seen countless constructors come and go with their own interpretation of what a championship-winning bike looks like and feels like. Apart from the classic icons from the first season, legendary brands such as Benelli, Mondial, Kawasaki, and even Harley-Davidson were some of the competitors in the field. Alongside them were many more manufacturers who have either gone defunct or have resigned from motorsport.

The FIM slowly standardized the World Championship format over the following decades, adding and eliminating classes. When 1990 came, and it was reduced to just three classes: 125cc, 250cc, and 500cc. The victims of the culling were the 50cc, 80cc, 350cc, and sidecar classes. The series then became rebranded the MotoGP in 2002 when the FIM settled on the current requirement of four-stroke 990cc engines for the premier class.RELATED: 10 Of The Most Incredible MotoGP Bikes Ever Made

Trickle-down Innovations From Racing

Ducati Desmosedici RR

In the early days of motorcycle racing, manufacturers had the primary motivation to enter the series to show off their bikes and hope the exposure translates into sales. There was an old marketing slogan “win on Sunday, sell on Monday”.

Any motorcycle brand looking to make a big break in the market had to have a sports offering, something that embodies the true capability of a company to compete. With engineers taking the gloves off to pursue performance and motorsport success, they focused more on delivering performance-oriented bikes. One of the first big innovations came in the form of an East German two-stroke engine which pushed the limits of racing as the engines produced more power than their four-stroke counterparts at similar displacements.

Kawasaki H2 Mach IV
Bring a Trailer

Shortly after its introduction in the World Championship, the engine found itself in road-going motorcycles. One of the best motorcycles to come from these developments is the Kawasaki H2 Mach IV (above). The combination of its raw, unrivaled power and rudimentary chassis earned it the “Widowmaker” nickname. Race teams and manufacturers started to try out new things in the name of performance, one-upping their competition and hoping to capture a larger stake in the market. The demand for more performance in World Championship bikes resulted in companies stepping up and making better offerings to the public too.

MotoGP Brakes and Forks

Parts like suspension, brakes, and the chassis had to adapt to the increasing power of engines and speed that the bikes were achieving. One major invention during this era was the upside-down or inverted forks, which has become a staple for many motorcycles today. Inverted forks offered more strength and reduced flexing for improved handling.

Tire technology also advanced to accommodate the demands of high-powered bikes going at break-neck speeds. Leading brands such as Michelin developed special compounds for race bikes that eventually cascaded into their offerings for street bikes. It wasn’t long before carbon fiber was introduced into bike construction. First used by Honda in their NSR500, any race team looking to gain an edge today would know that carbon fiber is the only option for the best performance.

Leading The Push For Bike Innovation

Honda RC211V_repsol-1

When MotoGP entered the 21st century with regulation changes, it was running alongside WSBK as the premier motorsport for the motorcycling community. Bike manufacturers were in tight competition against one another to produce the next championship-winning bike, with strong contenders being Honda, Yamaha, and Ducati.

Engines of that time were entering uncharted territory, with Yamaha developing their crossplane crankshaft in 2004 for the M1, Honda experimenting with V5s in its RC211V for 2001, and Ducati unveiling their V4 desmodromic engine. The M1’s crossplane would eventually find its way to the YZF-R1, and Ducati’s V4 engine configuration would go on to become the gold standard for performance motorcycles. Ducati may not have been the first to use a V4 on a motorcycle, but they are definitely the ones who perfected its use for racing.

MotoGP carbon ceramic brakes

RELATED: Is A Tech Ban Coming in MotoGP?

It is also worth mentioning the use of carbon ceramic brakes developed by Brembo and state-of-the-art suspension parts from Öhlins that pushed the standards across the market. With all the cutting edge development and testing done for MotoGP, everyone involved has made great strides in terms of innovation and technology.

Google Ads


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments