Sports high-speed bikes, roaring engines, over-takings, falls, passions on the tracks, crowds of fans, supporting different teams and different pilots, inexpressible atmosphere – all these things are great motorcycle show, the name of which is MotoGP. It is on MotoGP that all ShKMG pilots are aimed, because Moto Grand Prix is a kind of Formula 1, but only on two wheels. The championship is divided into 3 classes according to engine size: 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP. “Grand” bikes are made specifically for racing and are not available for free purchase. Such teams as Aprilia Racing, Red Bull KTM, Angel Nieto Team, Ducati team and many others participate in Moto GP. Each participant has its own bike from the respective manufacturer.
Motorcycle Racing has its history since 1949, while Formula 1 appeared a year later. Nobody can answer the question “What is more spectacular: F1 or MotoGP”. Like MotoGP pilots attend Formula, so F1 drivers go to Moto Grand Prix stages. From early morning crowds of fans of high speeds flock to the stands, parking is crammed with two-wheeled “friends” and hotels are overcrowded, because not only local motorcyclists, but fans from all over the world come to such a holiday. Usually the most acute struggle is in the lower grades, where castling takes place at almost every turn. And there will be more falls here. However, this does not mean that the “royal” class is less interesting. Due to the larger engine volume, the speed is much higher, which makes the viewer stay in tension from start to finish.
In the 125ss class, the majority of pilots under 29 years old take part. If the driver has managed to prove in this class, then he receives an offer to go to 250ss. The goal of each rider is to get into the elite MotoGP class and become a champion in it. Valintino Rossi is a kind of Michael Schumacher. In his entire career, numbering 12 years, the Doctor (nicknamed Valentino Rossi) managed to win 7 world champion titles, 5 of which he obtained in the elite voice of the Grand Prix. The first champion was Leslie Graham, seven titles in the “royal” class in a row won by Giacomo Agostini; he is also the owner of as many as 15 titles from different classes. In the entire history of MotoGP, 6 six Englishmen, 6 Italians, 7 Americans, 3 Australians, 1 Spaniard and 1 African became champions. This year, the calendar consists of 18 stages, one of which is night.
On average, the ride lasts about 40-45 minutes. Race does not provide for scheduled refueling and tire replacement. Pilots pass a distance of 20-28 laps (their number depends on the length of the route) in the same breath.
Teams and main contenders for the title: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and other champions
Back in 1950, the last Grand Prix of the season was held on the Italian track in Monza. For the title of the strongest rider, two fought: the owner of the track, Umberto Mazetti, who was driving on the four-cylinder bike “Giller”, and the Briton Jeff Duke, who was speaking on the one-cylinder Norton motorcycle. The British pilot won, but this was not enough for the final success. The Italian came to the finish line second, and in the final table of contenders shared only one credit point. So Mazetti celebrated his first championship in the 500-cc motorcycle class.
1952: Montjuic Park, Spain.
Applicants: Umberto Mazetti, Leslie Graham, Reg Armstrong. Two years later, Mazetti was once again one of the heroes of the season, which ended on the Barcelona Montjuic Park circuit. Only this time, the Italian was already opposed by two opponents: the driver of the Agusta team and the first MotoGP champion of the 1949 series Briton Leslie Graham, as well as Irishman Reg Armstrong, who was racing on the already familiar Norton motorcycle. Graham manages to win the 48-round race, but the cold-blooded Mazetti gets to the finish line second, and this is enough for the title – Graham is three points behind, and Reg Armstrong is third in the championship.
1966: Monza, Italy.
Applicants: Giacomo Agostini, Mike Heilwood. 1966, the final Grand Prix once again takes place on the legendary Monza track. The local racer Giacomo Agostini and his eternal opponent, the British Mike Heilwood, are fighting for the title of best pilot of the year, who, after a motor sporting career, will leave to try his skills in Formula 1. From the start, the riders began to find out which of them is more worthy of the championship title, while Hailwood, or, as he was called “Motorcycle”, did not drop its 500-cube Honda in one of the turns. Agostini calmly drove to the finish line in first position and won his first title in the premier category. In the final standings of the Italian and British motorcycle races shared six award points. The Repsol Honda team also conducts a race on such racing bikes.
1975: Brno, Czechoslovakia.
Applicants: Giacomo Agostini, Phil Reed. The last, tenth stage of the 1975 season, passing on the track in Czechoslovakia Brno, brought Agostini face to face – at that time already seven-time world champion – and the British rider Phil Reed. At that time, Giacomo had already left the Italian Agusta, and was in favor of the Japanese Movistar Yamaha while Reed won the championship with the former Italian team for two years in a row. In the last Grand Prix championship Reed excel, but Agostini finished second, and thus did not allow a competitor to take the third title in a row. Giacomo not only won the 1975 season, but also became the first rider to try on the winner’s crown on two and four-stroke motorcycles. It is also worth adding that this was the last Italian title in his career. Two years later, the eight-time world champion will complete his epochal career.
1979: year. Le Mans, France.
Applicants: Kenny Roberts Sr., Virginio Ferrari. Once again, “King” Roberts, who piloted the 500-cubic Yamaha, became the hero of the last 1979 race, which took place on the legendary French track at Le Mans. At this time, the American athlete, who defended the title, tried to restrain the onslaught of the young Italian pilot Virginio Ferrari. The struggle, though did not work – the French track in the race debut was unfavorable to Ferrari – the Italian fell in one of the turns and could not go back to the race, while the American quietly finished third. The final gap in the championship was twenty-four points.
1980 year: Nürburgring, Germany.
Applicants: Kenny Roberts Sr., Randy Mamola. In 1980, the title of champion was played by two Americans: two-time champion Kenny Roberts Sr., who was racing on the Japanese Yamaha, and his compatriot, one of the most amazing pilots of the championship in his entire history – Randy Mamola who was a representative of Suzuki Ecstar. The representative of the “Suzuki” was able to successfully start and lead the race, but in the end the high-spirited driver was forced to capitulate in the middle of the race, after mechanical problems occurred. The audience shook their hands in surprise because of the fact that there was not a single title challenger in the minutes of the winners of the German Grand Prix – Roberts came to the finish line fourth, Mamola was right behind him. Winning the championship went to Kenny Roberts Sr.
1981: Anderstop, Sweden.
Applicants: Marco Lukkineli, Randy Mamola. The following season, Mamola made another attempt to win the World Cup, and again the fate of the title was decided in the final race of the season. This time Italian Marco Lukinelli became the American’s rival in the final battle. It was enough for a rider from the Apennine Peninsula to finish the championship in the top five, provided that the competitor won the Swedish circuit. The race itself took place under mixed weather conditions, and for some time it rained over several laps over the course of several laps. Mamola succeeded again a good start. He kept the leader a few laps, but in one of the turns lost the bike. As a result, the maximum for which the American was honored is to play a couple of places and come to the finish line thirteenth. As for Marco, he drove to the finish line ninth. This was quite enough to try on the champion’s crown. In the final table, the riders were divided by eleven points.
1983: Autodrome Dino Ferrari, Italy.
Applicants: Freddie Spencer, Kenny Roberts Sr. The eighties were rich at dramatic interchanges of world championships. One of them happened in 1983. On September 4 of that year, spectators of the Enzo and Dino Ferrari track at the San Marino Grand Prix watched the fight for the title of the best motorcycle racer on the planet, which was once again played by American pilots.
We must say, the American school of mobilization, was the best in those years. From 1980 to 1990, riders from the United States were seven times recognized as the best at the end of the season, and often the title went to representatives of a country of great opportunities. Before the final Grand Prix, the Honda HP driver Freddy Spencer had a five-point advantage over the three-time royal champion Kenny Roberts Sr. Moreover, the final itself was warmed up at the last stage at the Swedish Anderstop. There, on the last lap of the race, Spencer, who was second, decided on a desperate attempt to overtake in one of the last turns. However, the maneuver ended with Spencer entering a turn at high speed, he did not have time to brake and pushed his opponent behind the curbs, as a result of which both drove out of the track. Spencer returned to the track faster and won as a result. Roberts also came to the finish line second and expectedly expressed many unpleasant words to the competitor. So you can understand how tense the atmosphere was in the air before the final stage of the season.
In order to somehow compensate for the spectacle losses in the previous race, the Marlborough Yamaha team decided to use command tactics. Its essence was as follows: Roberts’ partner, Eddie Lawsen, had to hold back the onslaught of Spencer. At first, everything went according to their scenario: Lawsen tried to keep Spencer’s impulse, but then he was forced to capitulate, and as a result Roberts did not have enough victory to win the title.
1989: Goiânia, Brazil.
Applicants: Eddie Lawen, Wayne Rainey. The next right to be a world champion was challenged by two American motorcycle racer: the renowned Eddie Lawsen, who was on the Keinmoto-Honda team, and the driver with modest achievements at the time – Yaneha. For Lawsen, the title gained could be fourth in his magnificent racing career. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what happened, and the final podium at the end of the Brazilian weekend was fully represented by riders from the USA. First place in the Grand Prix was Kevin Schwartz, twenty-five, Lawes finished second in the race. His main opponent for the season, Rayne, finished third. Pilots in the final table shared eighteen points.
1992: Kyalami, South Africa.
Applicants: Mick Duan, Wayne Rainey. September 6, 1992 at the final stage in Johannesburg, in South Africa, the motorcycle world saw another amazing outcome of the championship. For the title of the strongest motor racer fought Australian pilot Mick Duan, representing the Japanese “Honda”, and American Wayne Rainey, who defended the colors of another Japanese brand – “Yamaha”. It is worth saying that in the asset of the American there were already two championship titles in the royal series. A few months before the outcome of the championship, at the eighth stage, which took place on the track in the Dutch Assen, Mick Duen gets the strongest injuries after falling into practice. There was a high risk that the Australian would lose his right leg. At the time of the terrible accident, Mick won the nearest opponent, who was Rainey, sixty-five points.
It took him about two months to recover from the worst injuries he received, and the Australian missed four stages in a row. During this time, the American pilot played forty-three points as a result of one first, one second, and one-fifth places, thereby significantly reducing the gap with the Australian rider.
MotoGP – history and modernity
MotoGP is one of the oldest world championships. The International Motorcycle Federation (FIM) was the first organization that organized the Grand Prix at the 1949 World Cup. Today, commercial rights belong to Dorna Sport. Stage Moto GP consists of three races for each category (class). The first category is for professional athletes. Engine capacity is limited to 800 cu. cm. The second category is class with a limited engine capacity (push-pull) of 250 cu. See, that’s why it is called “250”. The age limit is 16 years. The third category is limited to an engine size of 125 cc; two-stroke engine. Young athletes aged from 15 to 28 years old participate in this category (for beginners, age is limited to 25 years).
In the 2010 season, the 250-cc class was replaced by a new one – Moto2, which uses cars with a 4-stroke engine with a displacement of 600 cc. In this class, riders use Honda engines and Dunlop tires. Ceramic brakes are prohibited. In the 2010 championship there were no restrictions on the chassis, so both the old 250 and the Moto2 chassis took part in the races. In 2011, only the Moto2 chassis with a 600-cubic 4-stroke engine will become mandatory.
MotoGP history: brother vs brother
In the championship MotoGP 2014 viewer watched the confrontation of two brothers. After winning the Moto2 2013 championship, Paul Espargaro joined the Yamaha Tech3 team, while his older brother Alex Espargaro became a member of the Forward Yamaha team, with a serious background in MotoGP. The Espargaro brothers had an excellent opportunity to confront each other at the highest level. However, they are not the only ones who had such an opportunity in the past!
The last time before, we had seen the confrontation of the brothers about 4 years ago. It was at the Grand Prix Laguna Seca 2010, when Nikki Hayden played for the Ducati Racing team, and Roger Lee Hayden replaced Randy de Punier on the Honda LCR team. Ultimately, Nikki took 5th place and his brother 11th one. Both scored points! And if we talk about glasses, then in the history of MotoGP there were only two cases when the brothers stood on the same podium:
- at the Argentine Grand Prix of 1962, the brothers Juan and Eduardo Salatino finished in 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
- at the Imola 1997 Grand Prix, the Nobuatsu Aoki brothers (now the test driver of the Suzuki) and Takuma Aoki finished in 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
In the history of MotoGP brothers have not taken 1-2 places at the same time. If we talk about the MotoGP full-time racers (like the Espargaro brothers now), the last time two brothers simultaneously performed in the royal class in 2004. Kenny Roberts Junior played for Suzuki, while his brother Curtis was riding a Proton KR motorcycle. Other cases:
- Dominic and Christian Sarron (1989)
- Bernard and Marc Garcia (1994)
- Nobuatsu and Haruchik Aoki (1999)
In the 2014 season, the most interesting confrontation took place between the Espargaro brothers. At the end of last season, no one could even think that Alex would be able to resist Paul, who is racing on the prototype Yamaha. However, in the pre-season tests, Espargaro Senior showed an incredibly high level. If he continues to work in the same direction, it will be very difficult for Paul to defeat his brother.