What is MotoGP… A Look Back

MotoGP Overview

The MotoGP is the pinnacle class of world championship road racing that developed primarily in Europe after the FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme) consolidated the regulations for motorcycle racing competition for the first time in 1949.

In the past, the pinnacle class was the 500cc class of the Road Race World Championships, but in 2002 the regulation was changed to create the Moto GP class in which 2-stroke machines of up to 500 cc and 4-stroke machines of up to 990 cc competed together.

Then the regulation was changed again in 2004 to limit the MotoGP class to 4-stroke machines only, and the displacement limit was reduced to 800 cc in the regulation from the 2007 season.

Since then, new regulations have also made a single maker the sole supplier of tires for MotoGP, limited the number of tires that can be used by a team during race week and reduced the number of test days.

In 2010, another regulation change limits the number of engines a single rider can use during the season to six. With all these changes, MotoGP has now entered a new era.

The bikes to be used are factory machines developed solely for the MotoGP class. With a light chassis of around 330 lbs, the machines achieve a maximum output of over 200 hp and will reach speeds of over 200 mph. The latest electronic control technology is allowed and employed throughout the new machines.

Competitors compete for position in approximately 40-minute races on paved circuit with a length of 2.5 to 3.2 mile, with the maximum race distances capped at about 68 to 75 miles.

Italian riders have the best all-time records, winning a total of 20 titles in the premier class. (Umberto Masetti 3, Libero Liberati 1, Giacomo Agostini 8, Marco Lucchinelli 1, Franco Uncini 1 and Valentino Rossi 7)

Riders from Great Britain have earned 17 titles, the last ones coming back in 1976 and 1977 when Barry Sheen won on the Suzuki.

American riders have claimed 15 titles in total since 1949, the third most of any country. (Kenny Roberts 3, Freddie Spencer 2, Eddie Lawson 4, Wayne Rainey 3, Kevin Schwantz 1, Kenny Roberts Jr. 1 and Nicky Hayden 1)

Japan, Russia, Germany and Canada are the only G8 countries yet to win the MotoGP World Title. While the only non-G8 countries to win are Rhodesia with 1 at the hand of Gary Hocking in 1961 and Australia with 5, thanks to the masterful and determined riding of Mick Doohan.

Constructors World Champions

2010 MotoGP (800cc) Yamaha
2009 MotoGP (800cc) Yamaha
2008 MotoGP (800cc) Yamaha
2007 MotoGP (800cc) Ducati

2006 MotoGP (1000cc) Honda
2005 MotoGP (1000cc) Yamaha
2004 MotoGP (1000cc) Honda
2003 MotoGP (1000cc) Honda

2002 500cc Honda
2001 500cc Honda
2000 500cc Yamaha
1999 500cc Honda
1998 500cc Honda
1997 500cc Honda
1996 500cc Honda
1995 500cc Honda
1994 500cc Honda
1993 500cc Yamaha
1992 500cc Honda
1991 500cc Yamaha
1990 500cc Yamaha
1989 500cc Honda
1988 500cc Yamaha
1987 500cc Yamaha
1986 500cc Yamaha
1985 500cc Honda
1984 500cc Honda
1983 500cc Honda
1982 500cc Suzuki
1981 500cc Suzuki
1980 500cc Suzuki
1979 500cc Suzuki
1978 500cc Suzuki
1977 500cc Suzuki
1976 500cc Suzuki
1975 500cc Yamaha
1974 500cc Yamaha
1973 500cc MV Agusta
1972 500cc MV Agusta
1971 500cc MV Agusta
1970 500cc MV Agusta
1969 500cc MV Agusta
1968 500cc MV Agusta
1967 500cc MV Agusta
1966 500cc Honda
1965 500cc MV Agusta
1964 500cc MV Agusta
1963 500cc MV Agusta
1962 500cc MV Agusta
1961 500cc MV Agusta
1960 500cc MV Agusta
1959 500cc MV Agusta
1958 500cc MV Agusta
1957 500cc Gilera
1956 500cc MV Agusta
1955 500cc Gilera
1954 500cc Gilera
1953 500cc Gilera
1952 500cc Norton
1951 500cc Norton
1950 500cc Norton
1949 500cc AJS