The World Motorcycle Racing Championship is divided into three classes – motorcycles with an engine capacity of 125 cm ³, 250 cm ³ and, in fact, Moto GP. Until 2002, the upper class was 500cm³, but since it used 2-stroke engines and motorcycles of such a scheme were not used anywhere else, it was decided to replace it with the MotoGP class using 4-stroke motors up to 990cm³, and in 2007 their volume was reduced to 800 cm ³. Unlike Superbike class motorcycles, the presence of a homologation batch is not required; prototype motorcycles can be built in the singular.
Moto GP is the main event of the World Motorcycle Racing Championship held by the International Motorcycle Federation since 1949. Eighteen races, throughout the year, are held in fourteen countries, on four continents and with active television coverage. Motorcycles are armed with the most advanced technologies, and the stubborn struggle unfolds among the four manufacturers – Ducati, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki.World Championship Moto Grand Prix (Moto GP, Moto 2, Moto 3) – the elite championship in road-ring motorcycle races on specially created prototypes. Many technologies migrate to the “civil” conveyor. The championship takes place in 19 stages around the world, in various climatic conditions. Titles are played in three classes: Moto GP – Royal Class (1000 cubic centimeters), Moto 2 – “medium” (600 cubic centimeters) and Moto 3 – initial class (250 cubic centimeters). In 2010, the new 4-stroke Moto2 completely replaced the classic 2-stroke GP250, and in 2012, the GP125 was replaced by the Moto3, where athletes compete on 1-cyl. 250 cc 4-stroke motorcycles.
MotoGP is the top of a motorcycle racing Olympus from a technical point of view. Machines for the World Superbike are built on the basis of serial equipment, although they are still very far from road motorcycles. If we draw parallels with auto racing, then we can say that MotoGP is Formula 1, and WSBK is WTCC or, say, GT. But if you compare the technical characteristics of the 275-strong cars of the world touring and F-1 cars, whose power is about 750 “horses”, it is meaningless then in motor racing everything is a little different.
MotoGP vs WSBK
The difference in time between Ben Spies pole position in this year’s WSBK first stage at Philipp Island and the result shown by the winner of the Australian Grand Prix qualification on the same Casey Stoner track is less than two and a half seconds! With this time, Spis would be able to sit on the starting grid of the MotoGP race ahead of the three drivers of the “royal” class! But if MotoGP motorcycles are more technological, then why is the gap so small, you ask?
In addition, steel brakes are used in the World Superbike, while in Grand Prix races, more efficient (but also more expensive) carbon discs are allowed. Thus, the braking distance of WSBK motorcycles is greater than MotoGPwhich means that pilots need to brake before cornering earlier. There is also a significant difference in tires. This was especially evident until this year, when “tire wars” between “Michelin” and “Bridgestone” boiled in MotoGP. This season, the rule of a single supplier of rubber starts in MotoGP, and the growth of speeds due to improved tires will stop. But in WSBK, motorcycles are “shod” in the “serial” Pirelli racing tires, and for MotoGP, Bridgestone produces exclusive products.
From all this, the result is the advantage of MotoGP motorcycles over WSBK in speed on one lap. And soon the difference between them should become even smaller, because in connection with the global economic crisis, the organizers of MotoGP are forced to “tighten their belts.” So, already from this season, the use of electronic and hydraulic start systems, active suspensions and ceramic composites in brake discs is prohibited. And with the August Czech Grand Prix will enter a restriction on the use of engines during racing weekends. In fact, WSBK motorcycles are even more powerful than their MotoGP counterparts. But even greater restrictions should come into force next year. For example, carbon brakes can be replaced with steel brakes, traction control and some other electronic auxiliary systems are outlawed.
In MotoGP, the most interesting things are concentrated on the track; no tour of the paddock will give the viewer as many exciting moments as a permanent presence in the stands. Tense struggle between the pilots, numerous overtaking, spectacular turns with inclinations of almost 65 ° – enough for what to see. At the same time in the pits during the race everything is quite calm. There is no change of tires, no refueling, and the arrival of the motorcycle racer on the pit lane most often means its gathering. In addition, the motodromes are much narrower than the autodromes, and therefore occupy a smaller area. Because of this, their layout allows you to see almost the entire route from the first to the last turn. Such is the route in Valencia, where the last stage of the 2014 World Cup was held.
Moto GP news: Spanish stuff
Ricardo TormoMotodrome was built in 1999 and named after the famous Spanish motorcycle racer, two-time world champion in the 50cc class. Tormo, a native of Valencia, was the star of the early 1980s, he died a year before the track was built from a serious illness, and the track received his name. The organization of the Grand Prix has the characteristic Spanish features – confused signs, accidentally closed entrances, inoperative devices for controlling the audience, merry sloppiness combined with high-tech machines and deadly risk. In Spain, there are as many as four races from the 18-stage MotoGP calendar, and in the top ten following the results of the championship are five Spaniards, chief among whom is, of course, Marc Marquez, the miracle boy who won two titles in a row immediately after joining the highest racing series. This season, he won 13 victories – more than anyone ever in a single championship.
One of the main differences MotoGP from other series is huge number of teams and boxes. This is due to the fact that each stage includes races of three classes – the highest (MotoGP) and two junior (Moto2 and Moto3). In previous years, the number of classes reached five. At the same time, many riders “hang out” in Moto2 until the end of their careers, showing decent results there, but never finding “loopholes” in the royal class. Again, in the 1950s-1970s, pilots often specialized in a particular class, for example, 125 “cubes”, and refused to go over to more powerful motorcycles. Today, Moto2 and Moto3 are perceived as steps up – the champions and winners of the junior series usually receive a number of proposals from the older ones. Another thing is that, being the best among Moto3, you can become an outsider in Moto2. But it already depends on talent and team.