Motorcycle racing has always been an enthralling and action-packed spectacle that people have enjoyed. There is nothing quite as exciting as watching expert bike racers perform a variety of manoeuvres, make sharp turns with remarkable skill, and even ride through terrain that is inhospitable and challenging, all for the pursuit of the grand prize. Stunts and skilled riding aside, watching motorbike racers compete with each other to determine who is the fastest one of them all is a thrill like nothing else.
Needless to say, all these aspects taken together contribute to the overall appeal that the very genre of motorcycle racing has for sports fans in particular and people in general. Motorcycle racing is one of the most popular games that people nowadays play on computers, mobile phones and tablets. The availability of reliable and high-speed internet services has made it possible for more and more people to play bike racing game online and enjoy the thrill of racing their motorbikes on their personal electronic devices.
MotoGP, the full form of which is Grand Prix motorcycle racing, is the top tier category of motorbike road races. These racing events are held on road circuits that are sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, known in short as the FIM. These motorcycle racing events have been held ever since the beginning of the 20th century, and such events, which were large in scale and held at the national level, were given the title of Grand Prix.
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme was founded in the year 1949, and it was established as the international governing body for all motorcycle sports. This helped it formulate and coordinate rules and regulations so that the events that were held could be regarded as valid official world championships. As a matter of fact, MotoGP is the oldest established motorsport championship in the world.
MotoGP, therefore, is a championship event with a rich and illustrious history, and its races have been held in practically every part of the world. However, countries such as Italy, Spain, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia have held relatively more events over the years.
MotoGP is widely regarded as the ‘Formula 1’ of motorbike racing and is hailed as the pinnacle of sportsmanship involving motorbikes. As of today, the championship is classified into four distinct categories, namely the eponymous MotoGP itself, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE. For the first three categories (MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3), motorbikes with four-stroke engines are used, while for the MotoE category, electric motorbikes are used. The MotoE category was introduced in the year 2019. The motorbikes used for MotoGP races are specially built for the purpose, and they are unavailable for purchase to the public, as well as not possible to ride legally on public roads.
But what is it that makes MotoGP so thrilling to watch? Here are some of the characteristics of the sport that make it truly exceptional:
- The Racers’ Knees do Touch the Ground
No, it is not an illusion. Many people who watch a MotoGP race – and even some people who watch the sport more often – ask whether the riders’ knees touch the ground. The answer is yes. MotoGP is a sport in which accuracy is just as important as speed. In motorbike racing, therefore, it is absolutely crucial for a racer to maximise his lean angle. In order to make turns at the tightest corners of a track, the players will lean to an angle of up to 64 degrees from their vertical positions, and this is what gives the illusion that they are defying gravity as they make the tricky turns. To keep the racers safe from injury, they wear knee sliders of an inch thickness attached to their leather outfits. Even though these knee sliders are made of super strong, specially formulated thermoplastic, they usually end up getting destroyed after the race.
- The Racers Ride Ankle-to-Ankle
In stark contrast to car races where the drivers have their cars as a shield against any possible collisions, motorbike riders have no such barrier between each other in a race. In MotoGP, there is also a lot less space to overtake as well, and this means their margins for manoeuvring as well as the margin for error are significantly reduced. In other words, in MotoGP, you will get to witness some real ankle-to-ankle racing with a lot more action-packed into a unit of track space. Niki Lauda, the legendary Formula 1 racer, had once famously said that MotoGP has “the most incredible racing you can see today”.
- There is More Overtaking in Motogp Than in Car Races
For race enthusiasts, the more action that happens on a track, the more exciting the race is as a whole. This holds true for sports in general – the more the action, the greater the thrill. It has been statistically shown that there are a lot more overtakes happening in a MotoGP race than in a Formula 1 race.
- MotoGP Offers Greater Autonomy to Riders During a Race
In MotoGP races, there is no team radio and no pit stops. This makes the racing happen uninterrupted and purer and is a greater display of a rider’s skill rather than the execution of a planned strategy. As there are no radios involved, information to the riders is only conveyed to them through a pit board, which the riders only get a quick glimpse of. However, even when the teams try to communicate instructions and advice to their respective riders, it is not often that they follow them. A classic example of this is during the race at Sachsenring in the year 2016, when Valentino Rossi had outright ignored Yamaha repeatedly calling him to come and change his tyres in a race that had unfavourable weather conditions. And just as one might expect, Rossi lost the race as a result of disregarding helpful advice, but after all, it is the rider’s call to make in the sport.
- Motogp is Edge-of-Your-Seat Racing
A MotoGP rider must maintain speed and accuracy while moving a significantly heavy speeding motorbike from a vertical angle to a near horizontal angle and back up to the vertical position again. Compared to Formula 1, MotoGP is serious no-holds-barred racing that exposes riders to the elements, and comes with the consistent risk of crashing or having a nasty collision. This makes MotoGP not only a lot more thrilling but also significantly dangerous.
For many race enthusiasts who feel that four wheels are just too many, MotoGP is the perfect thing. From the risky manoeuvres to the nail-biting overtakes, MotoGP is a sport that offers unmatched thrills. And if that’s not enough, the sheer amount of mental strength and physical fitness the riders need to be able to get on the track and race with such skill and prowess is simply mind-boggling.