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The History of the MotoGP

posted 18 Nov 2010, 12:59 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 18 Nov 2010, 13:00 ]

The MotoGP was not always called the MotoGP, it was once
known as the World Championship of Motorcycle Racing and its
inaugural race was held in 1949.  The first motorbike
appeared in Germany around 1894 and the first motorcycle
race was held in France not long after that. The United

Kingdom first held the now famous Tourist Trophy races on
the Isle of Man in 1906.  The Isle of Man TT races are a
huge attraction for both competitors and spectators alike
and the modern rules were set by the FIM for the 1949 races.
 In 1938 the FIM organised a European Championship, however
the war interrupted progress and it was 1949 before the
first World Championship was held which consisted of four
classes, the 500cc, 350cc, 250cc and the 125cc. At this
first Grand Prix event, the British riders Leslie Graham won
the 500cc class and Freddie Firth won the 350cc class. The
Italian riders Bruno Ruffo won the 250cc class and Nello
Pagani won the 125cc event.

As the sport developed, the motorcycle manufacturers were
all trying to produce bikes for riders to win with. The
Italians were very prolific during the 1950s and they
dominated the 500cc class between the late 50s to the early
70s.  Their supremacy was ended when the Japanese motorcycle
industry developed further after manufacturing motorcycles
that were consistantly winning the lower cc classes.  A
number of manufacturers dropped out at the end of the 1960s
due to the escalating costs associated with Grand Prix
racing and as a result the FIM established rules regarding
the number of cylinders per engine depending upon the size
of the engine.  In 2002 the World Championship of Motorcycle
Racing was renamed the MotoGP and there was an overhaul of
the rules.  The 500cc class was ended and the new 990cc
4-stroke class was introduced as the premier event.  At the
commencement of the 2007 season, rules were once again
rewritten this time regarding the tyres and as a result the
engine size was reduced from 990cc to 800cc.  In 2009 tyre
manufacturer Bridgestone were the named suppliers for the
MotoGP 800cc class.

Every decade has had its superstars who are fondly
remembered by the fans, however the Italian rider Giacomo
Agostini has been the most successful, winning 15 World
titles, 7 of which he won on the trot from 1966 - 1972.
There have been many great characters over the years and in
recent times another Italian, Valentino Rossi has become THE
name associated with MotoGP.  Rossi is also noteworthy in
that he won the very last 500cc race in 2001 and then went
on to win the new class of 990cc in 2002.  He is thought of
as one of the all time greats now.  He is still a young man
with many more years of racing ahead of him, who knows what
further achievements he can fulfil.

The MotoGP is a very exciting sport which is constantly
evolving.  It has a glorious and noble history and an
exciting future with much to look forward to.

About the Author:

As a motorsport fan, Graham Baylis is a keen follower of the
MotoGP. He has purchased MotoGP tickets from Big Rock
Holidays on several occasions and has also enjoyed a behind
the scenes tour at Le Mans.