Motorcycle world championship
The motorcycle world championship generally refers to the world championship for road motorcycles first announced by the world association FIM in 1949 . World championship titles are awarded in several classes, which are defined by displacement, number of cylinders, mode of operation and weight.
For many years races were held in the displacement classes 50 cm³ or 80 cm³, 125 cm³, 250 cm³, 350 cm³ and 500 cm³ for the solo machines and 500 cm³ for the sidecar . In the 1950s, English and Italian brands with four-stroke engines dominated . The southern German brand NSU was also able to achieve world championship titles. From 1957 to 1973 MZ was the leading German brand in international motorcycle racing with two-stroke machines in the 125 cm³, 250 cm³, and 350 cm³ displacement classes. However, the MZ racing team was excluded from participation in world championship races in NATO countries due to the Federal Republic of Germany's claim to sole representation in the 1960s for political reasons. That is why it was not possible for even the best drivers to reach a brand world championship on MZ.
At the beginning of the 1970s, the two-stroke machines, mostly of Japanese origin, also replaced the four-stroke machines from Europe that had dominated until then, even in the premier class up to 500 cm³. In 1974 Giacomo Agostini switched from the Italian brand MV Agusta to Yamaha after 13 consecutive world championship titles in the 350 and 500 cc series, winning the first 500 world championship title for the two-stroke machines, which completely replaced the four-stroke machines in the following decades. Nevertheless, the 15-time World Champion Giacomo Agostini came in 1976 when still a victory on the four-stroke MV Agusta, on the challenging drive Nordschleife of the Nürburgring .
From 1949 to 1976, the Tourist Trophy , on the Isle of Man , was part of the Motorcycle Road World Championship. The course was u. a. Removed from the program after Giacomo Agostini decided never to ride the dangerous route again. He did that because Gilberto Parlotti had a fatal accident in the race of the class up to 125 cm³ in the 1972 World Cup season, while he was in the lead. Between 1977 and 1989, the Formula TT was held in three cubic capacity classes as the official world championship under the umbrella of the FIM in order to compensate for the withdrawal of the World Cup status of the Tourist Trophy and at the same time to make races with near-series machines more popular.
In 1984 the 50 "shot glass" class was replaced by the 80 cm³ class; the 350 class was deleted without replacement from 1983 . This means that the German Toni Mang from Inning am Ammersee , who also won several 250 titles, remains the eternal world champion in this class. The classic start with pushing the motorcycles was replaced at the end of the 1980s by a standing start with the engines running.
In 1990 the 80s and 1997 also the sidecar racing machines were removed from the world championship program, so that until 2001 the world championship was only held in the displacement classes 125 cm³, 250 cm³ and 500 cm³. The manufacturers were increasingly bothered by the fact that they had to further develop the two-stroke engines, which were no longer up-to-date for environmental reasons, for the world championship races in order to remain competitive, while large motorcycles for the road had long been exclusively equipped with four-stroke engines. An attempt by Hondas to establish a competitive four-stroke engine with the NR500 at the end of the 1970s failed.
Since 1988 the Superbike World Championship had been established in parallel , where production-based motorcycles were driven almost as fast as the even more powerful and lighter 500cc Grand Prix machines. For the 2002 season , pressure from Japanese manufacturers, especially Honda , replaced the 500cc class with MotoGP . A new set of rules allowed or required four-stroke engines with a maximum of 990 cm³. This regulation was adjusted again from the 2007 season and the maximum permissible displacement was limited to 800 cm³. Similar to Formula 1 , these MotoGP machines have to be prototypes specially developed for races , which are not derived from series machines because they are different from the superbikes. The Italian Valentino Rossi dominated the first four years of MotoGP .
From the 2010 season , the 250 cc class, in which two- and four-stroke engines up to 250 cc were permitted, was replaced by the Moto2 class, in which four-stroke machines with initially a maximum of 600 and from 2019 a maximum of 765 cc. For the 2012 season , the Moto3 class with its 250 cc four-stroke engines replaced the 125 cc class. In addition, the maximum permissible displacement of the MotoGP class has been increased to 1000 cm³.
The world champion will be the driver or manufacturer who has accumulated the most points in the world championship by the end of the season. When distributing points, the placements are taken into account in the overall result of the respective race. The top fifteen drivers in each race receive points according to the following scheme:
|Distribution of points|
All the results achieved were included in the evaluation.
The complete regulations of the Motorcycle World Championship are available on the FIM website.
Most successful drivers
Most successful manufacturers (solo Grand Prix victories)
(Status: French Grand Prix 2017)
|Manufacturer||Grand Prix victories||MotoGP||500 cc||350 cc||Moto3||250 cc||125 cc||80 cc||50 cc|
- To this day, John Surtees is the only driver who has won the world championship title in the classes up to 350 cm³, up to 500 cm³ in the motorcycle world championship and in Formula 1 ( 1964 ). Only three other motorcycle world champions drove in Formula 1: Nello Pagani , Mike Hailwood and Johnny Cecotto .
- Valentino Rossi is the only motorcycle racer who has won world titles in four different classes (125 cm³, 250 cm³, 500 cm³ and MotoGP)
- Loris Capirossi is the second motorcycle racer to win the world title in his first season, 1990 . Before him, Johnny Cecotto won the 350cc class title in 1975.
- Emilio Alzamora is the first motorcycle racer to win the world title in the 125 cc class without winning a single race in the relevant season ( 1999 ). Manuel Herreros achieved the last 80 cm³ title in 1989, also without Grand Prix victories. George O'Dell was sidecar world champion in 1977, but he never won a Grand Prix.
- Rupert Hollaus is the only posthumous world champion so far . In 1954 he had a fatal accident on NSU as the established world champion of the 125 cc class during training for the Nations' Grand Prix in Monza .
- Luigi Taveri is the only motorcycle racing driver who was able to achieve points in all classes of his active racing career (50 cm³, 125 cm³, 250 cm³, 350 cm³, 500 cm³ and sidecar).
- In 1985 , Freddie Spencer was the only driver so far to win the world championship title in the 250 cc class and the 500 cc class in one year.
- The MotoGP class race at the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez was the 3,000th round in the history of the world championship.
Women in GP sports
- Inge Stoll (Germany) is the first woman to score points in GP sport. From 1952 to 1957 she took part in the sidecar races of the motorcycle world championship as a passenger in a Norton team. It achieved the following places: 1952: 5; 1953: 3; 1954: 7; 1955: 4; 1956: 11; 1957: 9; on August 24, 1958, she had a fatal accident in a race in Brno.
- Gina Bovaird is the only female motorcycle racer to start in the 500 cc class. This was at the French Grand Prix in 1982.
- Katja Poensgen (Germany) is the only female motorcycle racer to score points in the 250 cm³ class. She started in the 2001 and 2003 seasons and finished fourteenth at the 2001 Italian Grand Prix in Mugello .
- Taru Rinne (Finland) collected a total of 25 points in the 125 cm³ class (1988 and 1989). She was second fastest in training for the 1989 German Grand Prix.
- Tomoko Igata (Japan) collected a total of 30 points in the 125 cm³ class (1994 and 1995).
Tracks on which World Championship races take place / took place
- FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) (English / French)
- Official website of the Motorcycle World Championship (multilingual)
- German site on various racing classes
- Regulations of the Motorcycle World Championship ( Memento from January 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 524 kB)
- Jerez celebrates the 3000th Grand Prix race. In: motogp.com. May 4, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017 .