MotoGP and Formula 1 are two of the fastest motorsports in the world. Each brings its own challenges, and both sets of drivers are pushed to their limits and those of the tracks they race on. But which is faster? Formula 1 cars are much faster than MotoGP bikes, and therefore lap times for F1 cars are much shorter than MotoGP. But when comparing the two sports, there is much more to consider than just shorter lap times. Aside from the fact that F1 cars have twice as many wheels, there are many other factors that separate F1 and MotoGP. Let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between MotoGP and F1.
The differences between the two
The main differences
The most important and obvious difference between MotoGP and F1 is the fact that F1 cars have four wheels, while motorcycles have two. This presents different challenges for each car, which we will discuss in more detail shortly. Apart from the number of tires, the weight of each tire is also very different. A MotoGP bike alone weighs about 157 kg, while an F1 car and its driver must weigh at least 740 kg.
Obviously, the car is much bigger than the bike, and that means their engines are much bigger too. The bikes use a four-cylinder, 1-litre engine with an output of around 280 horsepower. The F1 cars use a 1.6-litre hybrid V6 engine that can produce around 1000 horsepower. This means that the power-to-weight ratio of the bike is higher than that of the car, but there is much more to it than just power.
Aerodynamics & Downforce
The aerodynamic and downforce packages of the F1 cars allow for tremendous cornering speeds that the motorcycles cannot match. Although they are quite aerodynamic and can reach high speeds on the straights, the motorcycles do not have the grip that the F1 cars have. Although they both provide a spectacle for the masses, there is a big gap between the two, so are they comparable? Are they comparable? The fact that bikes have two wheels makes it very difficult to compare them to a car with four. Road bikes are often compared to road cars, but in MotoGP and F1 it’s very different. The bikes used in MotoGP aren’t a million miles away from the high-end bikes you might find on the street, but F1 cars are about as far away from your street car as you can get.
Big performance difference
The power difference is enough to make most people realize that these are two very different breeds of cars, but if not, a simple look at F1 aerodynamics and downforce should set things straight. F1 cars hold the track very well, while motorcycles inherently do not. This means that safety plays a big role in MotoGP, as it does in F1. The two motorsports rarely visit the same tracks, and when they do, changes are often made to accommodate the motorcycles. Chicanes, for example, are sometimes removed, which can make comparisons even more difficult. F1 cars can go around corners at tremendous speeds because of their downforce capabilities, while riders in MotoGP have to slow down considerably. A different driving style When they drive around corners, they move their body and their knees often touch the ground. F1 riders still struggle with massive G-forces, but their bodies are not as exposed as those on motorcycles. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safer, but it can make it much easier to take corners at high speeds. The extra two tires also mean they have much more grip than the bikes. The tires themselves are much wider on cars, so the contact patch and therefore the available grip is much greater. MotoGP motorcycles can exceed 200 mph on the straights, as can F1 cars, but F1 cars can also go over 100 mph through the corners, while motorcycles have to slow down a lot. But regardless of the differences in driving, how do their lap times compare?
Which is fastest?
Formula 1 cars are much faster than MotoGP bikes, and therefore F1 car lap times are much shorter than MotoGP. As we’ve said before, there are few tracks where both MotoGP and F1 can race. And even when they can, some modifications are often made to the bikes. Nevertheless, there are still two outstanding examples that illustrate how big the gap is between F1 and MotoGP.
Silverstone in the UK is one of those tracks. The 2019 MotoGP lap record was set by Marc Marquez, and he went around the track with a time of 1 minute 58.168 seconds. In 2020, Max Verstappen broke the F1 lap record with a time of 1 minute 27.097 seconds. That’s more than 30 seconds difference between Formula 1 and MotoGP at Silverstone.
Circuit of the Americas
The F1 lap record at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, is 1 minute 36.169 seconds, with the fastest qualifying lap still around 4 seconds faster. The MotoGP record from 2014 was 2 minutes 3.575 seconds, again about 30 seconds slower than the F1 lap. This difference is huge when you consider that the gap between a first and second place in both sports is usually less than a second. MotoGP drivers can take certain corners in second or third gear, and F1 drivers can take the same corners in fifth or sixth gear. The enormous amount of downforce the cars generate, coupled with the colossal amount of grip on each tire, means F1 cars can take some corners at full throttle. Although motorcycles often accelerate faster to about 120 miles per hour, the F1 car can take that speed through most corners.
MotoGP and Formula 1 are two very different sports, although they share the intensity element and tremendous speed. The F1 cars can go around corners much faster because of their high grip and downforce, and although the motorcycles can beat them on the straights, this ability to take corners at speed can allow the F1 cars to finish laps about 30 seconds faster than the motorcycles.
The young Spaniard was the surprise of the Doha GP:
time to meet the former Red Bull Rookies and Moto3 champion.
Martin dazzled under the Losail floodlights, but will he be as fast on other tracks?
The last rider to achieve pole position in his second MotoGP race was Marc Marquez, so is Jorge Martin the next Marquez? I don’t think Jorge Martin’s mountain of talent is as high as that of the six-time MotoGP king, but it is impressive. Riding a modern MotoGP bike is not easy: not only do you have to try to beat the best riders in the world, but you also have to be able to think calmly and quickly while moving at 98 meters per second, watching your braking points, hitting the shape-shifting switch and selecting different maps for torque delivery, engine braking and anti-squat. There’s a lot going on. Martin proved last weekend that he has the mental bandwidth to do all that and lead the best riders in the world (with one major exception). He may find the upcoming tracks (Portimao, Jerez, Mugello, etc.) more challenging than Losail, but there is no doubt that Ducati has a great talent. Martin is another product of the Red Bull KTM production line, but he didn’t get the fast deal like Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, who have worn orange from Red Bull Rookies to Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP. Martin won the Rookies Cup in 2014, edging Joan Mir for second place, then spent his first two seasons of GP racing aboard the Italian/Swiss-built Mahindra. Obviously, riders hate riding bikes that aren’t competitive, but a slow bike can do wonders for his fighting spirit and late braking ability. Despite Martin’s lack of results with Mahindra, his skills were obvious to former 125cc world champion Fausto Gresini, who put him on a Honda NSF250RW for 2017. Martin took his first win at the season-ending Valencia GP and then dominated 2018, taking another seven victories along the way.
Red Bull KTM brought him back in 2019 to their Moto2 team, but the 2019 KTM chassis was hopeless, so he didn’t win a race. Last year he had a good shot at the title, until he caught Covid-19 and had to miss a couple of rounds. And then he signed for Ducati. Former MotoGP rider and team boss Peter Clifford now helps run the Red Bull Rookies series and remembers Martin well. “When he was with us he was very serious and very committed,” Clifford says. “He was one of those riders who obviously has talent, but if I had to choose which was his greatest strength, his raw talent or his commitment to using that talent, I’d say it’s the latter.
“He’s obviously very talented, but he also brings out the best in himself, the bike and the situation, and he really works at it. With that attitude, Jorge could always bounce back from difficulties. He always managed to keep his composure: he was very mature, even back then. With some other cyclists, it’s all talent, but they don’t know why it works, but it works. “The other big thing was that it was very clear that the family wasn’t rich and that if Jorge hadn’t been racing in Rookies, he probably wouldn’t be racing, at least not on a competitive bike. So it was wonderful to have him in the Rookies. To me, that’s what Rookies is all about: giving a chance to riders who otherwise wouldn’t have one.” Martin’s talent was also evident to fellow Spaniards Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró, who took the youngster under their wings. “Maverick and Aleix would pick me up, take me to the track and let me use their training bikes,” Martin said in Qatar last weekend. “I didn’t have the money to buy a training bike, so I was lucky to borrow theirs.” Martin was incredible to watch last weekend, taking the takeoff to new extremes, with his elbows and shoulders scraping the tarmac during qualifying. This wasn’t crazy goon riding. It’s simple physics: the more you shift your weight to the inside of the corner, the more you minimize the centrifugal effect to help the bike turn. This is certainly a useful technique with the hard-to-spin Desmosedici. Pramac team manager Francesco Guidotti is as impressed as anyone with Ducati’s latest signing but warns that Martin’s potential is being overstated. After all, Losail has always helped rookies shine. In 2006, Casey Stoner took pole there in his second premier class race and two years later Jorge Lorenzo and James Toseland qualified fastest and second fastest for their MotoGP debuts. “Losail is a Ducati circuit, where Ducati performs well every year, so I think we would be making a mistake by reading too much into the data from this circuit,” Guidotti said Sunday night. “Jorge has only had the opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike at Losail. The preseason testing was here and the first two races were here, so I think it’s best that we wait until we go somewhere else to see what happens there.
“Here we can use the full potential and power of the Ducati, but on other tracks that are more twisty, where you need to stay longer at high lean angles, so the tire consumption is higher, maybe we suffer a bit more. “For sure we can see Jorge’s attitude and his approach, which is the best thing. He has shown us a lot here: his ability to do the lap time without following anyone is incredible. But let’s hope for more races at other circuits.” Some people are surprised that Moto2 riders can adapt so quickly to a doubly powerful MotoGP bike. MotoGP bikes are incredibly demanding, but they are easily the most advanced and refined race bikes. A Moto2 bike is a mutt, a street bike engine in a race chassis, so it’s a compromise, not 100% designed to ride on a race track. A MotoGP bike is totally uncompromising. Every part of the bike is designed with one goal in mind: to help the rider go around in circles as fast as possible. For this reason, many Moto2 riders find MotoGP bikes a pleasant surprise, despite the raw power of the engine and carbon brakes.
While F1 cars weigh nine times as much as the riders, MotoGP bikes are twice the weight of an average adult male and quite heavy to handle. Petite riders argue how tall riders have an unfair advantage riding these enormous motorcycles. Big riders, on the other hand, focus on the concept of minimum weight for a bike and how setting a minimum weight would give the big riders a better chance to compete. When Marco Simoncelli (183 cm/72 kg) and Valentino Rossi (182 cm/67 kg) made a proposal to MotoGP to consider a combined minimum weight for bike and rider in MotoGP, just like in the 125cc class, it pretty much raised a few eyebrows. Dani Pedrosa (160 cm/51 kg), who has been criticized in the past for not being made to ride heavier, bulkier bikes, made a mocking comment: “Try to be smaller.” 157 kilograms is the minimum weight of a MotoGP bike. If your bike weighs less, you can be disqualified for violating a technical rule. Moto2 and Moto3 both have combined minimum weights, but MotoGP (up to 800 cc and over 800 cc) has different weight criteria.
The following minimum weights are allowed:
MotoGP (up to 800 cc) – 150 kg. MotoGP (from 801 to 1000 cc) – 157 kg Moto2 motorcycle + rider – 215 kg Moto3 motorcycle + rider – 152 kg The weight can be checked during the initial technical control, but the main weight control will be done at the end of the practice sessions or at the end of the race, where they will be rejected/selected accordingly. For the Moto2™ and Moto3™ classes, the weight checked is the sum of the rider with full protective clothing plus the weight of the motorcycle, far from the MotoGP class up to 800 ccs and between 800-1000 cc. Since MotoGP motorcycles are built specifically for certain riders and not for the general public and are not legally available for people like us to buy or ride, we actually find it hard to imagine riding such a gigantic motorcycle. It’s hard for engineers to adapt bikes to riders who aren’t average builds, and it’s harder than ever for those riders to ride the bikes.
MotoGP (Motorcycle Grand Prix) was launched in 1949 and is the most popular racing event in the world. Every year several MotoGP tournaments are organized around the world. MotoGP is known for its fast-paced action, intensity and nail-biting finishes. The racing event has also produced some remarkable racers who are loved and appreciated by millions of fans. To understand their contributions, here’s a look at some of the best MotoGP racers of all time with the highest number of wins.
Mike Hailwood, a British MotoGP racer, was active from 1958 to 1967. Hailwood has 76 MotoGP victories and was a world champion nine times. He was known for his natural ability to achieve good results with motorcycles of different engine power. For this reason, he received the nickname “Mike the Bike”. Hailwood is among the MotoGP racers who also participated in Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Spaniard Marc Márquez has 83 Grand Prix victories to his credit. He has also won eight Grand Prix world championships. Among them are six victories in the premier class MotoGP. Márquez is among the riders who have won world championships in three different classes. Other racers with this achievement are Valentino Rossi, Phil Read and Mike Hailwood. Another achievement of Márquez is that he is the youngest ever to win a MotoGP championship.
Angel Nieto –
A Spanish MotoGP racer, Ángel Nieto was active in the period from 1964 to 1986. He was an accomplished racer and won 90 Grand Prix races. He also won 13 world championships. Nieto mainly participated in 50cc, 80cc and 125cc racing events. He did not succeed in major displacement events at the world level. However, he won the Spanish National Championship in the 250cc, 500cc and 750cc classes.
Italian Valentino Rossi could potentially break Giacomo Agostini’s record. Rossi currently has 115 wins to his credit, only 7 off Agostini’s record. Rossi has been MotoGP world champion several times. He has won nine Grand Prix World Championships, seven of them in the premier class. Rossi holds the record of participation in more than 400 Grand Prix events.
Giacomo Agostini –
If we talk about countries, racers from Italy have won the most MotoGP events. One of them is Giacomo Agostini, who has won 122 Grand Prix races and 15 world titles. Agostini has taken victories in both the 500cc and 350cc categories. With unprecedented performances in MotoGP over his 17-year professional career, Agostini is often referred to as the greatest MotoGP rider of all time. You may be surprised to learn that Agostini secretly participated in local racing events at a young age. This is because his father did not approve of his racing ambitions. However, when the victories began, his father came to terms with his chosen career path.
What can we say about Valentino Rossi! 9 world titles, 199 podiums, 89 victories, 54 poles. Without a doubt, he is one of the best riders in the history of motorcycling. In fact, for many he is considered the best. What am I saying, the best! Valentino Rossi is a religion and he is the rider with the most fans all over the world. So, if you came to this article and you are a fan of 46, we will tell you 30 curiosities about Valentino Rossi that you may not know. Let’s get started!
9 WORLD TITLE.
Valentino Rossi is the most successful MotoGP rider of the modern era: his legend has a total of 9 world championships: 1 in 125cc, another in 250cc and a third in 500cc. The rest in MotoGP. Historically, only one other Italian rider surpasses him in titles: Giacomo Agostini.
WHY DOES HE WEAR THE NUMBER 46?
Valentino is associated with the number 46. But do you know why he wears it? Rossi chose this number in honor of his father Graziano Rossi, who was also a professional rider. Rossi’s father won his first race in 250cc in 1979, the year Valentino was born, and wore 46 on his fairing. So Valentino chose the same number when he debuted in the MotoGP World Championship. However, there is another theory: as a child, Valentino saw a race in Suzuka and a local rider won the race starting last. This anonymous rider wore the number 46, and Valentino promised to wear that number when he was a professional.
THE ONLY WORLD CHAMPION WITH SATELLITES
He is the only rider in modern times to have won a World Cup on a bike from a satellite team. A bike that did not come from the official team. It was his second year in the 500cc World Championship on a Honda. For many, this bike was first class and they do not appreciate this statistic. However, the story still tells it.
VALENTINO: FROM TAVULLIA TO HEAVEN
Although Valentino was born in Urbino, he grew up in Tavullia, a village on the Rimini Riviera. There he has his fan club and many friends from whom he has never parted. In fact, this group of friends is known as “The Chihuahua Tribe”.
TAVULLIA IS A PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE
Today Tavullia is a place of pilgrimage for thousands of fans who travel to this small town. In fact, before the Rossi phenomenon, the village had only 1000 inhabitants. Currently, this number has multiplied by 7.
Rossi still lives in Tavullia. There is the official 46 Fan Club, the academy and headquarters of his Moto2 and MotoGP teams and the “Ranch”, the place where Valentino trains. All within a radius of 500 meters.
SPEED LIMIT OF TAVULLIA
Did you know that the speed limit in Tavullia is 46 km/h in honour of Valentino?
As a teenager, Valentino and his friends organized races in Tavullia, but not on two wheels, but on three! They used a kind of car they called Apex.
Alessio Salucci, better known as Uccio, is his best friend. He has accompanied him in all his races and is his personal assistant. They have been friends since they were 3 or 4 years old.
VALENTINO DIDN’T PLAY SOCCER AS A CHILD
How did this friendship come about? They were the only kids in kindergarten who didn’t play soccer and liked to run around on a tricycle. Foreshadowing, right?
SUPPORTER OF INTER MILAN
Although Valentino didn’t play too much soccer as a kid, he admits to being a big fan of Inter Milan.
As a child, Valentino started racing not motorcycles, but karts. Later, his father Graziano realized the potential his son had on two wheels. Besides, it was cheaper to pay for a motorcycle than a kart.
JUMP TO F1?
In fact, he likes car racing so much that in 2006 he was on the verge of jumping into Formula 1 as a Ferrari tester. Rossi ruled it out and continued to compete in MotoGP.
Valentino has the nickname “Il Dottore”. Why is that? Because in Italy Rossi is the most common family name and it is common that there are many doctors who call themselves that. But this nickname, which originated as a joke among friends, became a reality when the University of Urbino awarded him the honorary title of Doctor Honoris Causa in Communication and Public Relations in 2005.
Although his nickname is “Il Dottore,” he initially had another: Rossifumi. A young Valentino debuted in the 125cc World Championship and one of the fastest riders at the time was the Japanese Norifumi Abe. Because of this admiration, Rossi received the nickname “Rossifumi”.
Likewise, another nickname of Rossi is “Il Laureato”, the graduate.
The celebrations of Valentino Rossi went around the world. He was fined by Carabinieri, he had to go to the toilet, and Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs appeared. Every victory was a spectacle!
THE OSVALDO POULTERER
One of the celebrations Rossi remembers most was in 1998, when he took a friend dressed as a chicken on the lap of honor. According to him, it was to promote Osvaldo Poultry Farmer, a company that had helped him in his early days. A journalist wanted to visit the poultry dealer in Tavullia, and Rossi and his friends had to confess that the poultry dealer had never existed and that it was just a joke among friends. A curiosity in the purest Rossi style.
THE MOST SENTIMENTAL CELEBRATION
To be precise, the most sentimental was when he started crying after winning his first race with Yamaha, as his critics claimed he had won his first MotoGP world championship thanks to the superiority of Honda over the tuning fork brand. Rossi made the difference and became emotional as he crossed the finish line.
Valentino and the AGV helmet brand have always had a great relationship. Rossi has premiered more than 50 different graphics throughout his career. Mainly during the Italian Grand Prix. Who doesn’t remember the donkey or the shark chasing the small fish?
VALENTINO’S BEST-SELLING HELMET
But without a doubt, Valentino’s best-selling graphic is that of Soleluna: Sun and Moon, which represents the contradiction that we all carry within us.
HIS HELMET DESIGNS
His motorcycle helmets are designed by Aldo Drudi, an Italian designer and old friend of Rossi’s father. Drudi is also the designer of other historic riders, like Kevin Schwantz. These are the 15 best helmets of Valentino Rossi. Ingenious!
THE SECOND WALL
Although Valentino has a legion of fans around the world, he has also had his bad moments. The appearance of Jorge Lorenzo, his new pit partner, was a revolution. Valentino decided to build a wall that would separate the two mechanics teams so as not to share information with his main rival.
But Lorenzo was not Rossi’s only major rival in his career. He had tough battles on and off the track. Max Biaggi, Casey Stoner, Sete Gibernau, Jorge Lorenzo and more, recently with Marc Márquez.
PROBLEMS WITH THE TAX OFFICE
In 2008, Valentino experienced one of his most tense moments on an extra-sporting level, as he had to pay 20 million euros to the Italian tax office, which claimed a debt of more than 100. Rossi’s lawyers settled the matter fighting after several years of litigation.
ROSSI IS A BATMAN FAN
Valentino is a Batman fan. He is passionate about “The Dark Knight” movies.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT HIS FAVORITE PIZZA IS?
Being a good Italian, Valentino loves pizza, the four seasons. But do you know how he eats it: with mayonnaise! The reason is that in the area of Pesaro, where he comes from, that’s how they eat. Would you ask for it? Neat freak Normally, first-class motorcyclists are very neat, as a discipline is a fundamental part of their success. Well, Valentino recognizes that he is a neat freak and that he is very superstitious.
In fact, since his debut in 1996 at the World Championship, he has always had his rituals. Spending a few minutes whispering to his bike or adjusting his underpants just before leaving. AROUND THE WORLD ON A MOTORCYCLE No, it’s not that Valentino likes to ride his motorcycle, it’s that in 2018 he covered his 40,075th kilometre in MotoGP World Championship races. Or what is the same, the equivalent of a trip around the world? All this without counting training. Amazing, isn’t it?
Despite being a world-famous person, Valentino Rossi is a very reserved and homely person. Currently, he has two golden retriever dogs and a cat named Rossano. This cat was adopted during a vacation of an Italian rider in Ibiza.
There are several factors that make MotoGP the closest championship in the world of motorsport: balanced rules, technical equality and riders who have become true athletes.
It is difficult to find competition as equal as the current MotoGP World Championship, where the differences between riders are minimal, and the result is exciting and hard-fought races that remain interesting from start to finish. Equality is the predominant feature of Grand Prix not only in the premier class MotoGP but also in Moto2 and Moto3. However, the “premier class” always comes off much closer than the other two categories of the championship. This is no coincidence. There are several factors that make MotoGP the closest and most balanced championship. The technical regulations with the single tire rule that allows all riders to use the same type and quantity of tires, as well as the common ECU that equalizes the electronics of the bikes, and the consistently limited number of engines The season has allowed all riders to compete with more or less the same weapons. The only differences now are made by each manufacturer’s design and the talent of its riders.
This is not much different from Moto2 and Moto3, where tires, control units and engines are also regulated; and even the fuel is the same for everyone. In Moto2, moreover, most teams opt for the same chassis manufacturer, so there is even more equality. However, in these categories, the differences between the riders’ talents are greater than in MotoGP. If you look at the practice records of the Moto2 and Moto3 grids, which are more numerous than those of MotoGP, they are very close; but in the actual races, we see bigger differences. That doesn’t usually happen in MotoGP.
There are several reasons for this. First, the technical equality mentioned above. Entering the scene of the single tire rule has made the scales very even. In the past, tires were a factor of imbalance because they did not always provide consistent performance. We all remember great battles between legendary drivers of the past that ended suddenly when the tire of one of them gave up the ghost and ended the show. If we look at what the competitions were like before MotoGP came along, we can see that the time differences were very large and were marked to a large extent by the significant differences in resources between the riders and the motorcycles they used. For example, in 1990 the average gap in the 500cc grid between the pole position and the last qualifier in practice was over 9 seconds.
It must be taken into account that at that time, during the glorious battles of that mythical generation formed by Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner, Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey and Mick Doohan, who shared all the 500 titles between 1986 and 1998, the “premier class” went through a troublesome crisis that, due to the complexity of the category and the difficulty for private riders to have access to competitive motorcycles, caused their starting fields to shrink. The introduction of the “Big Bang” engines in 1992, introduced by Honda and eventually adopted by all manufacturers in the same season, equalized the performance of the bikes. Throughout the 1990s, the average net gap was significantly reduced, even taking into account the fortunate increase in the number of participants compared to 1990. By 2000, the gap was about 5 seconds. Although the old “two-stroke” 500s and the modern “four-stroke” MotoGPs coexisted in the races for a few seasons, in 2002 the average gap in MotoGP was between 3 and 4 seconds. Today, thanks to all the technical regulations that equalize the power of the bikes, the average gap on the MotoGP grid is minimal. In 2021, it was just 1.7 seconds. And this equality is also reflected in the races, where the results are very close due to the high level of the riders.
Equality between riders
Once this desired technical balance was achieved, everything remained in the hands of the human factor, the rider. And in this sense, this modern sport has also helped to equalize racing, as nowadays riders have become true athletes. The physical demands of motorcycles as powerful as those of MotoGP force riders to be very well prepared in order to perform at their best during the almost 45 minutes that a race usually lasts. Because one mistake, even the smallest mistake, can determine the outcome.
The difference between MotoGP riders and those in the other categories is their experience and preparation. They are able to ride an entire race with almost identical times lap after lap with virtually no mistakes. The difference in the records of the fastest and slowest rider in a MotoGP race is just over a second per lap, and sometimes the first laps decide the outcome of the race. In these moments, riders take risks to make up ground, because after that the performance is so balanced that sometimes it is very difficult to make up lost ground.
With this situation, the figure of the lapped rider has, by and large, disappeared from Grand Prix for several years, especially in MotoGP. In the past, lapped riders played a crucial role in the outcome of some races, much to their regret. Previously, if a slow rider was overtaken by the leading group and did not pay attention to the race commissaires’ instructions, he could become an obstacle for the leaders. Today, this danger has disappeared and the blue flag, which warns drivers that they are losing a lap, is practically no longer used in the race. In 1990, the percentage of lapped riders in a 500 race was almost 35%, and we must take into account that in that year the average number of riders who finished the races was considerably low – an average of only 14 riders – which meant that on many occasions this was the case were four or five lapped riders. Fortunately, the “big bang” raised the level of motorcycles and provided privateers with more competitive ones, increasing the number of participants and reducing the percentage of lapped riders, which was only 3% in 2000.
With the arrival of MotoGP, the percentage of lapped riders was reduced until it finally disappeared. Nowadays there are no riders who lose laps in MotoGP races, unless there is an accident, because as we have already said, both the technical and human performance is very high. This is competition at the highest level with a level of equality that makes every race and every season a unique show.
Alex Marquez has paved his way into the MotoGP World Championship with titles in all feeder classes. He entered the World Championship full-time in 2013 after winning the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 title in 2012. Moto2 world champion in 2019, he entered MotoGP in 2020.
Alex Marquez paved his way into the MotoGP World Championship with titles in all feeder classes. He entered the world championship full-time in 2013 after taking the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 title in 2012. A first win came that year in Japan, and he followed it up with a title victory in 2014 when he defeated Jack Miller in a duel in the final race. The championship led to a move to the intermediate class in 2015, with Alex Marquez taking his debut podium at home in Aragon in 2016 and his first Moto2 win in early 2017. In 2019, the Cervera-born rider emerged as the man to beat five wins, 10 podiums and his second world title at the Malaysian GP. For 2021, he moves up to the LCR Honda CASTROL team with the Honda RC213V.
Alex Marquez was born on April 23, 1996, in Lleida, Spain, and spent his early days playing with his older brother Marc and pursuing a variety of activities. Alex had always been surrounded by motorcycles and the little boy soon became fascinated with everything to do with two-wheelers. By the age of eight, Alex had already started racing and competing for victory in the 50cc PromoRacc, followed by the title of the Championship of Catalonia.
As he progressed through the 70cc PromoRacc class, the Mediterranean Speed Championship Pre125GP and the 125cc Catalan Championship, Alex gained valuable experience and established himself as one of the best racers in Spain.
CEV (2010 – 2012)
In 2010 Alex joined the CEV Championship and had to miss the first race of the season because he was under the age limit of 14 years. However, from the second race onwards he made steady progress and joined the successful Monlau Junior Team in 2011. With his first race win at Aragon, Alex would add another win and two-second places to stay in the championship fight until the last round of the year. The second-place finish in 2011 meant he was a prime candidate for title contention in 2012. Alex Marquez was at the top throughout the season, securing the CEV Championship in addition to his World Championship debut.
World Championship Debut – Rookie of the Year (2013)
After impressing with seven points in 11 starts and the Spanish championship in his wildcard rides in 2012, Alex joined the Estrella Galicia 0.0 team and scored his first podium at the Indianapolis GP with his first win at a highly competitive Japanese GP to secure the Rookie of the Year title and finish his debut season in an impressive fourth place.
Welcome to Honda – World Champion (2014)
A switch to Honda machinery awaited Alex Marquez during his second season in the Moto3 World Championship, as Honda revamped its Moto3 project with renewed vigour. Three wins and never less than seventh place ended the title fight with Australian Jack Miller in the last round in Valencia. Despite the immense pressure, Alex took his tenth podium of the season and his first World Championship alongside Honda’s first World Championship in the fledgling Moto3 class.
Moto2 school (2015 – 2018)
As in 2013, with the title secured, Alex Marquez moved up to the next class and joined the Marc VDS Estrella Galicia 0.0 team for his first Moto2 World Championship campaign. A consistent first season brought the best result of fourth place and a total of 73 world championship points. In 2016, more of the same learning experience and consistency followed with a first Moto2 podium at home at the Aragon GP, a highlight of the year. In 2017 Alex established himself as a serious title contender for the Moto2 crown, taking his first win in the intermediate class at Jerez and following it up with wins at Barcelona and Japan to eventually finish fourth in the championship. Although 2018 didn’t bring another victory, Alex learned many more important lessons and was once again able to finish fourth overall with six podiums and many memorable races.
Winning shot (2019)
An inauspicious start to 2019 with one podium finish in the first four races was soon banished as Alex went on a winning streak, dominating the French, Italian and Catalan GPs in quick succession. A crash in Assen ended the winning streak, but Alex recovered immediately to take two more victories in Germany and the Czech Republic. With five wins already, 2019 has been Alex’s strongest season yet. A rejuvenated challenge from Brad Binder challenged Alex in the second half of the year, but the 23-year-old kept his cool and secured his second World Championship with a strong second place in Malaysia. For the second time in their careers, Alex and Marc became world champions together. MotoGP debut (2020) Alex Marquez returned to the Honda family, joining the Repsol Honda team for the 2020 MotoGP season. Although Alex had ridden the RC213V twice before, he approached his debut season in the premier class with a completely open mind – ready to learn and grow as a MotoGP rider. In 2021, Alex Márquez continues as a Honda rider in MotoGP with the LCR Honda team.
Motocross has been around for quite some time, but it has grown in popularity in recent years, there are now many tracks and clubs across the UK that anyone can join quite easily. It’s all about taking motorcycling to a new level, going off-road and mastering jumps, whoops and tabletops while competing against others on difficult terrain. We discuss everything from how to get started, to how to participate, to the best motocross motorcycles on the market today. Whether you’re looking to get into motocross or maybe have kids looking to start a new hobby, we’ve got it covered. It’s time to dive in!
Where did motocross come from?
Motocross as a sport really took off in the early 19th century and is usually referred to as a “scramble” where motorcyclists compete against each other and ride over difficult terrain. As motocross grew internationally, it got its new name by mixing the words “motorcycle” and “cross country.” The first recorded event took place in 1914 with the name Scott Trial and was held on the Yorkshire Moors. Other early motocross-style events took place in Surrey over farmland and fields, pitting enthusiastic bikers against each other. Since then, the sport has grown and adapted, with new styles of bikes, special kits and tracks popping up all over the country – and the world for that matter!
Motocross Des Nations
The very first Motocross Des Nations took place in Holland in 1947, won by the British team consisting of riders Bill Nicholson, Bob Ray and Fred Rist. After the great success of this event, four years later the birth of the British Motocross Championships happened. Although the British dominated in the early years, the U.S. and France also claimed their fair share of victories – most notably with America’s 13-year winning streak from 1981 to 1993. Motocross Des Nations is still hosted by a different country each year. It has been one of the most iconic events for all motocrossers to attend or participate in. The UK has hosted several times at Brands Hatch, Hawkstone Park, Farleigh Castle, Foxhills, Donington Park and most recently Matterley Basin.
Manufacturers introduce a new wave of motocross machines
Manufacturers began to invest real time and money in the 1960s to develop machines perfect for rough terrain and high jumps, with Suzuki more accessible in the UK along with other Japanese brands such as KTM, Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha. The boom hit hard in the 80s with widespread media coverage in America introducing Supercross, resulting in major channels showing races and major sponsorship deals being signed. To top it all off, Neil Hudson took the crown for the Brits by winning the 1981 250cc Motocross World Championship on a Yamaha. Over the years, numerous wins and records have been set by British riders, including Kurt Nicholl, Paul Malin and Rob Herring, to name a few.
Today, people like Husqvarana have been able to make motocross lighter and more agile than ever before; this has really taken the sport to a new level. It didn’t take long for other manufacturers to get into the big business of motocross, and now you’ll see that everyone from Kawasaki to Suzuki to Honda have released a crosser lineup. There are many events around the country for MX riders, along with appearances by ArenaCross who travel around for their annual tournaments – that’s something worth buying tickets for!
FIRST STEPS IN MOTOCROSS
How old do I have to be to participate in motocross?
Whether you’re four or 44, there’s something for everyone in the motocross arena. It’s all about gaining much needed experience, which is why you’ll find that there are always practice days/taster sessions throughout the year (usually in the better weather months) that you can get involved in. Fitness is extremely important in motocross, you will push yourself to new extremes as you conquer jumps and round corners, and it takes cycling to another level.
Ways to Train for motocross
If you are already a big fan of cycling and especially mountain biking / off-road riding, then this is a great exercise for motocross. You’ve already mastered the art of riding on mud, dirt and difficult surfaces – sometimes hard and sometimes extremely boggy (oh hello British weather), then this is a good place to start before you go out and buy your first crosser. You’ll hear that many professional use BMW or mountain bikes as part of their training program, as the skills required for both overlap. Obviously, the other key aspect is going to the gym if you want to up your game for motocross. When you’re on the bike, you’ll be using every muscle in your body, so it’s important to do repetitive exercises to build your strength.
What is the difference?
Now there are a few different versions of off-road motorcycling on the market, but they are all unique in their own way. Take a look below….
Trials is a much slower sport where you need to be in complete control of your machine as you negotiate obstacles, and most importantly, you can’t put your feet on the ground! If you normally ride a light machine without a seat, stand up to help you navigate a course (and limit the temptation of your feet on the ground) that consists of natural and man-made elements. Points are awarded based on how fast you can complete the course with the fewest mistakes.
As we’ve already discussed, motocross is usually a track-based sport on uneven terrain with jumps, tabletops, whoops and much more, but you’ll have to compete against the clock to get the fastest lap time. ACU runs projects to give you a taste of the world of motocross before you shell out the money for a bike and kit. All you have to do is pay a small rental fee.
Motocross but leveled. You’re venturing to new extremes and really pushing yourself (and your bike) to the limit. Enduro days aren’t for the light-hearted, but if you’re a big motocross fan and fancy doing something a little different, it’s worth checking out. These events usually take place in a larger area, sometimes involve walking through forests and jumping over fallen trees, through streams and more.
MOTOCROSS: THE COSTS
Getting into motocross won’t be cheap, as you’ll need to equip yourself with the right gear and a bike. Buying a bike isn’t cheap, but you can find a pretty decent deal when shopping around. Think about looking at a used bike, even though it might be scratched up (this will inevitably happen with MX). Don’t forget that you’ll need to find a way to transport your motocross bike to and from events; these bikes aren’t street legal, so you can’t just hop on and ride there. You will need to own a van or trailer, or at least know someone who does, so you can get yourself and all your gear there! Licenses/Insurance: Although motocross motorcycles do not need to be insured (since they are not licensed for road use), you still need to check. Most motocross events have an entry fee, usually around £30, and within that you have some sort of insurance. Get your gear right It’s important to be fully equipped for motocross. Crashes are likely, regardless of how experienced you are, as this is the nature of the sport. It’s not worth skimping a few cents on gear, especially when it comes to saving your life.
The most necessary
Your ordinary bike helmet won’t do for motocross; it can be too heavy on your head. They need to be as light as possible, and it will take a few bumps along the way. Helmets are open around the eyes so you can wear goggles. They also have a vented air piece to keep the air flowing during the race. On the days we get a little sunshine, the visors on the MX helmets are a great way to protect your eyes. The best thing about these helmets? Removable lining and cheek pads so you can wash it all away after a hard day of transplanting! The same rules apply to a motocross helmet as a regular helmet, the lifespan is about five years max, but if you’ve been in a serious accident, it’s best to replace it much sooner – some even suggest a new helmet every season!
Make sure your helmet is marked with ECE certification, and you’ll need a silver or gold ACU sticker for your helmet if you plan to participate in an ACU-organized off-road event. Helmets can vary in price, but if you are just starting out you should spend £150, but for professionals/racers, you will need to look upwards of £250.
It goes without saying that motocross is a dirty sport. Especially crossing muddy terrain with rocks, debris and insects flying at your face among other things; goggles help against this. There are many different styles on the market, so it’s best to try them out before you buy. Ski goggles are specifically designed to allow you to put tear-off lenses in front of your lenses, which can be easily removed when racing. Compared to a regular crash helmet, you’ll have a better field of vision because the goggles are much wider than your average visor – they can be tinted, anti-fog, and include a nose guard, but it all depends on your personal preference.
Don’t forget the importance of safety glasses being shatterproof so your eyes are covered no matter what flies in your direction!
Gloves are a must for racing, although not essential for motorcyclists in general, you should invest in a decent pair for off-road use. Depending on your riding style, you can get different types of gloves, but ultimately they will protect you if you crash. It’s best to try them on for size, as you don’t want to get blisters and sores from ill-fitting gloves.
Boots are a must as they not only protect your feet but also your ankles and shins from potential injury. Boots need to have a strong sole, you will be using your feet a lot more than you think, as well as decent straps and buckles to keep you secure without damaging yourself or your bike. Remember, if you tried on helmets for size, it’s the same with boots. Try on a few different pairs from different manufacturers to get a feel for them. They need to fit snugly and securely to prevent injury, especially to the ankle.
Make sure to invest in decent boots
Don’t forget the importance of buying decent motocross socks – they actually exist! Your everyday cotton office socks just won’t cut the mustard. Socks designed specifically for motocross will stay in place (no one wants the dreaded sock slippage in their boot) and will also help prevent moisture buildup, keeping you comfortable longer.
It’s inevitable that you’ll have a few falls, so it’s important that you’re fully protected to minimize injury. Investing in a chest protector can go a long way toward protecting your abdomen, chest, and shoulders from any kind of hazard, especially low-hanging branches, rocks, and other debris flying over the course. Neck braces: Again, it pays to invest in neck braces. Many injuries result from repetitive neck strain or impact, so you have the best chance of staying fit. You can usually get chest protectors and neck braces that are compatible.
The lowest part of your back, also known as your lumbar spine, is the most affected when riding motocross. Poor posture along with the movements of riding a motorcycle over bumpy terrain can lead to long-lasting effects such as nerve compression, inflammation, stiffness and pain. Equipping yourself with a lumbar brace (sometimes called a kidney belt) can help combat this pain and protect you in the event of an accident.
Your knees take a lot of abuse when riding MX and are often the most common injuries as well. It is recommended that you wear a knee brace to protect yourself from potential and lifelong injuries. Basically, suspenders keep your knees from moving in ways they shouldn’t – which can happen pretty easily if you don’t wear them. You’ll need to try on a few pairs, as everyone’s knees are different, so you’ll need to make sure they’re comfortable and don’t move around as you ride.
Jerseys need to be lightweight and breathable, you’ll already have a lot of gear on but you still need to be aerodynamic. The whole point of a jersey is to help you stand out when you’re flying around the track (and covered in mud). You can buy one at any reputable retailer for a reasonable price, and you can even personalize it!
Pants need to be comfortable, flexible and adjustable. The material needs to be waterproof and wipeable, it’s usually polyester material because let’s face it, you’re going to get dirty! You have lots of gear on to protect you, including your boots and knee pads so they have to fit over and under. MX pants usually have Velcro or buckles so you can adjust the waist size to fit you comfortably.