Grand Prix motorcycle racing

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Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is the premier championship of motorcycle road racing currently divided into three distinct classes: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. The 125cc class use a two-stroke engine while Moto2 and MotoGP uses four-stroke engines. In 2010 the 250cc was replaced by the new Moto2 600cc four-stroke class. Grand Prix motorcycles are purpose-built racing machines that are neither available for purchase by the general public nor can be ridden legally on public roads. This contrasts with the various production categories of racing, such as the Superbike World Championship, that feature modified versions of road-going motorcycles available to the public.

Contents

Overview

A Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix was first organized by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) in 1949. The commercial rights are owned by Dorna Sports. Teams are represented by the International Road Racing Teams Association (IRTA) and manufacturers by the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (MSMA). Rules and changes to regulations are decided between the four entities, with Dorna casting a tie-breaking vote. In cases of technical modifications, the MSMA can unilaterally enact or veto changes by unanimous vote among its members.[1] These 4 entities compose the Grand Prix Commission.

There have traditionally been several races at each event for various classes of motorcycles, based on engine size, and one class for sidecars. Classes for 50cc, 80cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, and 500cc solo machines have existed over time, and 350cc and 500cc sidecars. Up through the 1950s and most of the 1960s, four-stroke engines dominated all classes. In the 1960s, two-stroke engines began to take root in the smaller classes. By the 1970s, two-strokes completely eclipsed the four-strokes in all classes. In 1979, Honda made an attempt to return the four-stroke to the top class with the NR500, but this project failed, and in 1983, even Honda was winning with a two-stroke 500. The 50cc class was replaced by an 80cc class, then the class was dropped entirely in the 1990s, after being dominated primarily by Spanish and Italian makes. The 350cc class vanished in the 1980s. Sidecars were dropped from World Championship events in the 1990s (see Superside), reducing the field to 125s, 250s, and 500s.

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