A Brief History of Motorcycle Racing

The late 18th century marked the onset of the use of motorcycles for commercial purposes. In 1894, the first motorcycle was sold in Germany. The first-ever motorcycle race was held in France, it was a 400 Km race and was held only 2 or 3 years after. However, the actual foothold was gained by motorcycle race in 1906, when the British started the Tourist Trophy. This motorsport quickly gained fame in Central Europe right before the second world war broke out. It was in 1949, after the end of WW II, that FIM (Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme) came into existence. The FIM was responsible for making protocols which govern the racing activities and those protocols are applicable even now in Moto GP.

Everyone among us must have heard the name “Honda” when it comes to motorcycles. It is because of the remarkable history of a man named Soichiro Honda from Japan who showed exceptionally great performance in motorcycle racing events which were back then only localised in Europe. Honda dominated the motorcycle racing arena from 1959 to 1977. Later, it was declared that Honda motorcycle technology is more developed than the ones that are being normally used. Without going into the details, we can conclude that the Honda flourish as a successful motorcycle company since as early as 1959 and let to the outbreak of motorcycle racing outside Europe as well.

Eventually, in the later years other motorcycle companies especially Japanese such as Yamaha, Suzuki, etc. also started winning races and came out to be bigger motorcycle companies as well. As of 2018, the most successful racing motorcycle companies are Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, Aprilia, Ronax, etc. The 2017 season of Moto GP was the 69th F.I.M road racing championship. Over these years, new regulations are being constantly enforced aiming at keeping the motorcycle racing sports a fair and safe sport. For instance, in 2017 winglets which basically aid in aerodynamics were banned because they were declared unsafe. Other than the technical regulations, sporting regulations are also being implemented and now a rider can be accompanied by only four mechanics. A mechanic cannot select a gear and is only allowed to hold the clutch lever.

Talking about the best motorcycle racing contenders of all time, the list is topped by Valentino Rossi

with 112 wins, followed by Angel Nieto with 90 wins, Mike Hailwood with 76 wins, Jorge Lorenzo with 60 wins, Mick Doohan with 54 wins, Phil Read with 52 wins, Dani Pedrosa with 50 wins, Marc Marquez with 50 wins and so on. However, this list cannot be declared as an ultimate list because a lot of these racers are still active in this field and are looking forward to winning some big titles soon.