As a sport, motorcycle racing has come a long way and seen its fair share of changes and advancements – from the introduction of new technologies to the rise of professional teams.
But beyond the glitz and glamour of modern-day racing lies a rich history that has shaped the sport we know and love today.
The rise of professional motorcycling
Modern motorcycle racing can be traced back to the very early 20th century. Early races typically took place on dirt tracks or open roads with riders showing off their skills and the capabilities of their machines. Over time, however, dedicated circuits and organised competitions began emerging worldwide, and today we enjoy global championship races that attract riders of all backgrounds and skill levels.
One of the crucial moments in the rise of professional racing was the creation of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) in 1904. As a governing body for international motorcycle racing, the FIM created rules and standards for different disciplines and championships, providing riders and teams a global platform to compete and pave the way towards professionalisation of this form of motorcycling.
Mid-20th century motorcycle racing quickly rose in prominence. Iconic events such as the Isle of Man TT, Daytona 200 and Grand Prix races cemented its place among enthusiasts worldwide; these races attracted skilled riders from different countries while providing manufacturers an opportunity to demonstrate technological advances.
As motorcycle racing developed, so too did the commercial aspect. Sponsors began investing in teams, providing financial resources to riders and manufacturers. This surge of corporate involvement further professionalised the sport while simultaneously improving infrastructure, safety measures and competitiveness.
Also, with the growth in popularity of professional motor cycling events, betting on bike racing has seen an upswing. Like any sport, the betting industry often follows public trends and interests. Today, online sportsbooks offer a lot of betting options. They also allow users to check sports bike racing results online.
Famous races and their legacies
Over the years, there have been countless famous races and series that have helped to shape the sport. Here are perhaps the top three worldwide:
MotoGP is widely considered to be the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, featuring some of the world’s finest riders racing high-performance prototype bikes.
The championship consists of multiple races held across various international circuits such as Mugello in Italy, Circuit of the Americas in Texas, US and Suzuka in Japan – each race seeing riders competing on high performance bikes with prototype chassis technology.
The bikes are purpose-built machines equipped with cutting-edge technology, capable of reaching speeds exceeding 350kph (217mph). Riders showcase extraordinary skill when pushing both themselves and their machines to the very limits in thrilling battles for victory – creating icons such as Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo.
Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy)
For fans, one of the oldest and most risky races worldwide takes place annually on public roads on the Isle of Man – it entailing an endurance test over 37.73 miles (60.72km). This circuit winds its way through narrow streets, rural roads, mountainous terrain, narrow alleyways and tight turns that offer spectators unparalleled viewing pleasure.
Riders tackle the Mountain Course at staggering speeds, often exceeding 130mph (209kph). They regularly exceed 200mph (322kph) as they attempt to master its 200 corners and dramatic elevation changes – an event known for being both challenging and exciting!
The Dakar Rally is an epic off-road endurance race that attracts both motorcycles and other vehicles, including SUVs. First held in Africaand now hosted in various places across South America and the middle east, it covers thousands of miles through deserts, mountains and rocky landscapes.
Motorcycle riders in the Dakar Rally endure excruciating conditions, from extreme temperatures and treacherous landscapes, to long hours of battle against time and weather conditions, demonstrating exceptional physical and mental endurance as they battle against both nature and time to conquer this most gruelling off-road race on earth.