Apr 05

2>4: MotoGP 2013 Preview



This weekend marks the start of the 2013 MotoGP season and all the usual players are ready to fight it out for the championship.  Hit the jump for some preivew videos from the big three manufacturers and a brief primer on the MotoGP series.

MotoGP is considered the premiere class of motorcycle racing.  Some might argue that the World Superbike series is more popular, and to be fair it has been much more exciting to watch in the past couple of years, but MotoGP is essentially the F1 of the motorcycle world.  The bikes are required to be 100% prototypes with no production based parts. Like F1 MotoGP is a big money series with the top three manufacturers spending millions to stand at the top of the podium on Sunday afternoon.

Current MotoGP bikes make about 250hp(180kW) from their 1000cc powerplants and they generally weigh in the neighborhood of 320lbs (145kg).  A little simple math shows that they have a power to weight ratio that is slightly better than a modern F1 car. A lack of aerodynamic downforce means an F1 car laps a complete circuit much faster than a MotoGP bike but the top speed of the motorcycle can be slightly greater.  The 2006 Grand Prix of Turkey was won by Micheal Schumacher with a fast lap of 1:28.005 while the MotoGP race that same year saw Tony Elias setting a fast lap of 1:52.877.

The real reason to watch MotoGP it the fact that the riders are walking an extremely narrow tight rope the whole race.  There’s no pit strategy and running off the course or making a mistake usually means their race is over.  Given the risks it’s amazing to see them racing shoulder to shoulder and on the limits of control.

This season promises to be interesting with the likes of Lorenzo and Pedrosa guaranteed to battle for the title and we can’t count out the new comer Marquez and the legendary 7 time champion, Valetiono Rossi.