The Oldest Motor Sport In The World
Switching on any motor sports channel will almost always have some kind of race or event going on. We live in an age where there are hundreds of different kinds of sports in the world, and each has just as many divisions, and nothing says this more than motor sports. While they’re not the oldest sport in the world, they are among the most popular, and have been dominating the competitive scene since the beginning of the 20th century.
Among all the different types that can be found online or on televisions, and among racing world championships, there is one that is older than the rest, and has one of the most prestigious pedigrees in the racing world: the MOTOGP. The MOTOGP refers to the motorcycle Grand Prix, as is a series of racing events that involve some of the fastest motorcycles in the world, all held on road circuits. The MOTOGP uses custom-built machines that, for the most part, are not available to the general public.
Not only has the competition of these vehicles spawned half a century of professional sports racing, but a lively and active sports betting NZ scene. But where did it all start, and what made the MOTOGP such a huge success?
How The MOTOGP Started
Racing motorcycles and cars was not a new pastime during the early 1900s, and had already been established as a popular and entertaining sport. There was even early motorcycle Grand Prix, which began in 1938. Almost ten years later, after a resounding wave of success and a growing audience, the first Grand Prix World Championship was held. This event was split into five main categories 123cc, 250cc, 350cc, 500cc, and side cards. By the end of the first MOTOGP, Harold Daniell walked away as the winner.
For almost a decade, the MOTOGP was only held in Europe, and completely dominated by manufacturers from Europe. It wouldn’t be until 1959 that the first foreign competitive team entered, from Japan, and won several awards as well as doing very well in the events. This proved to many that foreign teams were a legitimate force to contend with, and set a new precedent for future events.
The 1960s Onward
After the success at the MOTOGP, the Japanese motorcycle industry saw new success, and it wouldn’t be long before many Japanese racing teams would begin dominating races. Companies like Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki became well known on the MOTOGP circuit, and even winning, with Suzuki enjoying much success, especially in a new 50 class that was introduced in 1962.
It wouldn’t last, however, as rising costs for competitive racing forced many teams out of the MOTOGP, and by the end of the 1960s, Yamaha was the only foreign team that remained. To balance this, the FIM introduced new regulations on the bikes, and many of the previous teams rejoined the MOTOGP. The rise in popularity among both fans and teams grew with every passing year, consistently being one of the most watched and enjoyed.
The MOTOGP has remained unchanged for the most part, with the biggest changes coming in the form of class, such as the switch from 250cc was changed to the 600cc four-stroke, among others.
The MOTOGP continues to be among the world’s most popular racing events of the year, and as motorcycles become more powerful and more teams enter the fray, the Grand Prix should have a long and bright future.