Motorcycle racing (also called moto racing and bike racing) is the motorcycle sport of racingmotorcycles. Major genres include road racing and off road racing, both either on circuits or open courses, and track racing. Other categories include hill climbs, drag racing and land speed record trials.
Competitors line up at the start of the 2010Senior TT race. This form of road racing differs from others insofar as it takes the form of a Time Trial
Historically, "road racing" meant a course on closed public road. This was once commonplace but currently only a few such circuits have survived, mostly in Europe. Races take place on publics roads which have been temporarily closed to the public by legal orders from the local legislature. Two championships exist, the first is the International Road Racing Championship, the other is the Duke Road Racing Rankings. The latter accounts for the majority of road races that take place each season, with an award for the highest placed rider. Prominent road races include the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix. Ireland has many road racing circuits still in use. Other countries with road races are the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, New Zealand and Macau.
Grand Prix motorcycle racing refers to the premier category of motorcycle road racing. It is divided into three distinct classes:
Moto3: Introduced in 2012, motorcycles in this class are 250cc with single-cylinder four-stroke engines Previously it featured 125 cc two-stroke motorcycles. This class is also restricted by rider age, with an upper limit of 25 for newly signed riders and wild card entries and an absolute upper limit of 28 for all riders.
Moto2: Introduced by Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holder of the competition, in 2010 as a 600 cc four-stroke class. Prior to that season, the intermediate class was 250 cc with two-stroke engines. Moto2 races in the 2010 season allowed both engine types; from 2011 on, only the four-stroke Moto2 machines were allowed.
MotoGP: is the current term for the highest class of GP racing. The class was contested with prototype machines with varying displacement and engine type over the years. Originally contested by large displacement four stroke machines in the early years it eventually switched to 500 cc two strokes. In 2002 990 cc four-stroke bikes were allowed to compete alongside the 500 cc two strokes and then completely replaced them in 2003. 2007 saw a reduction to 800 cc four stroke engines to unsuccessfully slow things down a bit before finally settling on 1000 cc four strokes in 2012.
Grand prix motorcycles are prototype machines not based on any production motorcycle.