How does MotoGP work?

MotoGP is a motorcycle championship that lays out specifications for the motorcycles and rules for the teams who participate. The championship is held at 19 different locations around the world. Teams can enter with only two riders.


In this article, we explain the basic principles of the MotoGP championship so you understand how MotoGP works.

We will discuss the following:

  • What MotoGP means
  • The people who organise MotoGP
  • Categories
  • MotoGP tracks
  • MotoGP teams
  • MotoGP riders
  • MotoGP motorcycles

What MotoGP means

MotoGP stands for “Moto Grand Prix” which in French means “motorcycle grand prize” but could also be translated as “motorcycle great award”. It basically means that it is the great prize of motorcycling.



The people who organise MotoGP

MotoGP is sanctioned by the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) which is the international governing body for motorcycle sport. This means that MotoGP and many other motorcycle championships are governed by the FIM.

To find out more about the FIM, you can read the about page on their official website.


MotoGP is regarded as the top category in a series of championships. Though the general idea of racing on circuits with motorcycles are the same, there are many differences to the specifications on the motorcycles in each category.

The championship is divided into these different categories:


There are also other categories that are held to seek out new potential riders for the championships:

European Talent Cup
Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup
British Talent Cup
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

MotoGP tracks

There are 19 tracks/circuits on which MotoGP is held every year. But this doesn’t mean they race on the same tracks each year. A total of 69 circuits have hosted a world championship race in the past.

These are the circuits chosen for the 2020 MotoGP season:

Circuito de Jerez-Ángel NietoJerez de la Frontera, Spain
Circuit BugattiLe Mans, France
Mugello CircuitScarperia e San Piero, Italy
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaMontmeló, Spain
TT Circuit AssenAssen, Nederland
Kymi RingIitti, Finland
Automotodrom BrnoBrno, Czechia
Red Bull RingSpielberg, Austria
Silverstone CircuitSilverstone, United Kingdom
Misano World Circuit Marco SimoncelliMisano Adriatico, Italy
Ciudad del Motor de AragónAlcañiz, Spain
Chang International CircuitBuriram, Thailand
Twin Ring MotegiMotegi, Japan
Phillip Island Grand Prix CircuitVentnor, Australia
Sepang International CircuitSepang, Malaysia
Circuit of the AmericasAustin, USA
Autódromo Termas de Río HondoTermas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
Circuit Ricardo TormoValencia, Spain

MotoGP teams

There are currently 11 racing teams in MotoGP, each with two riders competing for the podium.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Ducati Team
LCR Honda
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
Petronas Yamaha SRT
Pramac Racing
Reale Avintia Racing
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Red Bull KTM Tech 3
Repsol Honda Team
Team Suzuki Ecstar

MotoGP riders

For each race, the first 15 positioned riders are awarded points. Those after 15th position in the race don’t receive any points. The scores awarded for each race counts towards winning the title of world champion in MotoGP by obtaining the most points. This scoring system has been used since 1993.

This is how points are awarded according to their position in each race:

PositionPoints awarded

As said before there are two riders for each team. With 11 teams participating there is a total of 22 riders. Below is the list of riders for the 2020 MotoGP. Included are their nationalities and team names.

Andrea DoviziosoItalyDucati Team
Johann ZarcoFranceReale Avintia Racing
Danilo PetrucciItaly Ducati Team
Maverick ViñalesSpainMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
Fabio QuartararoFrancePetronas Yamaha SRT
Franco MorbidelliItalyPetronas Yamaha SRT
Iker LecuonaSpainRed Bull KTM Tech 3
Andrea IannoneItalyAprilia Racing Team Gresini
Takaaki NakagamiJapanLCR Honda
Brad BinderSouth AfricaRed Bull KTM Factory Racing
Cal CrutchlowUnited KingdomLCR Honda
Joan MirSpainTeam Suzuki Ecstar
Aleix EspargaroSpainAprilia Racing Team Gresini
Alex RinsSpainTeam Suzuki Ecstar
Jack MillerAustraliaPramac Racing
Pol EspargaroSpainRed Bull KTM Factory Racing
Valentino RossiItalyMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
Tito RabatSpainReale Avintia Racing
Francesco BagnaiaItalyPramac Racing
Alex MarquezSpainRepsol Honda Team
Miguel OliveiraPortugalRed Bull KTM Tech 3
Marc MarquezSpainRepsol Honda Team

MotoGP motorcycles

These are not stock production motorcycles you can buy like stock motorcycles. MotoGP motorcycles are specifically designed and built for MotoGP racing and set up to the needs and requirements of a specific rider according to FIM specifications.

According to, a single MotoGP motorcycle can cost around 3 to 3.5 million dollars in US currency.

MotoGP motorcycles need to comply with FIM specifications and each part is inspected by the FIM before being assembled for a race. These specifications are not the same across each category. Moto2 and Moto3 have different specifications and most obviously MotoE as well.

To find out exactly what these specifications are, you can read the official 2020 FIM GP World Championship Regulations.

Final words

MotoGP is fairly simple to understand. It’s a championship of almost 20 races over the course of around 6 months where riders need to win as many points as possible. The only thing that throws people off most of the time is the specifications of the motorcycles and some of the rules.

I always try to keep my articles interesting and informative. And I’m always thankful when they are shared on social media platforms or Pinterest.

Two Motion

I don’t see myself as an expert in every topic of motorcycling but my articles usually relate to new experiences that are relevant at the time of writing.

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