British MotoGP – A Story Long In The Making
The magnificent Silverstone Racetrack has been the home of the British MotoGP since 2010 – and 2017 will be no exception. The very first event was held at Silverstone back in 1977, and since then the event has been alternating between Silverstone Racetrack and Donington Park. The British MotoGP is part and parcel of the worldwide MotoGP Racing Season, and is an event exclusively for motorcycles.
1977 was the first year that MotoGP included a British round – but the sport first started out back in 1949, officially making MotoGP the oldest of all motorsports. Ironically enough, it was two Brits who walked away with the 500CC as well as the 350CC titles for that year – British riders Leslie Graham and Freddie Frith; in that order.
2001 saw the last ever 500CC title being taken by Italian rider Valentino Rossi (Honda) – 2002 saw MotoGP enter into a brand new era, with 990CC being introduced into the mix.
Kork Ballington and Angel Nieto are the two riders with the most victories at Silverstone – with each having six Silverstone titles under the belt.
Location, Location, Location
The Silverstone Racetrack is an important component of British history in itself, having been built on the site of a former WW2 Royal Air Force bomber station – RAF Silverstone – back in 1943. The airfield’s three runways lie within the outline of the current racing track.
The track underwent a re-design in 1990 – 1991, turning the super-fast track into a more technical one. Following the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger in the 90’s, many raceways ended up being re-designed in order to promote driver safety.
The development of a MotoGP racing bike is a death-defying and perilous activity; and it simply never lets up. Only those manufacturers at the very top of the game even attempt to face the potential peril that leaves no room for even the most trivial error in judgement and focus.
2017 will see Ducati attempting to put a spin on Honda; Aprilia going up against Suzuki – and KTM attempting to bust the ball bearings of rival manufacturer Yamaha.
Some might be surprised to notice the absence of major motorcycle manufacturer Kawasaki from the MotoGP manufacturer’s list. Kawasaki has responded to questions regarding MotoGP by saying that it was simply too expensive an endeavour – with the current MotoGP technical regulations being close to impossible to adhere to.
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