MotoGP™ celebrates its 70th birthday at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya this weekend, with Grand Prix World Championship motorcycle racing being born in 1949 and on Thursday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the birthday celebrations continued - as they have done all week.
In January of 1949, the rules were written and put in place for the first World Championship motorsport season to get underway. The Isle of Man TT, Swiss Grand Prix, Dutch TT, Belgian Grand Prix, Ulster Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Nations at Monza were the events that hosted the inauguration of what we now know to be as the MotoGP™ World Championship.
It was, as former MotoGP™ commentator Nick Harris nicely puts it, the birth of a dream as motorcycle racing pioneered World Championship motorsport competition and exactly 70 years later to the day at the Catalan GP, some of the current stars on two-wheels were asked which former rider they would want to have a one-on-one battle against today:
In the lead up to a special weekend for the sport, one bike from each of the current MotoGP™ factories was parked next to some of their ancestors around some of Barcelona’s landmarks. Spain is one of the 30 countries to have hosted a Grand Prix motorcycle race, and it’s the race to have fittingly hosted the most races to date – 400 to be precise, with Italy hosting the second highest number of Grands Prix (347).
At the end of Thursday’s media day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the 22 premier class riders wore a different kind of suit to finish off the celebrations on June 13th 2019, MotoGP™’s 70th birthday.
However, the tuxedoes will be swapped for their racing leathers on Friday morning as track action begins at the Catalan GP. Don’t miss any of the action, with FP1 for the MotoGP™ riders getting underway at 09:55 local time (GMT+2).