Portimao Moto GP. Perfection on two wheels

The MotoGP World Championship returns to Portugal for the fifth race of a long championship (21 races), with 24 riders from 12 teams and six manufacturers (Honda, KTM, Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki and Aprilia). The phenomenal development of the MotoGP World Championships led to the creation of demonic machines with a power of 265 hp, weighing 157 kg and capable of exceeding 360 km / h. Johann Zarco (Ducati) is the fastest rider in motorcycle history, reaching 362.4 km/h in training for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix book. It was the first time a competition bike had exceeded 360 km/h, but it is far from the world record For a 2010 Motorcycle by Rocky Robinson with Ack Attack Streamliner (1000 HP) that reached 605.697 km/h!

European technology is at the fore. Factory teams have worked extensively on the development of the bikes for 2022 with the goal of conquering the throne of MotoGP that belongs to Ducati. The first four races were exciting and had different winners, with Bastianini and Alex Espargaro winning for the first time, and everything indicating we were going to have the best season ever.

The balance is evident in the fact that there are 20 drivers within a second of pole position, very different from what happens in F1, where there are only eight drivers within a second of pole position. Among the manufacturers, Aprilia won for the first time, rather than the Japanese brands – the strongest and most victorious in MotoGP – who have yet to win this year, but one thing is for sure, the bikes are at a maximum level of excellence.

They are technology-laden machines, between 40 and 50 sensors that evaluate different parameters throughout the race, such as tire pressure or front and rear wheel rotational speed. Each driver changes gears between 500 and 800 times during a race and spends 30 percent of the race time braking. The race’s maximum tilt angle belongs to Marc Marquez, who made history at Turn 3 in Sachsenring, with a 66-degree bank.

He gave Miguel Oliveira a driving lesson at the Indonesian Grand Prix, but struggled in the next two races at KTM. “It’s all about the man and the machine,” said the Portuguese driver, who knew it was essential that the machine never fail to move forward. “Now we are moving on to a path where we have been competitive in the past and where we know we can compete again. We are full of motivation for this weekend.”

After a disappointing start to the tournament, world champion Fabio Quartararo is hoping to return to good results. “Portimão is an excellent track, but not the best for us, the Yamaha chassis is not superior to the other brands and we have a much inferior engine. The outcome will depend on many things, last year I was way behind Ducati and couldn’t get past it. Anyone who manages to progress or ride in The top three gets a good result.”

Enea Bastianini (Ducati) arrived at Portimão at the helm of the championship and is very excited “The track is beautiful and very technical with many changes in altitude. We are in excellent spirits after the weekend in Austin where we were able to compete from the start and the victory was the crowning glory. We keep our focus and keep working as a team, as we have done since the beginning, and have fun.”

Three million for a motorcycle! The budget for the factory team, with two bikes, could be up to €80 million, which includes research, design and development costs. For starters, we can say that each bike is worth more than three million euros. The cost of the engine alone is more than 250 thousand euros, the set of sensors, cables and plates is worth 100 thousand euros, and the advanced seamless gearbox exceeds 650 thousand euros.

The electronic system costs around €100,000, and the Brembo brake kit (comprising of three front calipers, three radial pumps, ten carbon discs and 28 brake pads) is set at €80,000. Each magnesium rim costs four thousand euros. Then there are the additional costs of the inevitable downfall. A simple slip on the asphalt can cost 20 thousand euros, a severe fall can cause damage to 100 thousand euros and a strong impact or when the bike does several somersaults it can cost up to half a million euros! The magnitude of the costs is proportional to the speed of the rotor.

In MotoGP’s accounts, there is still room for riders’ salary. The eight world titles and the difference in speed between Marc Marquez and the rest of the riders justify the star’s €15m per season salary – what a Caesar’s for Caesar. The reigning world champion Fabio Quartaro is set at four million euros. KTM doesn’t reveal how much it pays its four riders, but it’s been known to split 3.6 million for each passenger, Miguel Oliveira should earn close to €1 million annually.

airbag suits When traveling at over 350 km/h and only a few centimeters off the ground, safety is taken very seriously. Motorcycle racing suits for motorcyclists are equipped with an airbag to protect the trunk. The system includes several sensors and is controlled by three gyroscopes and three accelerometers that “talk” to each other about a thousand times per second (!).

When they detect abnormal motion, they start the action until it is completed in 45 milliseconds and before the rider touches the asphalt. The racing suit is made of 13 pieces of kangaroo or cowhide leather, it is handmade (it takes more than seven and a half hours) and costs four thousand euros. Protectors and fabrics must be well-fitting not only to provide maximum comfort to the occupant, but also to provide maximum protection.

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