The MotoGP is the most important motorcycle racing. The rider who gains the highest number of points during the races in each championship wins the title. The motorcycles used in the racing are prototypes, which are not sold on the market, and they are divided into three categories, depending on their number of cylinders: Moto 3 class, up to 250 cc; Moto 2, 600 cc; and Moto GP, which can reach the 1000 cc. The first motorcycle race was held in Paris in 1887. It was won by Paul Daimler, the son of Gottlieb Daimler, who 2 years earlier had invented the internal combustion engine. However, only in 1949 the International Motorcycling Federation decided to organise a professional championship.

Since the first years of the MotoGP, the competition has been characterised by the supremacy of certain riders, which accompanied the development of four-stroke motorcycles: in the 50s, Italian and British riders dominated, competing with Italian Gilera and Guzzi bikes and with the British AJS and Velocette: Nello Pagani, Umberto Masetti, Leslie Graham and John Surtees. Carlo Ubbiali, with 9 titles and English Geoff Duke with 6, are two of the most-winning riders in those years. In the late 50s, the Italian constructor MV Augusta was dominating, with champions like English Mike Hailwoon, and Italian Giacomo Agostini, who won 15 world championships, beating all the previous records. In the early 60s, the development of the two-stroke engine beat the performance of the four-stroke engine. At that time, starting from the lower categories, Japanese constructors started making themselves noticed: in the mid-70s, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda forcefully entered the scenes, with the indisputable power of American riders Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Freddie Spencer, Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz. In 1976, in the first twelve places of the world chart, there were eleven Suzuki motorcycles. In the 80s, all the riders who won the world championship were riding Japanese motorcycles, but no champion dominated over the others. Something different happened in the following decade, when Australian Michael Doohan won five titles in a row with Honda, from 1993 to 1998. The year 2000 started another transition decade: 11 different winners in 11 competitions. It was also the debut year in the highest category of Valentino Rossi, who would then win the title from 2001 to 2005, gaining in the following years a total of 9 titles, riding Honda and Yamaha, becoming the most-winning rider of the decade.

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