The teams, riders and sponsors of the MotoGP World Championship
On the eve of this MotoGP 2020 season, we want to present on our blog a complete guide to the eleven teams who will take part in the Championship. It is not the first time that on these pages we have tried to give a complete picture of the premier class of motorcycling: for several years, for example, we have been offering the complete list of MotoGP partners and sponsors.
However, this is a different exercise. For once, we do not only deal with sponsorship, but we try to give a complete picture of each team, providing information on the Team and riders, as well as trying to draw a quick picture of the history of these 11 important realities of international motorsport.
The goal is to try to make the depth and facets of a Championship with a thousand faces and points of interest as clear as possible, which has excellent value systems, but also great stories of dedication, will and success. We propose the teams in alphabetical order according to the official nomenclature communicated to Dorna and published on the official MotoGP website.
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Founded by Fausto Gresini, the Imola rider who was a back-toback 125 cc world champion, Team Gresini Racing made his debut in 1997 in the 500 class with Alex Barros.
It is the beginning of an ambitious journey, which will bring the Italian team (the headquarters are in Faenza, as for the Formula 1 AlphaTauri team) to compete through all three classes alternating talented high profile drivers: from Gibernau to Toni Elias (who will be Moto2 world champion in 2010), from Kato (World Champion 2001 in the 250) to Aoyama, from Melandri to Marco Simoncelli.
The tragic loss of Simoncelli in 2011 leaves a deep scar in the life of the team. From the following year, as well as a radical change to the livery – which changes from white to black – the Team strengthens its presence in all three classes, thus becoming one of the most solid realities in the whole championship.
The cooperation with Aprilia as a manufacturer arrives in 2015, with the Team choosing Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri as riders, with the latter being replaced by the German Stefan Bradl mid-season. In 2017, Aleix Espargaro is the main rider, who has become the true flag-bearer for the Gresini Racing Team over the recent seasons and alongside which Sam Lowes, Scott Redding and Andrea Iannone will take turns.
Team Manager: Fausto Gresini (ITA)
Headquarters: Via Pana 26 – Faenza (Ravenna) – Italy
Main Sponsor: Sky Q
Official Sponsors: Gulf Oil Corporation, Marsh Inc., Experis (ManpowerGroup), Utility Diadora, Boost Italian Mood, Unibat, Michelin, Berner, FPT Industrial, Sag Tubi, Ixon
Technical Sponsors: Akrapovič, Bike-Lift Europe SRL, Cima, Dell’Orto S.p.a, FGR Engineering, Regina, Sprint Filter, STM Italy, Thermal Technology, Zanasi Group, Zoccarato S.p.a
Riders and Personal sponsors
(SPA) born on the 30/07/1989, Number: 41
Sponsors: KYT Helmet, RAW Superdrink
(ITA) born on the 09/08/1989, Number: 29
Sponsors: Fratelli Iannone Traslochi Express, HJC Europa, Cryofit, Spidi, V9
Ducati’s story began in Bologna in 1926 by the will of Engineer Antonio Cavalieri Ducati. Far from today’s production on two wheels, the company begins its course as a company specialized in the design and manufacture of radio sets, antennas, condensers and cinema projectors.
It is only after the Second World War that Ducati chooses the motorcycle route. It is 1946 and in Borgo Panigale, the Cucciolo is produced, a 48cc single-cylinder combined with a bicycle frame: it is the first motorcycle produced by Ducati and the beginning of a story that will become famous all over the world.
The debut in the premier class came in 2003, with Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, arrived from SuperBike: Ducati immediately showed competitiveness and a spirit of innovation, surprising the public and professionals.
The final consecration came in 2007, with the Australian talent Casey Stoner returning the title to an Italian manufacturer thirty-three years after the last triumph of MV Agusta. The “kangaroo” will remain in Borgo Panigale until 2010 when Valentino Rossi succeeds him.
However, because of several factors, the Doctor’s two-year red period is not among the luckiest, and the house decides to focus on Andrea Dovizioso and a new technical team.
It is the right choice and Ducati returns to being a top-notch force, respectively alternating alongside Dovi, firstly Iannone, secondly Lorenzo and thirdly Petrucci. Dovizioso will face Marc Marquez for the three years from 2017 to 2019, graduating as vice world champion for the three years in a row.
Team Manager: Davide Tardozzi (ITA)
Headquarters: Via Cavalieri Ducati, 3 – Bologna – Italy
Palmarès (last 3 seasons): 35 Podiums, 16 Victories, 2 Pole Positions
Official Partner: Philip Morris International
Main Sponsors: Audi Sport, Lenovo
Official Sponsors: Riello UPS, NetApp, Shell, Valsir, UnipolSai, Akrapovič
Official Partners: Alpinestars, Aruba, Autogrill, Bancomat S.p.a, Bosch, Contadi Castaldi, Dailko, Econocom, Esaote, Flex-box, Frecciarossa, Givi, Amaro Montenegro, Motorola, Pittarosso, Q1 Premium Masking Solutions, Randstad
Technician Partners: Beta, Capit, CoboGroup, Did Chain, Magneti Marelli, Mahle, Mechinno, NGK Spark Plugs, Reflexallen Composites Division, Siemens, Streparava, Tecno Elettra Impianti, Vargroup
Riders and Personal sponsors
(ITA) born on the 23/03/1986 – Number: 4
Sponsors: Suomy, Starline Designers Srl, Old Wild West, Ferretti Yachts, Red Bull, Galileo, Biotekna, Mondottica, Technogym
(ITA) born on the 24/10/1990 – Number: 9
Sponsors: Actimel, X-lite, Old Wild West, Luxury Zone, Forma Boots, Revit Racing, Marco Melis Eyewear
LCR Honda MotoGP Team
It is the founder and manager Lucio Cecchinello to give the name to the LCR Team, an acronym precisely for Lucio Cecchinello Racing. The team was born in 1996 when the Venetian driver decided to create a structure to support his sports career. In the double role of rdier-manager, Cecchinello faces two good seasons in the 125 before deploying Noboru Ueda at his side for 1998.
The team, which after a start with Honda moves to Aprilia, continues to grow, and also in 2002 field two bikes in the intermediate class, offering the saddle to a very young Casey Stoner flanked by the Spaniard David Checa, brother of that Carlos who will then find luck on Ducati in WSBK.
Increasingly engaged in his managerial role, Cecchinello ceases sporting activity in 2003 and aims at the growth of the team which, in 2006, lands in MotoGP. It is up to Honda to provide the bike for the company and riding it is always the Australian Stoner, who gets 2 podiums and one pole. The adventure in the premier class continues for almost a decade almost always with only one bike in the race, entrusted first to DePuniet, then to Elias, then to the German Stefan Bradl.
The turning point was 2015: LCR, again supported by Honda, lined up two motorcycles on the grid. Cal Crutchlow, arriving from Ducati, is entrusted with the official version of the RC213V, while yet another Australian, Jack Miller, is endowed with the open configuration of the Tokyo prototype.
The first victory came in 2016 in Brno, followed by another success in Argentina. Just the South American track will prove particularly favourable to Crutchlow which on the same track takes its third triumph in 2018. In the same year the Japanese Taka Nakagami, coming from Moto2, joins Crutchlow, which will continue with LCR for 2019 and 2020.
From 2019 LCR will also field two bikes in the debutant MotoE electric championship, entrusting the two prototypes to the Frenchman De Puniet and Niccolo Canepa.
Team Manager: Lucio Cecchinello (ITA)
Headquarters: 7, Rue du Gabian – Monaco, Montecarlo
Palmarès (last 3 seasons): 7 Podiums, 1 Victory, 1 Pole Position
LCR HONDA CASTROL
Official Sponsors: Givi, Castrol, Custom
Main Partners: Sifi Group, Rizoma, Agos, Lavorwash, Comet S.p.a, Ivar Group, Michelin, Sena, Dell’Orto, CMS, Viar, Monster, Pole Position Travel, Öhlins, Did Chain, Zelos, Draco, Four Team
Official Partners: Carpimoto, Arrow, Hevik, ProGrip, Piolanti Truck, OZ Racing, Special Impianti, Flow Meter, PBR, Cantiere Galli, Frentubo, MIW Filter
LCR HONDA IDEMITSU
Official Sponsors: Idemitsu
Main Sponsors: Givi, Rizoma, Custom, Michelin, Ivar, Frentubo, La Tognazza, CMS
Official Partners: Yes!, Arrow, Olymp Trade, OZ Racing, PBR, DID Chain, Beta, Cosmai Caffè, Miimo, NGK Spark Plugs
Riders and Personal sponsors
(GBR) born on the 29/10/1985 – Number: 35
Sponsors: Castrol, SRAM Road, Rapha, Zipp Speed Weaponry, Specialized, Monster Energy, Alpinestars, HJC Helmets
(JPN) born on the 9/02/1992 – Number: 30
Sponsors: Idemitsu, Alpinestars, Oakley, Breitling, Red Bull, Arai Helmet, Smart Okinawa
Yamaha Monster Energy MotoGP
Since 1955, the year in which the company’s musical production was accompanied by the construction of motorcycles and motorized vehicles, Yamaha has been involved in the world of racing. For the house of the three tuning forks, competition is not only part of the corporate DNA but represents a fundamental Research and Development bench and a very powerful marketing platform.
In the top series of two-wheel speed, Yamaha has had a major role since the 1960s, with Phil Read and Mike Duff giving the first two laurels of a long list.
It is indeed impressive the number of extraordinary champions who alternated riding Iwata’s motorcycles, from Giacomo Agostini to Kenny Roberts, from Eddie Lawson to Wayne Rainey, from Jorge Lorenzo to Valentino Rossi. There are 17 world titles in the premier class, as many in the intermediate class and 4 in the lower class.
However, the works team we know today is more recently founded. Until 1999 Yamaha undertakes to supply the official motorcycles to the teams of the riders, without however officially taking the field with a Factory Team. After the retirement of Wayne Rainey, Yamaha instead equips itself with an autonomous structure, which first is based in the Netherlands and then finds a location in Gerno di Lesmo.
From 2004 to today, the name of Yamaha in MotoGP has been closely linked to that of Valentino Rossi (except for the two-year Ducati period). Together with the man from Tavullia, Yamaha wins 4 world titles, followed in rapid succession by the hat-trick of Jorge Lorenzo, who shares the garage with Rossi (somehow) in the most intense years of a great rivalry.
Today the second saddle of Iwata is entrusted to Maverick Vinales, one of the most accredited suitors to take the throne of Marc Marquez.
Team Manager: Massimo Meregalli (ITA)
Headquarters: Via A. Tinelli, 69 – Lesmo (Monza – Brianza) – Italy
Palmarès (last 3 seasons): 32 Podiums, 7 Victories, 10 Pole Positions
Main Partner: Monster Energy
Main Sponsors: Eneos Motor Oil, Semakin di Depan, Yamalube
Official Sponsors: Akrapovič, Mid, Go Beyond, Thai Yamaha Motor, Cradle, BlueCore, Oakley, Descente, Alpinestars, Abarth, Blu Cru, Gilles, RCB, Furukawa Electric, Cromax, Magneti Marelli, Did Chain, NGK Spark Plugs, BMC Air Filter, 2D, Beta, Yamaha, Michelin
Regional Official Sponsor: Pont Grup
Premium Suppliers: 3M, HP, Saucony
Official Suppliers: Bric’s
Premium Partners: Siemens, Capit
Official Partners: RCM, Initial, Toyota Material Handling, Haier, AirBank, ParkingGO, Flex
Hospitality Partners: Mokador, Culligan, Macelleria Belli, Ca’ dei Frati, Fabbri, Azienda Olearia del Chianti
Esports Partners: Monster Energy, Omen, Formula Medicine, Yamaha
Riders and Personal sponsors
(ITA) born on the 16/02/1979 – Number: 46
Sponsors: Oakley, Monster Energy, AGV Helmets, Fanatec, Ak Informatica Gaming, Dainese, Pata
(SPA) born on the 12/01/1995 – Number: 12
Sponsors: Oakley, Monster Energy, Finetwork, Arai Helmet, Alpinestars, GoPro, Two Wheels for Life
Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
The SIC Racing Team, an acronym for the Sepang International Circuit, is the last piece added to the MotoGP grid.
The team, supported by the giant Petronas -already a sponsor for the Mercedes AMG team in Formula 1- made its debut in 2014 in Moto2 with the excellent performance of Frenchman Johann Zarco. In the following year, the SIC Racing team moved to Moto3, a category in which it will continue to run for all the years to follow.
It is only in 2019 that the Southeast Asian outfit arrives in the premier class, entrusting the two Yamaha M1 satellites to Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. The season is an extraordinary success and ends in fourth place in the Team ranking. The debut season of the French Quartararo is particularly impressive, with seven podiums and several pole positions.
Team Manager: Johan Stigefelt (SWE) – Wilco Zeelenberg (NED)
Palmarès (last season): 7 Podiums, 1 Victory, 5 Pole Positions
Main Partner: Petronas
Official Sponsors: With You, Fly Me To, Visit Malaysia, Barracuda, Monitor Safe and Smart, Sepang International Circuit
Official Partners: Yamaha, Petronas Sprinta, Petronas Tutela, Petronas Primax, Essens, PBR, RCB, MRA, Sakura, Alpinestars, KYT, Sport Travel, Pole Position Travel, Fastback, Michelin, Beta
Riders and Personal sponsors
(FRA) born on the 20/04/1999 – Number: 20
Sponsors: Alpinestars, Oakley, Scorpion, McLaren, Monster Energy
(ITA) born on the 4/12/1994 – Number: 21
Sponsors: Dainese, Monster Energy, AGV, Oakley
The team from Casole D’ Elsa, which has been racing in the premier class since 2002, is known for its long-standing partnership with Ducati. In fact, since 2005 Borgo Panigale has supplied the Desmosedici with which the Pramac Racing Team riders take part in the world championship.
Truth be told, the first seasons of the Italian team are with Honda, first, the NSR500 driven by Tetsuya Harada and then the RC211V entrusted to another Japanese, Makoto Tamada.
In its 18 years of history, the Tuscan Team acts as a true “Cantera” of talents, making numerous riders grow, who will then find space and confirmation later on in official Teams. From Aleix Espargaro to Ben Spies, from Andrea Iannone to Danilo Petrucci, passing through Redding up to Pirro, there are numerous examples that testify to the goodness of the Pramac Racing program.
The last seasons are under the banner of the Australian Jack Miller, who does not deny the tradition and who after two good years in the Italian team is promoted to Ducati Official driver for 2021.
Team Manager: Paolo Campinoti (ITA) – Francesco Guidotti (ITA)
Headquarters: Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent – United Kingdom
Palmarès (last 3 seasons): 10 podiums, 1 Pole Position
Main Partner: Pramac
Main Sponsors: Fiamm, Octo
Official Sponsors: Akrapovič, Lifter, Michelin, Ixon, Confremar, Sun Energy 1, Shado, Synergie
Official Suppliers: Beta, WD-40, CNC Racing, Accossato, Afam, WRS, Flex, D’Acquasparta, PersonalTime.it, Marco Melis Eyewear, Silverbone, AON, Cecchi, Cirfood, Birra Baladin, Marcello, Azienda Olearia Chianti, Le Marchesine, Tutto Matic
Riders and Personal sponsors
(AUS) born on the 18/01/1995 – Number: 43
Sponsors: Red Bull, Oakley, Dainese. Michelin, AGV Helmets, Fox Moto, Rival Ink, Acerbis, First Hand Wear, Two Stroke Performance, Shift Media, Thrill Seekers, SM Media
(ITA) born on the 14/01/1997 – Number: 63
Sponsors: Monster Energy, Alpinestars, Suomy Helmets, VR46 Riders Academy, Lamborghini
Reale Avintia Racing
An historical name in the CEV, the Avintia Racing Team put the wheels on the asphalt for the first time in 1994, deploying riders who will then reach the maximum series of the two wheels like the German Stefan Bradl.
The adventure in the MotoGP starts in 2009 with Aprilia motorcycles in the 125 class. The results are growing and in 2011 the team won four category wins with the young Maverick Vinales.
In the meantime, the team is preparing to debut in MotoGP too. In 2012, two CRTs are entrusted to Hernandez and Silva, who will score 44 points in the world championship. The team will no longer leave the premier class, adding to alternate years also some entries in Moto2 and Moto3, the latter given in 2019 to Abruzzese Stefano Nepa.
The transition to Ducati motorcycles for the highest class took place in 2015 while Barbera, Loris Baz, Mike di Meglio and Simeon alternated in the saddle. For 2019 the Desmosedici is ridden by the Spaniard Rabat and the Czech Republic rider Karel Abraham, but the team’s performances are modest and only worth an eleventh place in the team standings.
Team Manager: Agustin Escobar (SPA)
Headquarters: Madrid – Spain
Main Partners: Reale Seguros, Avintia Grupo
Main Sponsors: Air Europa, Rabat
Official Sponsors: Motul, Juan Nrake Systems, Galfer, Dani, Blumaq, Transatolin
Official Suppliers: AuTomas, Michelin, Akrapovič, ITR Racing Parts, Regina Chain, PBR, Beta, Titan Redmeier, 6teen Valves Logistics, IPMASD Hospitality Solutions, Speed Fiber, Domino, Littium, Mugen Race, Rizoma,Esfera Racing
Riders and Personal sponsors
(FRA) born on the 16/07/1990 – Number: 5
Sponsors: Red Bull, Alpinestars, Shark Helmets, April Moto, Maxxess, Bihr
(SPA) born on the 25/05/1989 – Number: 53
Sponsors: NHK Helmets, Ixon, Forma Boots
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
With the pragmatism of the Austrians, KTM takes its name from the acronym of its first administrator, Ernst Kronreif, of its founder, Hans Trukenpolz, and from the place where the first office was built, Mattighofen. In 1934, in the heart of Upper Austria, the KTM Workshop was born, and soon it began to produce the first scooters and motorcycles of small capacity.
Over the years, the projects linked to the off-road world are particularly brilliant: rally, hard enduro and cross are categories in which the Austrian company will obtain numerous international successes. As an example, 19 editions of the Dakar won consecutively thanks to the technical masterpiece represented by the KTM 450 Rally.
On the asphalt, KTM has been present since 2003 where they played a first-rate role in the smallest of classes, winning three world titles, the last of which with South African Brad Binder.
However, the most important step came in 2014, when at the end of the MotoGP season the Mattighofen company announced its entry into the premier class starting from 2017. The KTM Factory Racing Team was born, a complete extension of the brand supported by another Austrian excellence, the Red Bull energy drink.
For the first two years, Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro are the riders on the RC16, with the Spaniard conquering a nice third place in the 2018 Valencia Grand Prix. In the following year, KTM calls the French Zarco to his court, back from an excellent season in Yamaha Tech 3. However, also, in this case, it is Espargaro who has the better of his teammate, with a solid season that will be worth the eleventh place in the riders classification.
Team Manager: Mike Leitner (AUT)
Headquarters: Mattighofen, Innviertel, Austria
Palmarès (last 3 seasons): 1 Podium
Main Partner: Red Bull
Official Sponsors: Akrapovic, Motorex, Michelin, WP, Pankl
Riders and Personal sponsors
(RSA) born on the 11/08/1995 – Number: 33
Sponsors: Red Bull, HJC Helmets, Ixon, TCX Boots., Pole Position Travel, Blaauwberg Beach Hotel, Ride Fast Magazine, Smashton Industries, Sakart Design
(SPA) born on the 10/06/1991 – Number: 44
Sponsors: Red Bull, Dainese, AGV Helmets, Credit Andorra Supporting, Wings For Life, Aman Barfull
Red Bull KTM Tech 3
The story of Tech3 begins in 1989 when in the South of France Hervè Poncharal and some friends and colleagues decided to start a professional team to participate in the MotoGP races. We must wait until 2000 for another Frenchman, Olivier Jacque to reach the world championship success, beating the other Tech3 driver, Shinya Nakano, to the photo finish in Australia. It is not only the first world title for the team but also one of the most beautiful endings of a world championship, with the two teammates finishing the race on the edge of the thousandths.
The team entered the 500 class in the following year, the last one before the advent of the current MotoGP. The affiliation with Yamaha gets stronger and stronger, to the point that Tech3 positions itself with ever greater authority as a true satellite team of the triple-tuning-fork factory, threading several seasons of excellent results.
Particularly brilliant are the years 2012 and 2013, in which the team can count on riders of the highest calibre such as Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso and secure third place in the team world championship. The Provence team will no longer repeat such a collective performance and will have to wait for the arrival of another Frenchman -Johann Zarco- to steadily get on the podium of the premier class. Zarco collects two excellent vintages in 2017 and 2018, finishing sixth overall in the world and showing surprising speed and pace.
However, it is in 2019 that Tech3 makes the probably most important leap in its history. After 20 years of collaboration with Yamaha, the transalpine team decides to sign a biennial with KTM, entrusting the two RC16s to Syharin and Oliveira. It is the beginning of a new era for Poncharal and Tech3 which, with the support of Red Bull just as it happens for the “works” Team, relies on the Spanish Lecuona and confirmed Oliveira for the 2020 World Cup.
Team Manager: Hervè Poncharal (FRA)
Headquarters: Bormes-Les-Mimosas, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’Azur, France
Palmarès (last 3 seasons): 3 Podiums, 2 Pole Positions
Main Partners: Red Bull, Elf
Main Sponsors: Michelin, Capit, Akrapovič, WP, Pankl
Official Sponsors: Blinker, Bihr, Caffè Giacomelli, Alpinestars, Grandstand Motor Sports, Binocle Eyewear
Riders and personal sponsors
(SPA) born on the 6/1/2000 – Number: 27
Sponsors: Red Bull, Alpinestars, Shark Helmets, Bering Moto, Riders Management, Conor Bikes, KSB Sport, Two Wheels For Life
(POR) born on the 4/1/1995 – Number: 88
Sponsors: Red Bull, Dainese, Hyundai, Rudy Project, NHK Helmets, Bike Sul, Cofidis, Meo
Repsol Honda team
If we had to tell Honda’s passion for racing with an anecdote, it would be enough to remember that the founder of the “Wings”, in 1938, decided to equip a racecar with an 8-cylinder, 8-liter aeroplane engine.
Stories aside, from the very beginning it is difficult to separate motorcycle competitions from the name of the Tokyo manufacturer: 55 overall world titles, 21 only in the highest class. An infinite list of champions and icons of sport riding the Japanese prototypes: from Freddie Spencer to Mick Doohan, from Valentino Rossi to Casey Stoner, from Nicky Hayden to the undisputed domination of Marc Marquez, capable of winning 6 world championships riding the RC213V.
Probably the most impressive aspect in Honda’s approach to racing is the incredible consistency of the Japanese group in bringing highly competitive and reliable projects to the track. A clear example of this accuracy in planning and methodical execution is certainly the partnership with the historic sponsor Repsol, an Iberian oil and fuel brand that has accompanied the HRC team for more than twenty-six years.
It is Valentino Rossi who ferries Honda into the new era of MotoGP: the Tavullia Champion, last winner of the 500 and first champion of the new MotoGP class, will bring the title to the “wings” until 2003, before passing – surprisingly – to the least competitive (at least apparently) -Yamaha.
After Hayden’s exploit in 2006, Honda will have to wait five years before Stoner, riding the RC212V, takes the world championship back to Tokyo in 2011. That of the kangaroo is an impressive season, which shows with magnificent eloquence the power of the technical vehicle combined with the Australian talent. 16 podiums out of 17 races, 10 first places in a season in which Honda – in order not to want to leave room for the delay – also a third bike, that of Andrea Dovizioso, alongside Stoner and Pedrosa.
The modern era, from 2013 to today, is all under the sign of the Spaniard Marc Marquez, who has imposed his dominance on the class with 6 wins in the last 7 years of competition. And the impression is that the race is certainly not over here.
Team Manager: Alberto Puig (SPA)
Headquarters: Aalst, Belgium
Palmarès (last 3 seasons): 43 Podiums, 29 Victories, 28 Pole Positions, 3 World Titles
Main Partner: Repsol
Sponsors e Partners: Red Bu