MotoGP is fast, exciting and for its fans the number one motorsport on the planet. It is the highest level of road biking in the world and, though neither side would particularly approve of the comparison, can be viewed as the Formula 1 of two-wheeled racing.
Like any fairly long-established sport (the first-ever season of racing was back in 1949) there have been many changes to the format and structure of the sport over the years, not to mention the motorbikes used. Another thing that has changed, certainly in recent years, is the level of interest in betting on MotoGP.
The sport currently receives more television coverage than ever and this has meant more punters wanting to have a bet, whether on an individual race or the whole season. The best betting sites around have of course responded and now almost all of them offer a fine range of MotoGP betting options. Read on to learn more about what you can bet, how to make those bets and what you should look out for, as well as a more general guide to the sport itself and its rich history.
How to Bet on Moto GP
MotoGP does not receive the same wide and varied betting coverage as sports such as football or cricket but there is still a good number of options. Whether you receive a tip from a friend or a MotoGP expert, you want some added interest to a race you happen to be watching, or you want to maintain a season-long interest in what goes on, the following bets should be available at your normal online betting site. In addition, you may well find various more niche bets and specials but here we are concerned only with the most popular MotoGP bets that are widely available.
Grand Prix Winner/Race Outright
Probably the most popular bet in the sport, this is a simple wager on which rider will win a given Grand Prix. It may be listed as “Race Winner” or similar but however it is described, the winner will be.
As in most sports, a podium finish is essentially backing a driver to finish in the first three places. For this bet it doesn’t matter if they finish first, second or third, the payout will be the same. Naturally, the odds are far shorter than for the outright race winner market.
You can even win your bet before the race itself has started by opting for the pole position market. If your selection is the fastest in qualifying and starts from the front of the grid, you’re a winner!
A simple enough bet on the rider to record the fastest lap of the race.
This is a three-in-one bet that has to be placed prior to qualifying. In order to win, your selection must be the fastest in qualifying (and thus land the pole position bet), they must then convert that into the race win and they must also land the fastest lap of the race. This is harder than it sounds and so the odds can be relatively large.
Many bookies offer a straight H2H bet between two named riders in a Grand Prix. Whoever finishes higher up the standings wins the bet – simple!
If you want a bet at shorter odds and/or fancy that a lesser rider might outperform expectations, backing someone simply to end up in the points places could be a good option.
A tough bet to land but if you think you know who will be first and second across the line, this is the bet for you.
Many bookies offer bets based on the team and/or constructor, rather than the rider. These might include which team/constructor will win the race, or get a one-two finish, finish on the podium and so on.
These are season-long bets and can be of great value in terms of keeping you interested throughout the whole MotoGP campaign. You might back a rider to win the World Championship, a team or constructor to top their standings or even a specials bet like a rider to win over a certain number of races or points.
As well as these mainstream and popular bets, there are many more markets besides. You may be able to bet on the various practice and qualifying stages of the race, as well as betting in-play. Specials might include a rider to not finish the race, a constructor to land a clean sweep of the podium, a certain nationality (of rider) to win the race or just about any other Grand Prix-based prediction you can come up with.
MotoGP Betting Rules
If you are visiting this site because a bet has settled incorrectly or you are unsure about a certain rule in relation to a wager you have made you should contact the bookmaker you made the bet with. Contact them via live chat or phone and you will probably be able to resolve your issue quickly and easily. Another option is to check the sport-specific rules that can usually be found quite easily via the homepage.
As we often say, most of the time, most bets will settle without a fuss or hitch. You do not need to be an expert on MotoGP or motorsports in general to place a bet on these super-fast bikes and most bets and markets are simple, straightforward and intuitive. That said, it still pays to be aware of a few basics. Whilst some rules will vary between bookies, and there are certain highly unusual scenarios that can be hard to account for, by and large the mechanics and rules of each market work in the same way at all sites.
- Official Result – as far as we are aware, for all motorsports, including MotoGP, all bookies will settle bets based on the official result of the governing body following the race. Subsequent disqualification or penalties are essentially disregarded.
- Disqualification – typically any rider that is disqualified during the race will be settled as a loser for all markets.
- Qualification Betting – bets on pole position and related markets are based on the official result as declared with subsequent demotion or penalties ignored.
- Delays And Postponements – if a race is delayed from its initial start time most bookies will allow the bets to stand if the Grand Prix takes place within a certain period of time (often 24 hours). After this bets will be void and stakes returned.
- Head-to-Head – if one or both riders fail to start the race the bet is void. If neither finish whoever completed the most laps will be deemed the winner.
- Incomplete Race – if weather or other unforeseen circumstances mean the race is not completed bets will be based on an official result should one be declared. If no result is declared bets will be voided. Bets that have already settled (for example a rider to start on pole or to retire) will stand.
When it comes to betting on MotoGP there is not a huge amount of sport-specific advice to give. As with any sport, much depends on how seriously you take your punting. If you are seeking to beat the bookies on a consistent basis then extensive research to highlight when you feel their odds are incorrect will be required. As in any sport, and especially a mainstream one like MotoGP, this is exceptionally difficult because the bookmakers probably have all the information that you have (and then some) as well as expertise and experience that is hard to get the better of.
If this is the route you want to go down then the following (and literally anything else that could be a factor) all need to be considered. Of course, the bookies are weighing up these factors too so you really need to beat them at their own game. For those betting for a bit of fun, which really is the only we would recommend trying to do it, all the same factors need to be considered but there can be less emphasis on finding value odds and more on simply trying to find a winner or two.
- Form – form is pretty much always the biggest factor in any sport as it tells us so much. Recent results show the ability of the rider and the bike and are probably the biggest clues as to what will happen in the next race.
- Previous Track Results – some teams, drivers and bikes tend to do better at some circuits than they do at others. This can be down to the technical capabilities of the bike and how they combine with the circuit’s characteristics, the riding style of the individual or even just confidence.
- Weather – the weather can play a huge part in MotoGP with some riders known to be wet-weather experts and others tending to struggle. The bikes have to be handled with far greater care and ridden more gently so they can have a huge impact on the dynamic of the race.
- Study Practice and Qualifying – practice sessions and qualifying give punters a great chance to look at the bikes and riders and see how they are getting on. Of course, how these play out affects the odds but even so they are well worth watching.
- Look Beyond Results – to try and find an edge you have to look beyond the simple stats that are the first port of call for anyone trying to decide who will win a Grand Prix or how it will play out. Was a rider unlucky last time out? Or were they lucky and the bare form, perhaps a win, overplays how well they are riding? Have any technical or personnel changes been made? Was a rider sick or slightly injured for a recent race and might they do better now they are back to full health?
As in F1 and other motorsports, the circuits used changes from time to time. The list below shows the schedule for the 2022 MotoGP season:
- Qatar Grand Prix: Losail Circuit
- Indonesian Grand Prix: Mandalika International Street Circuit
- Argentine Grand Prix: Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
- Grand Prix of the Americas: Circuit of the Americas
- Portuguese Grand Prix: Algarve International Circuit
- Spanish Grand Prix: Jerez
- French Grand Prix: Le Mans
- Italian Grand Prix: Mugello
- Catalan Grand Prix: Circuit De Catalunya
- German Grand Prix: Sachsenring
- Dutch TT: Assen
- British Grand Prix: Silverstone
- Austrian Grand Prix: Red Bull Ring
- San Marino Grand Prix: Misano
- Aragon Grand Prix: MotorLand Aragon
- Japanese Grand Prix: Motegi
- Thailand Grand Prix: Buriram International Circuit
- Australian Grand Prix: Phillip Island
- Malaysian Grand Prix: Sepang Circuit
- Valencian Grand Prix: Comunitat Valenciana
The following circuits have also been used previously in the MotoGP schedule.
- Donington Park (British Grand Prix)
- Automotodrom Brno (Czech Republic Grand Prix)
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indianapolis Grand Prix)
- Estoril (Portuguese Grand Prix)
- Laguna Seca (United States Grand Prix)
As you can see, there are races all around the world, including in Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australasia. That said, Europe dominates, in particular the heartlands of Spain and Italy, which both have multiple MotoGP races. As in F1, there are different types of circuits used, with purpose-built venues, street circuits and road circuits the norm. The latter is a mix of closed public streets and a purpose-built track.
Most MotoGP races are held on standard race circuits and most run clockwise, though far from all. The 2022 Indonesian Grand Prix was held on a street circuit but increasingly in the modern era, the vast majority of races are run at venues that have been designed for motorsport.
As we can see from the list of circuits above, the current MotoGP season consists of 20 races, or Grands Prix. These typically run from March to November, in 2022 starting in Qatar on the 6th March and finishing in Valencia eight months later on the 6th November. There are currently 12 teams, each with two riders, and these are split over six constructors, as below:
The points scoring systems for the rider, team and constructor awards all use the same base system but work in slightly different ways, although all award their titles to the entity with the most points after all 20 races of the season. For a rider, all the points they score count towards the overall championship, with 25 points for a GP win, 20 for second 16 for third and so on, down to a single point for 15th, all with the caveat that the rider must complete the race in order to be eligible for points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, only the best rider in each race counts, so whilst Ducati have the advantage of more riders, only one can score points for the purpose of the constructor table. With regards to the team standings, points for normal and substitute riders are combined but wild-card entries do not.
In terms of each individual Grand Prix, the format is broadly similar to that used in Formula 1. Races are almost always held on a Sunday, with two practice sessions held on the preceding Friday. Saturday sees two more practice sessions take place before two rounds of qualifying to determine which rider will start on pole position. On race day, Sunday, there is a morning warm-up session, with the race itself usually scheduled in the afternoon.
As in F1 and other similar sports, whoever sets the fastest lap in qualifying has the advantage of starting from the front of the grid. Races are somewhat shorter than in F1 and usually last for around 45 minutes, with no stops, so no pitting for fuel, tire changes or anything else. Should it rain during the race a white flag is raised and riders can swap their bikes for one set-up for the new weather, the main differences being made to the tyres and breaks.
MotoGP (as we are using the term here) refers to the top level of motorcycle road (including track) racing. However, in its wider sense, MotoGP refers to lower levels of the same sport, chiefly Moto2, Moto3 and the much newer MotoE. MotoGP sits at the top of the tree with the biggest, fastest bikes and until 2002 was known as 500cc class racing.
Since 2002, it was rebranded as MotoGP and there was a switch to 990cc, four-stroke engines. The exact specifications of the bike and its engine have been tweaked a number of times over the years but that is broadly the situation today.
Technical capabilities aside, MotoGP lays claim to being the oldest motorsport world championship, having been founded in 1949. Administered and governed by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), it brought together a number of previously independent and disparate motorcycle races with one set of rules and regulations and a single world title.
One of the key differences between MotoGP and other motorbike racing formats is that the vehicles are not available to the public and nor are they legal on the road. They are purpose-built, incredibly quick and very expensive – estimates put the cost of a bike at around $2m, and that was back in 2015. Whilst they cannot compete with a Formula 1 car overall, due to the extra downforce the cars can generate, they do accelerate more quickly, at least from zero to 200kph.
MotoGP Greats And Records
Over the years there have been a number of riders who have firmly cemented their place in the history of the sport, as well as in the hearts of the fans. If we look at the total number of MotoGP world titles (including in its former 500cc guise), we see that it is two Italians who lead the way, though UK riders have enjoyed their share of success too.
Marc Marquez is the only rider still active at the time of writing. At the age of 29, he may still have more in him but only managed to finish down in seventh position in the 2021 MotoGP riders’ standings. Can the Spaniard challenge the two Italians above him?
When it comes to which teams have performed best, in the post-500cc era, which is to say the start of MotoGP as it is today, Japanese teams have been almost entirely dominant. As things stand (before the 2022 title is decided) they have won 18 of 20 editions of the world championship, with Repsol Honda landing 10 of those. Yamaha Motor Racing have claimed seven with Suzuki MotoGP adding another, with Italy’s Ducati Corse the only non-Japanese team to lift the trophy (in 2021 and 2007).
In terms of Constructors’ Championships, it should come as no surprise that Honda and Yamaha have had great success. That is the case whether we look solely at the era of MotoGP from 2002 or whether we look at the entire history of the championship starting back in 1949.
Looking at the wider picture, back over 70 years, Honda have claimed glory on 25 occasions. Next comes MV Agusta, though they are now defunct and last won a title in 1973. Yamaha have 14 titles and Suzuki seven, with a number of other constructors, some of which no longer participate in MotoGP (and some of which no longer exist at all), having won as well. Of those, Ducati (three wins) is the only one likely to add to their tally.