Grand Prix motorcycle racing is the premier class of motorcycle road racing events held on road circuits sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Independent motorcycle racing events have been held since the start of the twentieth century and large national events were often given the title Grand Prix, The foundation of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme as the international governing body for motorcycle sport in 1949 provided the opportunity to coordinate rules and regulations in order that selected events could count towards official World Championships. It is the oldest established motorsport world championship. The current top division is known as MotoGP since 2002 when the four-stroke era began. Prior to that, the largest class was 500cc, both of which form a historical continuum as the official World Championship, although all classes have official status.
Grand Prix motorcycles are purpose-built racing machines that are generally unavailable for purchase by the general public or able to be ridden legally on public roads. This contrasts with the various production-based categories of racing, such as the Superbike World Championship and the Isle of Man TT Races that feature modified versions of road-going motorcycles available to the public.
The championship is currently divided into four classes: Moto Grand Prix, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE. The first three classes use four-stroke engines, while the MotoE class (new in 2019) uses electric motors. The 2019 MotoGP season comprises 19 Grands Prix, with 12 held in Europe, three in Asia, two in the Americas, and one each in Australia and the Middle East.
The most successful rider in Grand Prix history is Giacomo Agostini with 15 titles and 122 race wins. In the top-flight series, Agostini holds the title record with eight, followed by active riders Valentino Rossi with seven and Marc Márquez with six. As of 2019, Rossi holds the record for most top-flight race wins with 89.
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