The Portuguese GP saw six more riders, including winner Fabio Quartararo, unseal their third of the campaign
It goes without saying, but engines are a huge part of MotoGP™ racing. The use of V4 or the inline-four models come with a range of benefits as well as drawbacks depending on the circuit and track demands. Perhaps spoken about less, is how crucial a role engine maintenance can play throughout the course of a season.
All about engines - the heart of the MotoGP™ beast
The ability to keep a bike’s engine performing at a high level for longer could make a huge difference in terms of where you end up on the Championship standings. During 2022, riders have been allotted an allocation of seven engines, nine in the case of Aprilia due to concessions, to use during the Championship. Five rounds into the season, and we are already seeing a large number of riders unseal their third engine of the year. So, who's riding on what engine now?
All riders have been switching between their first and second engines since the start of the campaign. In Portugal, Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro opted to use the first engine in the race, as did factory KTM rider Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), and his rookie counterparts, Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner, over at Tech 3.
A few more riders have already opened the third engine available to them, some by choice, others had their hands forced. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Alex Marquez’ (LCR Honda Castrol) are among those whose first engines are now out of commission.
Gresini Racing rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio was the first premier class rider to use his third engine, at the Argentina GP race, while a number of other Ducati riders followed suit one week later in Austin. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) joined the GP22s, Jack Miller, Francesco Bagnaia (both Ducati Lenovo Team), Jorge Martin, Johann Zarco (both Pramac Racing) & Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), in opening their third one at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas.
Most recently in Portugal, six more riders unsealed engine number three. Namely, they were eventual race winner Fabio Quartararo, factory Yamaha teammate Franco Morbidelli, Suzuki pair Joan Mir and Alex Rins, podium finisher Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) and rookie Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team).
That leaves eight riders who are yet to touch their third engine, but that’s likely to change over the next couple of rounds in Jerez and Le Mans.
It’s still early days, but with 16 rounds of action to go, riders and teams will be mindful of nursing their engine allocations. For whatever reason, should they exceed their given amount throughout the course of the season, they are liable to receive a penalisation. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) found this out the hard way in 2020, when he was slapped with a pitlane start for unsealing a sixth engine, one more than was allocated during the shortened campaign.