MotoGP™ slang explained – Part 2

by | Jan 6, 2022 | Honda, KTM, motoGP News, Yamaha

MotoGP™ slang explained – Part 2

The second part in our beginner’s guide to what some of the lingo used in Grand Prix racing means

It’s time to check out some more slang used in MotoGP™ on a day-to-day basis. Enjoy Part 2 of 3 below:

Where riders line up and start from ahead of the race. The grid is made up of three riders to a row, and the order is decided in qualifying.

This is a crash where the rear wheel slides out, before finding grip and whipping back in the opposite direction. The whipping action, more often than not, sends the rider over the top of the bike and ends in a crash.

Alex Marquez walks away from vicious 500cc style highside

The rider who leads the race into and through the first corner on the opening lap.

Mainly painted in two colours and often featuring prominently on or just after corners. The kerbs mark the sides of the track and help guide the riders on corner entry and exit.

The degree at which the riders lean their bikes over through corners, with knees – and sometimes elbows – scraping along the ground.


Another, more common name for the racing suit that riders wear for protection and safety. This is what the airbags are fitted to.

Similar to a highside but instead of the rear tyre finding grip and whipping back, the rear tyre continues to slide before eventually losing grip, causing the rider to crash.

Literally meaning "closed park" in French, parc fermé is a secure area where bikes are ridden back to at the end of qualifying and races. Previously, all bikes were ridden back to parc fermé at the end of races ahead of technical inspections. Now, parc ferme is the area where the top three in qualifying or the top three in a race gather.

Pitlane is an adjacent area (usually running alongside the start-finish straight) at a racetrack where the competing teams' garages are situated. Riders will leave pitlane to begin their sessions and enter pitlane during sessions to change tyres, refuel, adjust settings, amongst other things. It’s also where the riders come after sessions end.

The first place on a grid is referred to as pole position. The rider fastest in qualifying will start from pole position for the race.

This saying describes when a rider suddenly begins to try their absolute maximum in an attempt to break clear of other riders. Sometimes this happens at the front of a race where tyre saving, for example, is in play. Then, a rider might pull the pin and go all-out attack.

In MotoGP™, this job is taken by Mike Webb. He makes sure that every practice session, qualifying and race are first and foremost safe, and everything is being followed by the rules for everyone involved.

The car seen at the back of the grid when a race starts. It will follow the riders around for the first lap of the race before pulling into pitlane. It’s there so urgent medical assistance can be provided in the case of an incident on the first lap. The safety car will also head out to inspect the track conditions when necessary.

Now known as Independent Teams or riders, these setups are one step below and full factory team. These teams lease the bikes from their respective factories for the season. The Independent Teams in MotoGP™ are: Pramac Racing, Gresini Racing MotoGP, VR46 Racing Team, WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, LCR Honda Castrol/Idemitsu, and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.


This is the lap where riders exit pitlane and take their place on the grid ahead of a race.

Another name for dry tyres. Smooth, non-grooved rubber.

Slipstream is when a rider closely follows another rider down a straight. The rider in front is punching a hole in the air and with less air resistance right behind, the following rider is able to reach a higher speed quicker. As a result, overtaking becomes easier with the help of slipstream.  

Short for specification. Often used to refer to what level of machinery a rider is using. Factory-spec is the best motorcycle that a factory produces, A-spec and then B-spec use slightly older components on the motorcycle.

Stopping the bike in a way where the rear wheel comes off the ground – the opposite of a wheelie.

The swingarm attaches the rear wheel of a bike to the motorcycle's body.

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