MotoGP is the world motorcycle racing championship’s top category. Each year, it is watched live by a TV audience of more than 400 million viewers. For ELF, this is a powerful platform for visibility, as well as - and above all – an ideal testing ground. This pioneering spirit is central to the partnership with the GasGas Tech3 team.
ELF and MotoGP
MotoGP is at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, bringing together the best riders in the world and cutting-edge prototypes. The technological challenge is crucial and requires teams to remain at the very forefront of research and development.
It is this quest for innovation and performance that has led the Tech 3 team to partner with ELF. ELF has been involved in motorcycle Grand Prix racing since 1973, during which time it has won numerous trophies and played a major role in the evolution of racing motorcycles, as evidenced by the innovative technical solutions developed for its ELF X and ELF E prototypes, protected by no less than 18 patents.
With its experience and know-how, the brand is this year working with the young but ambitious Spanish GasGas brand, bought in 2019 by the Pierer Mobility group, already owners of the KTM and Husqvarna brands and Hervé Poncharal's Tech 3 team, with the goal of helping the French team achieve its objectives.
400million TV viewers
7world champion titles for the ELF brand
26different nationalities across all the categories
MotoGP: a unique testing ground
The MotoGP race series is of great interest to the Group's chemists and engineers because it is a formidable test bed for both fuels and lubricants.
MotoGP is a fascinating field of experimentation, especially since not all manufacturers use the same fuel. “We have therefore developed products that are specifically adapted to the specificities of the different engines.”
As Romain Aubry, multi-energy technical manager at TotalEnergies's Competition Department, explains: "Our job is to understand the mechanical problems of the manufacturers, interpret them and transform them into chemical formulas.”
The challenges for 2023
After four years in KTM factory colours, the Tech 3 team will be flying the GasGas flag in 2023. Founded in 1985 and based near Girona, Catalonia, the Spanish brand now belongs to the Pierer Mobility group. Historically oriented towards off-road and victorious in the 2022 Dakar with Sam Sunderland, the GasGas brand has since opened up to tarmac and world championship circuit racing.
Last year, the Aspar team wore its colours in Moto3 and Moto2, with Izan Guevara giving GasGas its first world championship title in the introductory Grand Prix class. From a technical point of view, the transition from KTM to GasGas won’t change too much for Hervé Poncharal’s team. The bike that Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez are riding this year is in fact similar in every way to the KTM RC16 of the official Austrian team. Pit Beirer is clearly counting on Pol Espargaro’s return to the fold to put red at the front of the grid. While GasGas arrives in the category, Suzuki leaves. The Japanese manufacturer, world champions in 2020, have decided to pull out of the MotoGP championship.
Another important change this season is the introduction of a sprint race on the Saturday afternoon of each Grand Prix weekend. This race will be half the distance of Sunday’s race and only the first nine riders will score points, half of those awarded the following day at the end of the Grand Prix. Two free practice sessions will be held on Friday before two qualifying sessions that will determine the starting grid for the weekend’s two races. The Sunday morning warm up has been abandoned in favour of activities allowing the public to get closer to the riders.
Reigning World Champion Francesco Bagnaia will be looking to retain his crown - something neither Joan Mir nor Fabio Quartararo have been able to do in the previous two seasons - as will Ducati, who will once again field eight riders. Yamaha, on the other hand, will have to be content with two representatives this year, as the RNF team has signed up with Aprilia.