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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 KTM Tech3 team.

ELF and MotoGP

Bringing together the world’s best riders, aboard cutting-edge, prototype machinery, MotoGP represents the pinnacle of motorcycle competition. Research and development and the consequent technological advances are crucial to ensuring teams remain competitive.

And it is this constant quest for performance via innovation that has motivated KTM Tech 3 to associate itself with Elf, that has been present in motorcycle Grand Prix since 1973. A lengthy commitment that has seen Elf take numerous victories and play a major role in the evolution of competition motorcycles, as proven by the technological solutions developed for their Elf X and Elf E bikes, that gave rise to no less than 18 design patents.

With their considerable experience and knowhow, the Elf brand work hand in hand with the young but ambitious Austrian manufacturer KTM, European leader on the motorcycle market and Hervé Poncharal’s Tech 3 team, with the goal of achieving success for the French outfit.

  • 400
    million TV viewers
  • 7
    world champion titles for the ELF brand
  • 26
    different nationalities across all the categories

MotoGP: a unique testing ground

If the world of competition is so interesting for chemists and engineers, it is because it constitutes a formidable testbed for their fuels and lubricants.

One of the reasons MotoGP is such a good testing ground is because the manufacturers do not use the same fuel. Elf must therefore develop products specifically adapted to the particularities of different engines and the demands of each team.

As the technical coordinator of competition at TotalEnergies, Romain Aubry explains: “Our work is to understand manufacturers’ mechanical problems, interpret them and then transform them into chemical formulas.”

The 2022 stakes

The first French Grands Prix rider to win the world championship in the premiere class, Fabio Quartararo isn’t going to have an easy time holding onto his title. The competition is tougher than ever and the MotoGP season is wide open. On paper it is Francesco Bagnaia who is the favourite on the eve of the opening of hostilities. The standout machine over the second half of the 2021 championship, the Ducati allowed Pecco to win four of the last six Grands Prix.

The Italian manufacturer will be supplying bikes to eight riders this year, a third of the grid and their rivals have every right to be worried. With Bagnaia, Miller, Zarco, Martin and Bastianini, even if this last rider will be aboard a GP21, the Italian Armada certainly isn’t short of talent. In addition to Ducati, the title holder is also going to have to watch out for Marc Marquez, now recovered from the diplopia that ruined the end of his 2021 season. And as the new Honda appears less extreme than previous versions, the eight times world champion should have a more effective weapon. But Marquez is only too aware that with his shoulder and his optic nerve he has two swords of Damocles hanging over his head. 

The last rival who will be challenging for the title: Joan Mir. The 2020 world champion, the man from Majora, has still only chalked up one MotoGP victory, but can count on his consistency, which will be a big plus in a championship as hard fought as this one is likely to be.

Five rookies arrive in the premiere class this year. Among them Remy Gardner and Paul Fernandez, who last year took the first two places in the Moto2 world championship. These two extremely talented young riders will make their MotoGP debut with the KTM Tech 3 team and will be chasing after the best rookie trophy.

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