MotoGP Glossary

Backing it in: A move brought from dirt-track racing where a rider approaching a corner brakes hard and causes the rear of the motorcycle to slide while countersteering. This enables the rider to quickly go through the corner and straighten up for a fast exit. 

Binned it: A rider crashes out of a race, wrecking the bike. 

Bottom out: The suspension runs out of room to travel and hits the internal stops.  

Brake marker: A marker at the side of the track indicating where a rider may want to start braking prior to entering a corner. 

Burnout: Rider applies the front brake and quickly accelerates causing the rear wheel to lose traction and spin so that the tire overheats and begins to smoke and disintegrate. 

Chicane: A section of track with back to back turns or "S" curves. 

Class: A classification given to a specific kind of road racing. There are three classes in Grand Prix World Championship road racing: MotoGP, Moto2, 125cc. 

Contact patch: The area of the tire's tread that is in actual contact with the ground. 

Displacement: Size of an engine, in cubic centimeters (cc). 

Dorna: Dorna Sports, an international sports management, marketing and television company, founded in 1988 with headquarters in Madrid, Spain. Dorna has been the exclusive rights holder of all commercial and TV rights to the FIM Road Racing World Championship (MotoGP) since 1992. 

Doughnut: Rider performs a burnout and carefully moves the motorcycle to encompass a 360-degree circle, leaving a circular mark of rubber on the track. 

Dry race: A race in which climatic conditions affecting the track surface are considered to be dry, opposed to wet. 

Dump the clutch: A rider quickly releases the clutch while the engine revolutions are high. 

Endo: Stopping a motorcycle and having the rear wheel lift off the ground, a reverse of a wheelie. 

Esses: Phonetic spelling of back to back turns or "S" curves. 

Fairing: Body part that protects both the bike and rider from wind and aids aerodynamics. 

FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motorcyclisme, the international governing body of all motorcycle sport at the world level. The FIM is based in Mies, Switzerland. 

Green track: A new track with little or no rubber laid down, which can be slippery. 

Grid: A pattern marking the starting points on the track. 

Hairpin: A very slow, sharp and U-shaped corner. 

High side: A crash in which the rear of the bike slides out, catches traction, and flips the bike and rider over. 

Hydroplaning: The accumulation of water in a film under the tire contact patch that causes a tire to lift from the road surface, losing traction. Hydroplaning is affected by vehicle speed, tread pattern and water depth. 

Leathers: A safety garment consisting of a skin-tight leather suit, body armor, foam, stitching and zippers. 

Low side: A crash in which the rear wheel or both wheels lose traction. The motorcycle slips out from under the rider. 

Nose wheelie: Rider hits the front brake so hard that the suspension bottoms out, causing the rear of the motorcycle to rise and stand on the front wheel. 

Oversteer: The situation that occurs in cornering when the rear of the motorcycle tends to skid before the front. 

Paddock: Area where maintenance on race motorcycles takes place. Also includes support vehicles, transport, team offices and hospitality. 

Pin it: To completely open the throttle. 

Pipes: Exhaust pipes. 

Podium: A top-three finish, named because the top three riders in a race stand on the victory podium. 

Pucks: Thick plastic discs affixed to riders' leathers that protect their knees during cornering. Riders' pucks often scrape against the asphalt while cornering. 

Sidewall: The portion of the tire between the bead and the tread. It is flexible to soak up bumps yet stiff to limit tire rollover. 

Slicks: A tire specifically designed for use in road racing only that is made of a soft compound with no tread. 

Slip angle: The angle between the direction in which a tire is aimed or steered and the actual direction of tire travel. 

Slip the clutch: To play with or fan the clutch to prevent the engine stalling or spinning the rear tire from the start line. 

Squat: The rear suspension of the motorcycle seems to bottom out due to hard acceleration. 

Sweeper: A broad, high-speed turn. 

Swingarm: The rear portion of a bike to which the rear wheel mounts, a pivoting structure that moves up and down with the rear suspension. 

Tank slapper: When the handlebars shake from side to side due to improper setup or bumps. 

Trail braking: Keeping the brakes applied late in to the corner. 

Understeer: The condition that exists during cornering when the front of the motorcycle tends to skid before the rear. 

Wash out: A crash in which the front wheel loses traction. The motorcycle then slips out from under the rider. 

Wet race: A race in which climatic conditions affecting the track surface are considered to be wet, opposed to dry. 

Wheelie: The nose or front of the motorcycle rises off the ground due to hard acceleration in conjunction with a quick release of the clutch.