MotoAmerica 101

Motorcycle Road Racing Terminology


American Motorcyclist Association



Cubic centimeters in reference to engine displacement



Mechanics and/or team assistants


Crew Chief

The team’s technical leader and the person who communicates directly with the rider



The space covered or volume swept out by the engine piston at each stroke



Unless otherwise specified, the forfeiture of all points, awards, and prizes earned during a particular race


Cornerworkers/Corner Marshals

Workers stationed at various points around the track to advise riders of track conditions by using various color flags and lights, also known as “track marshals”



A crash where the motorcycle generally loses traction on the rear tire and the rider goes over the top of the bike, as opposed to laying it down, or a “lowside”



Having the race lead going into the first turn of a race



The process of acquiring eligibility for a motorcycle to be entered in competition. Homologation rules are formulated to create parity among race bikes, and to maintain a level playing field for all competitors



The amount of time it takes a rider to circulate one lap of the race course



A crash where the motorcycle generally loses traction on the front tire and lays it down



Original Equipment Manufacturer



Area primarily designated for the preparation and maintenance of race equipment. May also include parking for transporters and other support vehicles



The fastest rider in timed qualifying, who starts in first position on the starting grid



A racer competing without benefit of a factory contract or major sponsor support



The predetermined outline of events that make up a race


Race Line

The fastest way around the track, or through a particular part of the track. Can vary with changing course conditions


Q Tire

A super-soft, extra-grippy rear tire used by Superbike competitors during qualifying. A Q tire generally yields the fast laptimes, but it only lasts one or two laps before wearing out



To advance to the final race event by time trial


Starting Grid

The assigned spots where all riders start the race, as determined by their fastest qualifying laptimes



Riding on the front wheel only, usually under hard braking



Riding on the rear wheel only, usually under hard acceleration



A slang word for a mechanic