MotoGP in Focus: A Beautiful Look at Motorcycle Racing’s Premier Championship

MotoGP in Focus

MotoGP in Focus is an officially licenced picture book of the 2023 season, featuring over 150 pages of stunning photography

Despite the intense championship battle, the 2023 MotoGP season was fairly devoid of moments you might describe as ‘iconic’. There were no Laguna 2008s, Barcelona 2009s, or Brno 1996s, really, but a championship that was over in September lasted until the finale in November, making it a season to remember.

MotoGP in Focus covers the season in chronological order, from round one in Portugal until the final race in Valencia, which decided the title, allowing you to remind yourself of all of the key moments of the season that ultimately defined it.

Starting with Portimao, for example, the second page features an image of Enea Bastianini as he fell on his head and shoulder, breaking his shoulder blade in the first Sprint of 2023 after being collected by the VR46 Ducati of Luca Marini, who had crashed on his own. The injury wrecked Bastianini’s season, as he struggled to make an adaptation to the Desmosedici GP23 through what became a stop-start season with the factory team from Bologna.

Fast-forward to the 11th round, the Catalan Grand Prix, and Bastianini picked up his second injury of the season at the first corner of the Grand Prix, which kept him out of the following week’s San Marino Grand Prix. Bastianini took out Johann Zarco, Marco Bezzecchi, and the two Gresini Ducatis of Alex Marquez and Fabio Di Giannantonio, a crash which is detailed in two images in MotoGP in Focus.

One corner after Bastianini’s crash, Francesco Bagnaia was high-sided from his own GP23, and was run-over by Brad Binder’s KTM RC16. Curiously, there aren’t any photos of Bagnaia’s crash included in the book, but it would turn the championship on its head, almost.

Bagnaia led the championship by 62 points after the Barcelona Sprint, but after the Indonesian Sprint four rounds later, he trailed Jorge Martin by seven points. Martin won both races in San Marino, the Sprint in India, both races in Japan, and the Indonesian Sprint as Bagnaia tried to limit the damage which stemmed from that Barcelona high-side.

After the Sprint in Mandalika, Martin looked destined for the title. And, midway through the following day’s Indonesian Grand Prix, he was over three seconds in the lead when he crashed out. Bagnaia, meanwhile, came through from 13th to win and regain control of the championship.

The races after Mandalika made a full head-to-head championship fight, fought between Bagnaia and Martin but with both having to manage external influences. Johann Zarco, for example, who won his first MotoGP race in Australia, and whose post-race pit lane backflip is brilliantly captured in MotoGP in Focus. Brad Binder, on the other hand, never won, but added a third dimension to what otherwise would have been a two-way duel between Bagnaia and Martin in Thailand. Then, Fabio Di Giannantonio, who had no 2024 ride after the Malaysian Grand Prix (which was won by Bastianini) but who then beat Bagnaia head-to-head in Qatar as Martin encountered rear grip issues. Finally, Marc Marquez, a wall into which Martin ran in the Valencia Grand Prix, ending his championship hopes after 13 laps of the finale. 

If you’re looking for detailed accounts of all of those races, you’re better off looking elsewhere for your 2023 MotoGP book. But, if you’re looking to stimulate your own memories of 2023, and try to recall the emotions you felt during what became an epic, ever-changing battle for the MotoGP world title, all via some excellent photography, MotoGP in Focus might just be for you.

Published in January 2024 by Motocom and designed by Peter Neal, you can pick up MotoGP in Focus for £45.