Pit stops are rarely mentioned in MotoGP™ racing, and for good reason: they’re pretty rare. Given a good amount of foresight and preparation, it’s not unusual to see a rider finish a MotoGP race without once stopping through the pit lane. MotoGP races are typically shorter in length than their four-wheeled counterparts (i.e. Formula 1™), and of course motorcycles are more fuel efficient than larger vehicles. Fortunately for MotoGP fans, fewer pit stops means more action in the race itself!
What Happens During a Typical MotoGP™ Pit Stop?
Honestly, MotoGP pit stops are pretty uneventful! In NASCAR or Formula 1 racing, you usually see a host of skilled pit crew members descending on the vehicle to refuel, change the tyres and make any other necessary adjustments once it’s pulled into the pits. In MotoGP, however, riders usually cruise down the pit lane, come to a stop, hop off of their current bike onto a fresh bike and take off. While it’s interesting to see how quickly riders can pull up next to the new bike and make the jump directly to it, the pit stop always seems to be over just as soon as it begins! Watch the short video below to see what we mean!
When Will MotoGP™ Riders Take a Pit Stop?
Though pit stops can be utilized to accomplish any of the actions mentioned above (refueling, tyre changing and other adjustments), MotoGP races are not very lengthy and pit stops are typically unnecessary. Because of this, pit stops are most often seen in conjunction with changing weather conditions. Different tyres must be utilized with different track conditions – whether those conditions are wet, dry or inordinately hot. Two years ago at the Australian Grand Prix, all riders were required to change bikes during the dry race because Bridgestone couldn’t guarantee the safety of its tyres due to overheating problems on the new Phillip Island surface. That did not go over well with the riders, but they understood that it was an emergency situation!
In dry racing conditions, teams run slick tyres on their bikes. Slick tyres are defined by MotoGP as “tyres with no tread specifically designed for use in road racing and made of a soft compound, which give just enough grip without slowing the bike down.” Though they perform extremely well in dry conditions, the thought of running slick tyres on a wet track is absolutely insane to MotoGP riders who value their lives!
When the track is wet, wet tyres are utilized by riders to help their vehicle to maintain a better grip on the track. Bridgestone describes a wet tyre as one with “grooves in the tread [that] help disperse water from the tyre to enhance grip levels.” What happens when you mix a wet tyre with a dry track? Watch this video to see!
Recently, riders had to overcome varying track conditions in order to complete the San Marino Grand Prix – first, there was a little rain but not enough to forego slick tyres, then there was more rain and the switch to wet tyres, then finally the return to slick tyres once the track dried. Excellent timing and an accurate prediction of future track conditions propelled Honda rider Marc Marquez to victory!
Live the Experience at the 2016 Austin MotoGP™ Championship!
Pit stops may be a crucial part of the action in other motorsports, but the thrill of MotoGP lies solely in the action of the race itself – the speed, the cornering and the overtaking. Be a part of the action with Official Ticket Packages from Circuit of The Americas Experiences! Three spectacular days of racing await you in Austin from April 10-12th as champions are crowned for MotoGP, Moto2™ and Moto3™ at the GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS.
Choose from packages with privileged views of the start and finish line, Pit Lane, and the MotoGP Paddock to experience everything the races have to offer! The atmosphere will be electric as elite riders line the grid, armed with cutting-edge motorcycle technology and prototype machinery that’s capable of producing over 200hp, reaching 60 mph in three seconds, and achieving lean angles as low as 45 degrees. Enjoy everything this event has to offer with our Paddock Building package, which includes access to an exclusive on-site party inside the Paddock Building where you’ll enjoy a full premium open bar, gourmet buffets, MotoGP celebrity appearances and much more!