The Secret Behind a MotoGP Pit Stop

Rory Harris

By Rory Harris

November 17, 2014

COTA-Experiences-MotoGP-Pit-Lane-Walk-4MotoGP™ pit stops are an intricate part of the moto racing routine, yet, many people do not know what actually happens during the stops and how it affects the rest of the race.

A pit stop involves the rider pulling into the pit lane located at the starting straight on the MotoGP™ track. The stops are used for repairs, refueling and/or new tires.

Although a rather monotonous part of the MotoGP™ routine, it is 100 percent necessary part. When analyzed, the way the entire pit crew pulls off the mechanics of it is fascinating, as well. They work simultaneously and quickly so the rider’s safety is ensured and performance enhanced.

A rider’s whole pit team corrals around him as he hops off to simultaneously perform an array of tasks to keep the right safety precautions, as well as keep the bike running in solid condition for the MotoGP™ rider.

So what are these tasks that are performed during a pit stop, you may ask?

  1. A rider pulls into pit lane for his routine pit stop. Riders must slow down to 60 mph as they pull into the pit lane.
  2. The bike is stopped against the board. The rider kicks the bike out of gear and hops off as the wheel man spins the front tire.
  3. The rider’s pit crew surrounds him to attend to bike as the rear stand and side stand are placed onto the bike.
  4. The front and rear wheel of the bike are removed. Almost instantaneously, two crew members arrive to add the new tires on, banging in the new spindles at the six to seven seconds point.
  5. The fuel man, who has already placed the fuel tin on top of the bike, waits for the crews’ tire work to be done as he drops the fuel filler into the bike, filling it up with 22 and a half to 23 ounces of fuel.
  6. The rider jumps back on the bike and races out of the Pit Lane.Rossi_pit_stop

The process of a pit stop is similar to that of a band performing or a team playing any sport. Each musician player, or in this case, pit crew member, has to perform his task correctly and simultaneously as another crew member does an equally important task.

The pit stops are so crucial to the racing process and if one “musician,” or pit crew members messes up their given task, the MotoGP™ rider’s race performance could be hindered.

Or worse, the rider could be unsafe while racing.

The pit stops, in some instances, can be a very crucial point to the race. If the crew is not on their game, a stop can be disastrous. The weather is the biggest cause of riders needing to pit.

One race where there was a massive pit stop event was at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Rain had poured early and enough to cause for a change of tires for the riders. As all the riders on the grid filled up the pit lane mid-race, crews rushed to swap out the tires for the riders’ safety.

motogp_pit_rider_pic-1In 2013, MotoGP™ implemented the first-ever dry pit stops at, once again, the Australian Grand Prix. The men who had received podium finishes, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, were against the idea that compulsory dry pit stops should become a staple for the sport.

The mandatory dry pit stop was brought to the race because of Bridgdstone suffering an overheating on Phillip Island’s new track surface.

With Moto Experiences, you will be able to see the inner workings of a MotoGP™ pit stop for yourself with exclusive pit lane walks and VIP hospitality at a 2015 MotoGP Grand Prix!


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