MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
How MotoGP traction control works
It’s one of the great mysteries of modern racing: how does traction control work? We tell you how, with a little help from MotoGP electronics providers Magneti Marelli
Until last season the workings of MotoGP rider aids were unknown because the factories kept them a closely guarded secret. But the introduction of control software for the 2016 MotoGP championship changed all that.
Last summer all I had to do was walk into the Magneti Marelli truck and ask to see some data traces that would help me understand how MotoGP traction control, wheelie control, engine-braking control and launch control do their jobs. Vicente Pechuan-Vilar and Maurizio Scrignari at Magneti Marelli were only too happy to help, although they may have changed their minds when I took up hours of their time asking one stupid question after another.
After Magneti, I needed to speak to someone to get the rider’s point of view. I chose Bradley Smith, partly because he speaks my language but mainly because he is one of few riders who is good at articulating his thoughts and willing to spend his time doing so.
This is first of several blogs we will publish over the next few weeks to give you a basic understanding of how each type of rider aid works. Hopefully the knowledge will help you to enjoy watching MotoGP even more.
Don’t be freaked out by the rainbow of squiggly lines in the data graph (below). Simply link the numbers in the graph to the numbers in the text, ignoring everything else for the moment, and it should all make sense. Although this is genuine Magneti Marelli data from a hot lap during the 2016 Jerez GP, we don’t know the rider and we don’t know the bike; that’s all top secret.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.