For the 10th consecutive year, Tissot is “The Official Timekeeper of MotoGP,” the fastest and most prestigious motorcycle racing circuit in the world. In MotoGP, the world’s most elite motorcycle riders race insanely fast superbikes around the track in excess of 200 mph. Needless to say, timing motorcycles with this kind of speed and acceleration requires a highly accurate timekeeping system.
Main straight away at Laguna Seca MotoGP 2011
The World Famous Laguna Seca Corkscrew
Timekeeping room looking onto track
“The timekeeping department of Dorna Sports (which runs MotoGP) record the performance of every rider in every class in every free practice, qualifying practice, warm-up session and race, throughout the season, to within one thousandth of a second – from an allocated room at each circuit, usually adjacent to the Race Direction facility.” (Source: MotoGP.com)
Timing equipment at Laguna Seca timing booth
To simultaneously track all riders, with 1/1000th of a second precision, high-tech radio modules must be mounted underneath the front fairing of each bike. The modules communicate with digital sensors along the track as riders pass each respective checkpoint, including the finish line.
Main straight away viewed from VIP MotoGP lounge at Laguna Seca
Additionally, high speed photo finish equipment constantly records racers as they cross the finish line, for use in the event that two or more bikes cross simultaneously. In the rare circumstance that the photo finish equipment does not show a definite winner (a tie), the rider with the best single lap time wins.
Finish line view from timekeeping room
MotoGP races depend on a highly accurate live-timing system that ensures all riders’ times are recorded with the official timekeepers; as well as being simultaneously transmitted to media organizations, race teams, and fans around the world.
Turn 1 at Laguna Seca – “The Andretti Hairpin” 190 degree left hand hairpin
Head timekeeping official pointing out timing sensor locations
Head timekeeping official holding bike mounted radio timing module