Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - How MotoGP traction control works 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.


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2 Stars?
You folks are harsh! This is some good data porn for the off season.

I am VERY pleased with where the role of electronics has gone in MotoGP over the last 2 seasons. Smith articulates it well again as usual, less for performance gain and a few wealthy factory teams) and more for safety. Putting less in the typing hand of an engineer and more in the throttle hand of a rocket artist.

No longer am I a "less is more" purist re electronic rider aids. Having ridden a few Superbikes and finding them without sweetness and unmanageable without electronic rider aids, they can be seen as necessary to manage the raw horsepower reaching the rear wheel of the latest generation of liter bikes. Once you exceed about 175 horsepower things don't remain manageable at 10 tenths. SOME electronics are a good thing. But bang it wide open and let the computer sort it out? Ick.

We have arrived at a sweet spot.

Always was fascinated with those traces. My next track day bike will definitely have this feature just so I can nerd out! Great great read!