If tearing around a track on a bike going as fast as 340 mph sounds like your dream job, keep reading to find out how you can become a MotoGP driver.
What is MotoGP?
MotoGP is the World Cup of motorcycle racing. It’s a series of 18 races taking place in 13 countries on four continents. The bikes used in MotoGP are prototype racing bikes built expressly for that purpose. They’re not available to the public and, in fact, aren’t even legal to drive on the street in most countries.
What does a MotoGP driver do?
- Participate in MotoGP races
- Practice to increase speed, balance, navigation, and agility
- Train daily to stay in top physical shape (biking, swimming, weights, etc.)
- Help monitor and maintain the bike
- Learn and follow all MotoGP rules
- Learn and respond to flag and light symbols used by track marshals
- Help promote the sport, their team, and their bike
- While racing, watch their team’s “pit board” for messages about their times, the condition of their bike or the track, etc.
- React safely and competitively to track conditions, weather, times, mechanical problems, etc.
Like most professional athletes, elite racers can make a lot of money, especially when you add in what they earn from endorsements. There is, however, quite a wide range between the lowest- and highest-paid racers.
- Superb physical fitness (both strength and endurance)
- Competitive mindset
- Ability to react quickly to changing conditions
- Ability to multi-task (control the bike, pay attention to other races, look for signals from marshals or pit crew, etc.)
Path to success
There is no specific educational background required to become a MotoGP driver. Many of the best racers grew up in the business, racing from the age of 4 or 5. If you didn’t, you’ll have to work hard to catch up, learning everything you can about the sport through methods like these:
- Volunteering to work as many racing events as you can
- Reading about the sport
- Learning all about the rules, the scoring, and the lingo
- Watching races on TV or in person
- Working on a team in a capacity other than driver
- Completing training at a professional racing school
- Obtaining any locally required licensing and/or insurance
- Gaining experience by participating in as many races as you can
- Marketing yourself and your skills to teams and sponsors
MotoGP racing is as much an athletic sport as baseball, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, etc. It has all of the glamour…and all of the hard work. It requires superb physical fitness along with the ability to become one with your bike and to take the continual wear and tear on your body. If you think you’d like to become a MotoGP racer but haven’t grown up in the sport, start now, because you’ve got some catching up to do. Learn everything you can; then start racing. The more races you win, the more likely you are to attract the notice of teams and sponsors.
photo credit: freeimages