MotoGP Power To Weight Ratio

Editorial credit: Prayoga Nugroho / Shutterstock.com

The statistics from MotoGP bikes are impressive; up to 300 liters of air per second flows through a 100 0cc engine at 18,000rpm. The top speed is 225.9 mph (363.6 km/h), 0-60mph acceleration time of 2.52 seconds, and 0-200mph of 5.45 seconds, which rank this sport as the third fastest in the world.

The 2022 MotoGP power-to-weight ratios range from 0.73 hp per pound  (Aprilia RS-GP) to the Ducati Desmosedici GP at 0.84 hp per lbs. All this power comes from an engine bolted onto a two-wheel bike which weighs approximately 346.1 pounds (157 kilograms).

During the 2022 season, riders have access to 7 engines, meaning an engine has to last for three races. While that does not seem particularly problematic, it is worth considering that, at full speed, each piston is traveling up and down seventy-five times a second!


The 2022 Season MotoGP Power To Weight Ratio

The following list compares the power-to-weight ratio of six MotoGP constructor bikes in 2022. It is important to understand that no manufacturer publishes their MotoGP bikes’ rated horsepower and generally states that they are “More Than” a certain value.

The HP figures listed below (particularly for Ducati) are estimated and provided by MotoGP journalists and engineers. 

Engine ProfileTorqueWeightHorsepowerPower To WeightTop Speed in 2022
Aprilia RS-GPV4 “stretto”, 4-stroke115.0 Nm 84.8 ft-lbs.346.1 pounds (157 kilograms)More Than 255 bhp0.73 hp per one lb.207.8 mph (334.4 km/h)
Ducati Desmosedici GPV4 cylinder116.0 Nm 85 ft-lbs.346.1 pounds (157 kilograms)Estimate 290 bhp0.84 hp per one lb.225.9 mph (363.6 km/h)
Honda RC213VV4 cylinder102.0 Nm 75 ft-lbs.346.1 pounds (157 kilograms)Estimate 260 bhp0.75 hp per one lb.224.0 mph (362.0 km/h)
KTM RC16V4 cylinder116.6 Nm 86 ft-lbs.346.1 pounds (157 kilograms)More Than 265 bhp0.77 hp per one lb.225.0 mph (362.4km/h)
Suzuki GSX-RRInline-four cylinder116.6 Nm 86 ft-lbs.348.3 pounds (158 kilograms)Estimate 260 bhp0.75 hp per one lb.220.4 mph (354.8 km/h)
Yamaha YZR-M1Inline 4, Crossplane 16 valve DOHC112.5 Nm 83 ft lbs.346.1 pounds (157 kilograms)Estimate 260 bhp0.75 hp per one lb.222.9 mph (358.8 km/h)

The 2022 performance by each constructor’s MotoGP bikes achieved is shown below.

TrackYamaha YZR-M1 (2022)Ducati GP22 (2022)Honda RC213V (2022)Aprilia RS-GP (2022)KTM  RC16 (2022)Suzuki  GSX-RR (2022)Average lap time
Losail International Circuit01:53.601:53.001:53.301:53.301:44.101:42.201:49.9
Mandalika International Circuit01:31.101:31.301:31.801:31.701:32.301:32.301:31.7
Termas Autodrome01:38.301:37.801:38.201:37.701:39.301:39.101:38.4
Circuit of the Americas02:02.602:02.002:03.002:02.902:03.502:02.702:02.8
Algarve International Circuit Portimao (Moto GP)01:42.701:42.001:42.901:42.201:37.501:37.301:40.8
Jerez01:36.601:36.201:37.101:36.901:31.601:30.901:34.9
Le Mans (Bugatti)01:30.701:30.501:31.201:30.601:53.401:53.401:38.3
Mugello01:46.501:46.301:46.601:46.501:31.401:31.601:41.5
Barcelona Catalunya MotoGP (post 2020)01:39.001:38.801:39.501:38.701:47.001:47.101:41.7
Sachsenring01:20.001:19.901:20.601:20.101:20.701:20.701:20.3
Assen01:31.601:31.501:32.901:31.901:58.901:58.301:40.8
Silverstone GP (post-2011)01:57.901:57.801:59.301:57.901:38.901:38.501:51.7
Average01:40.901:40.601:41.401:40.901:41.501:41.201:41.1
Number of tracks where the manufacturer is faster than average (Red)885756
Number of tracks where the manufacturer is fastest (Blue)151213
Position in seasonSecondFirstSixthThirdFourthfifth

The results, compared to the power-to-weight ratio of each bike, are.

  • The Ducati GP22 bikes have the highest power-to-weight ratio (0.84 hp per one pound) and are leading the constructors in 2022.
  • The Yamaha YZR-M1 power-to-weight ratio is in the bottom three, yet they are in second in the 2022 standings.
  • The Aprilia RS-GP has the lowest power-to-weight ratio (0.73 hp per one pound) and is in the third position in the 2022 season.
  • The KTM RC16With has the second highest power-to-weight ratio of 0.77 hp per one pound and is only positioned fourth in the 2022 season.

It makes it clear that the whole MotoGP package, and not just the raw power to weight advantage, makes a bike more competitive.


What Is Power To Weight Ratio?

Calculating the power-to-weight ratio of any vehicle allows an objective comparison of the actual performance of different vehicles, irrespective of the engine’s horsepower or the vehicle’s size.

It then provides one metric that gives spectators an overview of the different power ratios.

For example,

  • A MotoGP bike weighing 346 pounds (157 kilograms), which produces 260 hp has a power-to-weight ratio of 0.751 horsepower per pound (1.235 kilowatts per kilogram.)
  • A Formula One car weighing in at 1,759 pounds (798 kilograms)  and which produces 1,050 hp has a power-to-weight ratio of 0.597 horsepower per pound (0.981 kilowatts per kilogram.)

These figures demonstrate that a MotoGP bike has a 26% higher power-to-weight ratio than a Formula One Car.


How Does A MotoGP Bike And A Formula One Car Compare?

Power to weight advantages only plays out in the lower speed regimes, for example, under 100km/h. Beyond that, dynamic advantages have a much larger influence than minor power or weight differences,

The list below highlights the impact of MotoGP bikes’ higher power-to-weight ratios over a Formula One car.

MetricMotoGP BikeFormula One Car
Horsepower1050 hp260 hp
Weight346.1 pounds (157 kg)1,759 pounds (798 kilograms)
Power To Weight0.751 horsepower per pound0.597 horsepower per pound
Acceleration (0-60 mph)2.52 seconds2.6 seconds
Acceleration (0-200 mph)5.45 seconds4.5 seconds
Acceleration (0-300 mph)11.8 seconds10.6 seconds
Acceleration (100-200 mph)2.95 seconds1.9 seconds
Top Speed – race conditions226 mph (363.6km/h)223 mph (360km/h)
Fastest Ever Speed226 mph (363.6km/h)246.9mph (397.36km/h)

The above shows that the higher power-to-weight ratio provides an acceleration advantage at lower speeds.

Once 100 mph has been exceeded, the vehicle’s aerodynamics begin to play an increasingly more significant role.

It is shown in Formula One car’s faster acceleration from 0-200 mph, 0-300 mph and the 100 – 200 mph acceleration times, and the fastest ever speeds of 246.9mph (397.36km/h).

Editorial credit: Rainer Herhaus / Shutterstock.com

Conclusion

Two problems arise when comparing MotoGP power to weight ratio: the manufacturers don’t publish the official horsepower ratings. Secondly, this is not the only metric that defines how competitive a MotoGP bike is compared to the rest of the field.

While it is essential for the MotoGP rider to get down the straights as fast or faster than the other competitors, the ability to brake and reduce speed for the corners and the MotoGP bikes balance through the corners, are arguably more important.


References

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