Race fans, start your engines!
Today marks the start of the Red Bull US Grand Prix – the first stop in the US of the MotoGP series – at the world renowned Laguna Seca raceway. For those unfamiliar, MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and the equivalent of F1 but on two wheels.
By now you’re probably wondering why a racing series – much less a motorcycle racing series – is on TechCrunch, right? For starters, the prototype motorbikes racing in MotoGP are purpose-built and the technology used in these bikes eventually make there way down to production bikes that you and I can purchase. More importantly, the technology (fuel efficiency, anti-wheelie, etc.) that’s being refined by the likes of Honda, Yamaha and Ducati make the bikes we purchase safer and more reliable. Not quite the technology we normally cover on TechCrunch but important nonetheless.
While MotoGP is obviously more popular in Europe and the rest of the world, the premiere class has its fair share of Americans, including 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden (Ducati), 2009 Superbike World Champion Ben Spies, and two-time Superbike World Champion (2000, 2002) Colin Edwards.
So how can you follow along this weekend if you don’t have cable (Speed Channel) like me? As you’d expect there’s an app for that. The 2012 MotoGP Live Experience ($18.99) app for iOS and Android (24-hour free trial) is your cheapest way to follow along from free practice 1 to the race on Sunday.
Despite the poor reviews, the app now includes live audio commentary which was stripped at the beginning of the season and has since been reimplemented. And if you’re new to the sport there’s also an app chronicling the history of the sport spanning from 2002 until last season. (Grand Prix motorcycle racing first began in 1949, a year before F1 making it the oldest ongoing premiere racing series. “MotoGP” is just the latest iteration of the series.)
MotoGP Live Experience Full [App Store]
MotoGP Live Experience [Google Play]
MotoGP History [App Store]
PS – Here’s some slo-mo motorcycle porn and a better understanding of what the world’s best motorcycle racers are capable of doing on these machines.