Superbikes are arguably the kings of the road when it comes to speed. They’re usually faster than most supercars, and you’ll struggle to keep up with a superbike in any road-legal car you can find. However, many may wonder how an F1 car would fare against a motorcycle.
A superbike has faster acceleration and a higher top speed than a Formula 1 car. However, the Formula 1 car is much faster across a lap due to the downforce it can produce. The high downforce allows it to corner much faster than any motorcycle can, which is where an F1 car gains the advantage.
MotoGP bikes are much faster in a straight line than Formula 1 cars due to their lighter weight and slimmer aerodynamic design. However, their lack of stability in corners hinders them when compared to F1 cars. Below, we’ll compare the two machines and see which one is faster.
Is Any Motorcycle Faster Than An F1 Car?
The fastest two-wheeled motorcycle can go faster than an F1 car. The Suzuki Hyabusa, without a road-legal speed limiter, can reportedly reach speeds of around 250 mph. An F1 car will top out around 230 mph under the right conditions.
While the motorcycle can go from 0-60 in just 2.77 seconds, a Formula 1 car can take anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds. The lack of traction control in a Formula 1 car makes the start and getaway unpredictable in terms of wheelspin and the car loses time.
The motorcycle also has a distinct advantage in terms of straight-line speed. This comes down to the fact that motorcycles are much lighter than Formula 1 cars. They are also built in more of a streamlined manner, which gives them much less drag than Formula 1 cars.
Is An F1 Car Faster Than A Superbike?
F1 cars are faster than superbikes over the course of a lap as they have much more downforce and can corner much faster than superbikes. Some superbikes are faster than F1 cars in terms of straight-line speed, and some may accelerate faster than F1 cars too, but they’ll always lap slower.
The superbikes are much more unstable through the corners, which makes them slower (although they’re still incredibly fast!). Formula 1 cars on the other hand become more stable the faster they go through a corner. This means that the Formula 1 car naturally corners much faster than any superbike can.
On a straight line, a Formula 1 car can’t compete with a superbike. But if the two were to race on a track with corners, the F1 car would finish much sooner because of the turning capabilities produced from the downforce as the car takes advantage of its aerodynamic design.
Is F1 Faster Than MotoGP?
F1 is faster than MotoGP over the course of a lap. While MotoGP bikes may accelerate faster than F1 cars in some cases and often reach higher top speeds, F1 cars can corner much faster due to their high downforce levels, which makes F1 much faster than MotoGP over a lap.
Formula 1 is considered the pinnacle of motorsport when it comes to anything with four wheels. In the same way, MotoGP is considered the pinnacle of motorsport for anything with two wheels. Luckily, this gives us a great opportunity to find out whether F1 is faster than MotoGP.
Since Formula 1 and MotoGP race on some of the same tracks, it’s a great way to compare the two and see which one is faster. Each circuit has different characteristics, some of which play to the strengths of MotoGP bikes while others play to the strengths of Formula 1 cars.
Here are some MotoGP lap times compared to Formula 1 lap times:
|Circuit of the Americas
|Red Bull Ring
The circuits above have unique layouts, which gives us a great representation of which machine is faster. The Formula 1 car is fastest around the circuit every time by a large margin.
Why Is An F1 Car Faster Than A MotoGP Bike?
F1 cars are faster than MotoGP bikes around a lap primarily due to higher downforce levels. At the end of the day, both machines are incredibly fast, and they both have different strengths and weaknesses. Overall, though, the MotoGP bike simply is not fast enough over the course of a lap.
When it comes to top speeds, MotoGP bikes often have the advantage over F1 cars. They can easily go a couple miles per hour faster than a Formula 1 car on the straight even if the F1 car has a low drag set up and their DRS wide open.
There are two main reasons the MotoGP bike has as an advantage over the Formula 1 car in this department. The first is that a motorcycle is much smaller and more streamlined. This gives the MotoGP bike the distinct advantage of having less drag. Even on low drag setups, F1 cars still need some downforce for the corners.
The second advantage MotoGP bikes have is they are much smaller and lighter. As with anything, if there is more weight it requires more power to put it into motion. This means MotoGP bikes usually have a better power to weight ratio than F1 cars.
MotoGP bikes are not only faster at the end of the straight, but they also often get to their top speed much faster. When it comes to getting away off the line or accelerating from a slower speed, MotoGP bikes are rapid.
In a straight drag race between a MotoGP bike and Formula 1 car, it can be very close. However, with a poor start or lots of wheelspin, F1 cars can be comfortably beaten by MotoGP bikes off the line. Again, it’s the lightweight and smaller build of the MotoGP bike that often helps it to get off the line faster than a Formula 1 car.
Cornering is where the Formula 1 car comes into its own. There is no other car in the world that can corner faster than an F1 car, and it shows in the lap times. Since we already know a MotoGP bike is usually faster on the straight, it means that they can only be losing out in the corners.
Due to the massive amount of downforce that an F1 car produces, it’s able to corner at much higher speeds than MotoGP bikes. Formula 1 cars can sometimes corner at 190 miles per hour without the driver ever taking their foot off the throttle. This is a massive advantage over a motorcycle.
Formula 1 cars become more stable the faster they go. This is the opposite to MotoGP bikes, which means riders must take the corners at a much slower speed than Formula 1 cars can. This speed difference is where the Formula 1 car makes up for what they lack in straight line speed.
Overall, the Formula 1 car can keep its average speed much higher throughout the course of a lap, and it does not need to slow down as much as the MotoGP bike – or any other motorcycle – when it corners. This is the main area where a Formula 1 car can find time against a MotoGP bike on the same circuit.
Another area where the Formula 1 cars have a huge advantage over the MotoGP bikes is in braking. F1 cars can decelerate from 190 miles per hour down to 0 in a matter of seconds. They can slow down much quicker than MotoGP bikes, which means they spend less time getting to their ideal cornering speed.
Formula 1 cars are also heavier, and their aerodynamic design also helps them to slow down faster in a much more stable manner. This means they spend less time on the brakes than a MotoGP bike, especially when entering a corner at the end of a long straight.
Since MotoGP bikes are lighter and less stable, they often need to brake earlier and stay on the brakes for longer in order to reach their ideal cornering speed, which is already slower than a Formula 1 car’s. This means it takes even longer for them to be ready for the upcoming corner and the F1 car gains an advantage.
The ability to brake quickly and in a stable manner, combined with higher cornering speed and more stable cornering ability, means Formula 1 cars can keep their average speed up throughout the lap. On the other hand, a MotoGP bike will be extremely fast on the straights, but much slower in the corners.
A Formula 1 car is much faster than a motorcycle over the course of a lap, as it has the advantage of being able to corner much faster. However, when it comes to a drag race, a Formula 1 car can lose out to lighter and faster accelerating motorcycles, and some motorcycles have higher top speeds.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.