One of several new features in this year’s official MotoGP video game is the long lap penalty, which replicates what happens in real life motorcycle Grand Prix racing. But what is it, how does it work and is MotoGP 21 any better for it? We are here to find out.
What is the MotoGP long lap penalty?
The long lap penalty is where riders in MotoGP must ride an additional loop of asphalt, supplementary to the main circuit route, should they have broken the track limit, race start or contact rules.
This lengthens the lap for the rider in question, causing them to lose time and therefore, in the eyes of the stewards, makes up for their misdemeanour.
When do you receive a long lap penalty?
The easiest way to receive a long lap penalty is by jumping the race start before the red lights go out. This is only applicable if you have manual race starts switched on in the settings, and it’s likely this feature is switched off by default.
The second way you can receive a long lap penalty is through track limit violations. This can mean running wide off the track and gaining an advantage or cutting a corner or kerb too aggressively. You receive four warnings and then on the fifth violation you receive a long lap penalty.
If, however, you do a very large track cut, this can result in an instant long lap penalty without warning.
Unlike in real life, you cannot receive a long lap penalty for contact with another motorcycle or an overly aggressive overtaking move in MotoGP 21.
When must I serve the long lap penalty?
You have four laps from the point of receiving the long lap penalty to then serve it.
Strangely, if you have received one with just a couple of laps to go, a warning stating that you have four laps to serve it still appears.
If you receive one within on the final lap and have passed the specific long lap penalty route, you must cross the line and the game will count it as a failure to serve the penalty.
What happens if I don’t serve the long lap penalty?
You will be awarded a three-second time penalty. added to your total race time, if you fail to take a long lap penalty. This isn’t much really, and if you aren’t familiar with a particular penalty loop, it can be quicker to simply finish the race without taking the LLP – such as at the Red Bull Ring.
That’s just in extreme circumstances, however. I find it to be worth taking the extra track mileage on most occasions.
How do I take a long lap penalty in MotoGP 21?
To take a long lap penalty in MotoGP 21, you must ride around a dedicated section of the track within the given time frame. As soon as you successfully complete this, the long lap penalty is wiped and you simply resume racing as per normal.
What happens if I crash during a long lap penalty?
Ah yes, it may sound a little daft, but this happens all too easily. The trouble is, you’ve probably not practised where each penalty zone until you receive one.
This means unfamiliarity mixed with a panicked rush to try and clear the penalty as quickly as possible. Overcooking the entry is easy because sometimes the corner angle of the route isn’t clear or is tighter than the regular line around the corner.
Should you crash, or venture outside of the white lines, your penalty is invalid and you must re-take it on the next lap.
How can I tell where the long lap penalty is?
It’s difficult to see where each long lap penalty is in MotoGP 21. If you have the ideal trajectory switched on, then away from the regular blue line on the track, there will be an additional yellow line showing the long lap penalty route.
If you have the ideal racing trajectory switched off, then the only guidance you have access to is the on-screen track map, located at the bottom left of your display. The long lap penalty area will be a dark grey addition on one corner, which will turn yellow should you receive a penalty.
Can I have the game take the long lap penalty for me?
Do you mean like an automated pitstop in GT Sport or F1 2020? After the initial launch you could not, but an auto long lap penalty option was added via an update in May 2021.
You will need to switch this option on within the rider assist settings. Then, once you are awarded a long lap penalty, you must slow down considerably and still line up the entry to the loop. If you go too fast, the autopilot will not kick in, and you will fail to remove the penalty.
Once successfully activated, though, the AI will ride through the area for you – albeit without much haste.
The long lap penalty adds authenticity to MotoGP 21, and I think it’s preferable to simple corner cut time penalties. You can pay one’s dues and spice up your race with a post-penalty fight-back. However, with this being the first implementation of such a feature in the official video game, it’s in need of some finessing in terms of signposting and ease of use.
Stay tuned to Traxion as we’ll let you know when new updates arrive and let us know in the comments below what you think of the system. We hope this helps those new to the series and the process.