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How flag to flag rules work in MotoGP 23

Dynamic weather is something that’s been technically possible for Milestone’s Unreal Engine-based technology for a while, but it’s only been notable until now because it wasn’t present in its MotoGP games.

That changes this year with MotoGP 23, and the real world flag-to-flag rules are finally being replicated in the virtual world.

But how does it work and why should you care? Here’s everything you need to know…

What are the flag-to-flag rules in MotoGP?

Flag-to-flag rules in MotoGP are enforced during changeable weather conditions during the race – after the green flag has been flown at the start, a white flag is flown when the weather changes, allowing the riders to enter the pit lane to see the Changing bikes, and therefore tires. The race then continues to the checkered flag, hence the nickname “flag-to-flag”.

It avoids having to abandon the race simply because of worsening or improving conditions.

MotoGP flag to flag racing, 2021 French Grand Prix, gold and goose, motorsport images

This applies to a race that starts dry and then rains, and a race that starts wet and then dries up.

Competitors in MotoGP do not change tires on the same bike as they do in Formula 1 or WorldSBK, but instead hop from one bike to another which is primed and ready in the pit lane, with the new tire selection pre-fitted.

It is at the driver’s discretion when to pit, if at all, after the white flag has been waved.

Wait, wasn’t rain already in the MotoGP games?

Yes, sunny, cloudy, dry or wet races exist in previous MotoGP games like MotoGP 21 and MotoGP 22.

But the weather is not changeable or “dynamic”. Up until MotoGP 23, the conditions have always remained constant. Using the pit lane was also taboo during a race.

How does flag to flag rules work in MotoGP 23 game?

Let’s say you’re taking part in a dry race and you see that it starts to rain lightly. The first objective is to stay upright as the track gets tricky.

Once you have achieved this, you will notice that a message will appear in the top left of the screen stating:

White flag flag to flag MotoGP 23

“White flag, flag to flag”.

This means you can enter the pit lane to change the bike and tires if you wish.

If you decide to switch, you will have to go to the pit lane, and as soon as you approach the entrance, the game will activate “autopilot” and take full control of your driver.

MotoGP 23 flag change on the motorcycle

They then watch as they ride to their box, step off one bike, and then hop onto another. Once again, autopilot is engaged, but be ready – as soon as you step out of the pit lane you’re back in control, only now you’re on new tyres.

MotoGP 23 flag to flag pit exit

However, as you approach the end of the race, you can stay out – pit stop is optional. We have to point out that driving around in the rain on slick tires is…suboptimal. But possible with a light touch.

Flag-to-flag options in MotoGP 23

You must have the main race distance set to at least six laps for flag-to-flag rules and dynamic weather to take effect. Anything else and the white flag will not be waved.

You also need to make sure the weather option is set to variable in the race options menu.

MotoGP 23 flag to denote variable weather options

Then, if you’re racing in a single player event, in the online lobby, or in career mode, it can rain at any time.

If you want to test the flag-to-flag rules for yourself, you can also force a weather change mid-race. Under the Forced Weather Transition section, you can:

  • none
  • From rainy to cloudy
  • From cloudy to rainy

Are there flag-to-flag events in the Nintendo Switch version?

No, unfortunately not. Dynamic weather is said to be included for the Nintendo Switch version of MotoGP 23, but pit lane access is prohibited.

Instead, the race should be completed and Quick Restart rules apply. This will cancel the race, allowing all bikes to be fitted with the correct tires before restarting the race from the grid.

MotoGP 23 wet racing, dynamic weather, flag to flag

What about the support classes?

They don’t have flag-to-flag rules in the MotoGP 23 game as they don’t in the real world. Instead, they used the Quick Restart ruleset.

MotoGP 23 will be released on June 8th for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

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