World’s best motorcycle riders at COTA for MotoGP

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thousands of visitors are in Austin this weekend because the MotoGP is happening at the Circuit of the Americas.

The race is considered the F1 of motorcycle races with some of the best riders from around the world taking part.

Sport bike racing is not only extremely popular in Europe but here in Austin there’s a whole community of riders trying to keep the sport safe.

“Your typical sports bike can out accelerate any sports car,” said Ignacio Pedregon, Ride Smart Instructor.

Those bikes can go anywhere from 150 to 180 miles per hour.

“You could probably go from zero to 60 in about in about 2.8 seconds,” said Pedregon.

That speed makes these bikes popular but also dangerous when a rider doesn’t know how to drive it.

“They come and they buy these bikes and they think they can go ride like Mark Marquez the world champion without any training and without any practice,” said Pedregon.

That’s where Ride Smart in Austin comes in.

Ignacio Pedregon typically takes new riders to the track to show them how to properly lean into a turn so they don’t fall.

And if they do how to safely land.

“There are places to make a mistake because there isn’t a curb or a car,” said Pedregon.

David Gray has only been riding two years and the one thing that surprised him the most was how sensitive the gears are.

“This much movement in the throttle is the difference between 60 miles an hour and 90 miles an hour,” said David Gray, Sport Bike Enthusiast.

And the same goes for the brakes.

“If you grab it too hard your bike will come up over the handle bars or it will lift up the rear wheel,” said Pedregon.

So with a little training Ride Smart helps riders get ready to hit the track or a group like the Texas Sport Bike Riders for drives through the Hill Country.

MotoGP it’s happening Friday through Sunday at COTA.

Aaron Colton, a freestyle streetbike rider, will be at the Austin Speed Shop from 5:30-7:30p.m. to talk about his stunt moves.  He’ll hit the track Saturday and Sunday at 11a.m.

Tickets are still available starting at $39. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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