MotoGP 21: Japanese Grand Prix Setup guide – Motegi guide, suspension & more
The flyaways near the end of the season begin in Japan and this circuit is one of the best of the year to drive.
There aren’t many games on two wheels that we enjoy playing more than MotoGP 21. To check out why we love it so much, head over to our full review. If you’re new to this officially-licenced Milestone series, be sure to read our beginner’s guide.
Whether you go with “full or official calendar”, the Japanese Grand Prix will be round 15 of the your first tour around the world. This is despite the Japanese GP being canceled in real life and we’re glad it’s staying in MotoGP 21, as Motegi is one of the best tracks to race around on the calendar.
Sometimes, the simpler the circuit, the better it is to drive around and that’s certainly the case for Motegi. Driving is one thing, but being fast is another, though, although our setup guide will give you the best possible shot of winning in the Land of the Rising Sun!
Traction isn’t usually an issue around Motegi, so if you’re careful going on the throttle, you can manage a soft on the rear till the end of the race. However, we believe this costs too much time in overall performance. So, therefore, a medium on both the front and the rear is an optimal choice.
The front suspension needs to be configured to be more responsive than stable. The big exception to this is the front swingarm compression, which is best at the lowest value of 0 for optimal ride stability. This is to help achieve a good compromise around some of the longer, bumpier corners like Turns 1 and 9.
The rear of the bike’s suspension should be similar to the front, but the compression of the shock absorber needs to be low again. This is for the same reason as at the front, but the rear of the bike needs to be more planted than the front. This is especially true if you opt for a soft on the rear axle.
The vehicle geometry has to be weighted heavily towards responsiveness. The steering head inclination and trail need to be at 0. The steering plate position and rear swingarm length are best at 2. You can play around with these values, you but you need maximum responsiveness for the final corners.
The gear ratios at Motegi need to be on the low side to aid acceleration. The exception to this rule are the middle gears of 4 & 5 and the top ratio. These need to be slightly higher to help top speed down the long back and start/finish straights.
The slipper clutch is best at 4 to strike an optimum balance between responsiveness and stability.
Motegi is one of the few circuits on the calendar where you don’t need the strongest brakes. In the aim of riding a lighter bike, 340 mm on the front and 220 mm on the rear are best. If you’re struggling to slow down or the temperatures are high, put the heavy brakes on the front.
You’ll need the electronic aids on your side in Japan. Traction control has to be around 3, to help smooth your corner exits, with the anti-wheelie aid at 3 to keep the rear wheel planted.
Engine braking should be up at 4 to help shave speed off of your ride through the long corners and those with a curved braking zone. Power mapping is best at 3 for a flying lap. Although, you’ll need to turn this around during some points in the race.
All of these can be adjusted out on track using the HUD in the bottom-right of the screen.