System of flags and light signals in motorsport (with add-ons for MotoGP)

The system of flags and light signals is practically the same for all disciplines of motorsport. It is important to know them to all riders, without exception, from beginners to professionals. Flags and signal lights are used to warn pilots, providing them with important information during races and races (more information can be found in the motorcycle blog). Ignorance of the meaning of flags, just like ignorance of the laws in everyday life, does not exempt from liability. If the driver ignores flags or light signals, the Racing Directorate has the right to impose a penalty on the pilot (canceling lap times, skipping positions, losing points, skipping a stage or exclusion from the championship).

Flags are shown by marshals at various points along the entire track, which virtually eliminates the possibility of the pilot not noticing them. Each flag has its own meaning. If the flag value is directed only to one pilot, the number of the rider is shown under the flag.

Black flag

Disqualification. The marshal shows the flag along with the pilot’s number, which is disqualified. This means that the pilot must leave the race track as soon as possible, moving to the pit lane, without the right to re-exit.

Black flag with an orange circle

Technical problems. Marshal shows the flag along with the pilot number. This means that the rider has technical problems with the motorcycle that pose a danger to other pilots, and he must immediately leave the track.

White flag

Informative flag. Shows that the leader of the race is 1 lap to the finish line. In the championship, MotoGP matters: this flag allows riders to enter the pitlane to change the motorcycle. This is a sign to the pilots that the Championship Racing Directorate has approved the wet race status and the race continues on the wet track (in case the asphalt was originally dry).

White flag with crisscrossed red lines

Warning flag. This means that the marshal feels rainfall on this section of the route.

Yellow red flag

Warning flag. A flag means that there is an oil spill or fragments of plastic/motorcycle parts on the track.

+White flag with crisscrossed red lines and a yellow-red flag

Two flags together mean that it is raining on this section of the track and the race track is wet.

Blue flag

Warning flag. Indicates the rider to the next faster pilot (s), which should be skipped as soon as possible. During practice, the pilot must adhere to his trajectory, gradually slowing down so that the faster rider overtakes him. During the race, this flag means that the pilot is behind the leaders by 1 circle and must let the riders catch up with him forward.

Checkered flag

This flag is used on the finish line at the level of the track path to indicate the finish of the race or training for all pilots.

Yellow flag

The appearance of a yellow flag at the Marshal’s post means that there is danger ahead of the departure zones (two yellow flags together mean that the danger is directly on the track itself). The rider must slow down and be ready for a complete stop of the motorcycle. During the raising of the yellow flag, pilots are prohibited from overtaking until the moment when the marshals do not wave green. Any violation by the pilot of these instructions will entail the abolition of the pilot lap time (during practice and training sessions). If these instructions are violated during the race, the pilot will be penalized by the Racing Directorate and shifted by several positions or penalized by several seconds.

+ Red flag and red lights

The red flag is used when training practice or the race is suspended. Usually accompanied by the inclusion of red lights on the track. Racers must return to the pit lane and wait for the instructions of the commissioners. If the red flag rises on the first lap of the race, the race fully restarts from zero. In the case when the pit lane is closed, a red flag at the exit of the pit lane indicates that all pilots are forbidden to leave the track.

Red lights

The inclusion of red lights on the grid means the start of the race. Red lights turn on on the grid line for two to five seconds. Their attenuation means START.

A red light during practice and warm-up circles indicates their completion.


Green warning lights at the exit of the pit lane mean that the track is open, as well as the beginning of training practices or permission to leave the warm-up lap.

Green flag

Departure to the track is allowed. Marshals raise a green flag at each post on the first lap of training practices or a warm-up lap. The green flag in front of the start grid indicates the start of the heating circle. The green flag is also the abolition of the yellow flag.

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