WristWatch Magazine - Page 88

MOTO-GALLERY TIMING ON THE TRACK Tissot has been the official timekeeper of MotoGP, motorcycling’s top echelon of racing, for 15 years Tissot is no stranger to timing sporting events in which every millisecond counts. As the official timekeeper of MotoGP since 2001, the company has played a crucial role in developing a complex system for ensuring that an abundance of highly accurate data legitimizes the outcome of every MotoGP Race. The Le Locle-based watchmaker is a member of the Swatch Group, the largest horological company in the world. In addition to manufacturing timepieces of a staggering diversity, from the humble Swatch watch to the luxury marques Breguet and Harry Winston, the group operates Swiss Timing Ltd., a division wholly dedicated to implementing sports performance timing systems. Most watch collectors have never heard of Swiss Timing, and why would they? It’s not a brand in the proper sense. It is, however, an industry leader that has allowed Tissot to bring innovative electronic timing technology to bear over the long course of its partnership with MotoGP. As the highest echelon of motorcycle racing in the world— 86 WRISTWATCH | 2016 BY JON ATH AN BUE S the F1 of bikes, if you will—MotoGP races are held only at the major racing venues around the world. MotoGP and Tissot are responsible for bringing their own timing system with them from track to track as the season progresses. And the system itself is a highly complex one complete with built-in redundancies. And fittingly for the current media landscape, transponders mounted on the bikes themselves allow for racing aficionados to monitor races on their phones, computers and tablets via an official MotoGP app that gets its information directly from the timing system. WristWatch had a rare opportunity to see how Tissot manages its responsibility for timing the world’s oldest motorsport world championship during the second race of the 2015 MotoGP series, in Austin, Texas, home of the state-of-the-art Circuit of the Americas. Our behind-the-scenes immersion in the world of MotoGP included an in-depth seminar on just what constitutes 21st century motorsport timing, along with a tour of the Circuit of the Americas, one of the newest, state-of-the-art tracks in the sport. (It also