A lap is going around a track once. It is also called a circuit, not to be confused with the tracks. Most tracks in most games are completed in three laps, but there are exceptions.
- All Super Mario Kart tracks have 5 laps. The lap count for tracks that are featured as Retro Stages in Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii from this game were changed to 3.
- Baby Park has 7 laps in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, due to its small size. The lap count was changed to 5 in MKDS.
- Wario Colosseum has 2 laps in Double Dash!!, due to its large size.
- In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the number of laps can be changed from 3 to 5 during Quick Play mode. Normally in the Grand Prix, 3 laps will be used on the regular tracks and 5 laps would be used on the Extra Tracks.
- In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the number of laps may be freely changed from a range of 1 to 9 during VS Race.