August 20,1978 marked the first victory in the 500CC Class of the two-wheeled World Championship with Brembo brakes. Today, after 40 years, Brembo counts 472 victories in 500/MotoGP and is the choice of 100% of the riders.
August 20th marks the 40th anniversary of Brembo’s first victory in the premier class of the MotoGP World Championship. On August 20,1978 Virginio Ferrari, riding a Suzuki RG500 for the Gallina team, won the 500 class at the West German Grand Prix on the legendary 22.835 km Nürburgring circuit.
At that time, Brembo had just a 100 employees and the unofficial Suzuki driven by Virginio Ferrari, in what was the premier class, the “500cc Class”, had Brembo 2-piston calipers 38 mm Gold Series, an axial pump Brembo 15.87 and 2 front discs, also Brembo, in 280 mm cast iron.
Today, Brembo has over 10,000 employees, the brake discs used in MotoGP are carbon also with rain conditions, and the victories accumulated in the 500/MotoGP class, as of July 30, 2018 are 472.
The last victory of a bike without Brembo brakes in the premier class of the world championship dates back to May 21, 1995. Notwithstanding Brembo brakes are not imposed by regulation, in the last 23 years all the best riders have always chosen Brembo brake systems, with the awareness that to go fast you also have to brake hard.
The rider who won the most with Brembo is Valentino Rossi. He posted 89 victories in the premier class, all with Brembo brake components. The rider from Pesaro has put its own seal to the victory number 200 (2002 Brazil GP) and 300 (2008 San Marino GP) of Brembo in the premier class, while the 100th win of Brembo was achieved thanks to Mick Doohan who, with 54 races won with Brembo brakes, ranks second in the amazing record of the Italian company. Just for the Australian, victim of a terrible accident in Assen in 1992 that had compromised the full functionality of his right leg, Brembo engineers conceived and built the thumb pump in order to overcome the disability of his right leg. A technical solution that has come back in vogue in recent years among MotoGP riders. Third Jorge Lorenzo, 46 victories, all with Brembo brakes.
As regards the manufacturers, Honda has raced to the greatest number of wins with Brembo brakes, 236. Next is Yamaha with 176 wins, Ducati with 42, Suzuki with 14, Cagiva with 3 and Sanvenero, small Italian team victorious at the French GP in 1982 with the Swiss Michel Frutschi with one.
Through continuous research focused on innovation and performance, often moving in the opposite direction compared to pre-established norms, Brembo has strengthened its role in supplying the best braking components to the competitors in the top rung of motorcycle racing.
There are numerous innovations that have been introduced by Brembo in the past four decades, from the monobloc caliper to the thumb pump, to radial braking systems and the use of carbon discs for wet conditions. Since the 2016 season, one hundred percent of the riders in the queen class use exclusively Brembo brakes. An important recognition that leads us to look to the future with optimism and maintain the focus on innovation.