Brembo Sees Moderate Brake Needs for Weekend’s GP Races

STEZZANO, Italy – This coming weekend’s two Grand Prix races – the MotoGP motorcycle one in Australia and Formula 1’s return the Austin – are not particularly tough on racers braking systems, according to Brembo technicians.

The techs rate the Circuit of the Americas (COTA)outside the Texas capital as moderate, a three on a one-to-five scale of difficulty while the Phillip Island motorcycle course rates a one.

In April, when the COTA hosted MotoGP, several riders complained about the conditions of the asphalt mentioning the difference in grip on various parts of the track. For the single seaters, the consequences of this may be diminished but a lot depends on the weather: in 2015. due to flooding caused by Hurricane Patricia, the qualifying rounds were postponed to Sunday morning.

36 to 17 for MotoGP on COTA

On the Circuit of the Americas, the Formula 1 drivers use their brakes 11 times, the same number of times as the motorcycle riders. This is the only thing that the two motorsport premier classes have in common because the brakes in MotoGP are used for 36 seconds per lap compared with less than 17 seconds for cars due to the fact that the braking power can be discharged onto all four wheels, according to Brembo.

From start to finish, each driver should exert a total load of just under 59 metric tonson the brake pedal, almost 17 metric tons more than the Miami GP. However, the track in Florida only has three braking moments with more than 80 kg of load compared with the eight braking moments on the Austin track including all those from turn 10 to turn 13.  

230 km/h (143 mph) less in less than 3 seconds 

Of the 11 braking sections in the U.S. GP, four are considered very demanding on the brakes, four are of medium difficulty and the remaining three are light.

The hardest one is on turn 12 where the single-seaters go from 316 km/h to 86 km/h (197 to 53 mph) in 2.78 seconds and cover a distance of 128 meters (139.9 yards).

The drivers are subjected to 4.4 G of deceleration and exert total on the pedal of 131 kg (288 pounds).

Phillip Island circuit hosts Australia MotoGP

Located on an island of the same name 140 km (87 mi) from Melbourne, Philips Island is the closest circuit to the South Pole in the championship at 38 degrees south latitude. To keep the brakes at a suitable initial temperature, the MotoGP motorcycles often use carbon covers, the same ones that are used on other circuits if it rains.

There have been 26 GPs held at Phillip Island and there have been 25 wins, consecutive ones, in the premium class for motorcycles with Brembo brakes.

The home riders have made a massive contribution including Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner who won six consecutive years from 2007 to 2012, the first four editions with Ducati and the last two with Honda.

Stoner used his rear brake a lot during acceleration relying exclusively on his sixth sense at a time when motorcycle electronics were not very advanced. It made an incredible difference on turn three at Phillip Island where he would skid his motorbike before coming into the turn by using the rear brake. In this way, he was able to move further to the left than his rivals and could brake with the motorcycle straight on turn four, eliminating a lot of the risks.

Phillip Island just like Silverstone

The riders use their brakes on half of the 12 turns on the Australian track, including three of the first four after the start. On a full lap at Phillip Island, the brake system is used for 20 seconds which amounts to 23% of the duration of the race. The absolute value and percentage are only lower at Silverstone even if the British track is one and a half kilometers (0.9 miles) longer.

Summing up the force applied by a rider on the brake lever from start to finish in the Australian GP, the result is 640 kilos (1410 pounds), the second lowest value in the entire championship after the British GP, according to Brembo. This, combined with its close vicinity to the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean, can affect how the carbon discs work since they risk not reaching the minimum working temperature.

Of the six braking sections at Phillip Island, none are considered very demanding onthe brakes, three are of medium difficulty and three are light.

With its 255 meters (278 yards) of braking distance, the first turn after the finish line is the hardest on the brake system: the MotoGPs go from 346 km/h to 194 km/h (214 to 120 mph) in 3.6 seconds during which time the riders exert a force of 4.7 kg (10.3 pounds) on the brake lever and are subjected to 1.7 G deceleration.

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.