How MotoGP brakes have evolved

3/13/2016

Big and small brake discs, MotoGP and CRT: 5 years of innovations (and successes) for Brembo in MotoGP

 Just a few days out from the start of the 2016 MotoGP Championship, this season will once again see Brembo side-by-side with the top teams. In anticipation of Brembo's braking system innovations for the queen class, let's review the evolution of the Brembo braking systems for MotoGP over the last five years.


Not just anyone is able to stay at the top of a highly competitive category like the MotoGP. In the last five years, six riders and two manufacturers have alternated on the top tier of the podium. The only one who never relinquished the spot was Brembo. 89 victories in 89 GP races from 2011 until today. This result is not a coincidence, because Brembo has continued to experiment with technological solutions to adapt to the new regulations including the change in engine size, the introduction of CRT bikes, and new measurements for brake discs.


 

2011: Time for lightness

              
Famous for Valentino Rossi's debut with Ducati, the 2011 Championship was the stage for different Brembo innovations. First of all, addressing lightness, this season's calipers weighed 12 percent less than the previous model.


The valve system was another important innovation, which made fuelling the calipers easier and facilitated the bleeding phase. Lastly, the use of new connectors made the mounting and dismounting phases faster and safer.


Honda did the best with Casey Stoner, one of the 14 riders who chose Brembo.


 

 

 
 

2012: Stiffness mon amour

                  
2012 was the year of the return to the Mille engine size after five years of 800 cc engines. The increase in power, and therefore in top speed, combined with the increased weight, led many teams to play it safe, favouring the more than 30-years of experience Brembo had in racing.

Indeed, the number of riders equipped with Brembo brakes went up to 18.  Among these was also the brand new CRT class for which Brembo developed a custom system that was consistent with this category's contained costs.

For the out-and-out MotoGP (champion Jorge Lorenzo), Brembo created stiffer and higher performing calipers.


 

2013: Performance on the rise

                    
In 2013,  overcoming the resistance of the Federation, Brembo managed to introduce larger-diameter carbon discs: from the 320 mm used up to then, to the 340 mm used exclusively in the Japanese GP. This solution allowed for increased performance in the braking system and as a result, greater safety for the riders.

It was not by chance that in the 2013 Championship, 21 of the 24 competing riders, including 11 in the CRT category, opted for Brembo brakes. The easy-to-use Brembo brakes helped Marc Marquez win the MotoGP title, even as a novice.


 


 
 

2014: Safety is the priority

                       
Marquez won again in 2014, earning 10 victories in the first 10 seasonal GP races. 21 riders remained loyal to Brembo that year, only two went to the competition.

Not satisfied with sweeping the series on the track (18 out of 18 races), Brembo managed to get the larger discs approved, the ones that had previously been opposed: proposed by Brembo the year before, they had become mandatory at the Japanese GP.

This was indirect proof of the concern Brembo has for the riders' safety.


 

2015: Cooling down

                             
Putting aside the controversy, the last season was the most enthralling ever since the birth of MotoGP.


Brembo contributed with its aluminium-lithium calipers that brushed close to unanimity: 25 out of 26 riders in the queen class used Brembo brakes. Reaching extremely high levels of performance, Brembo researchers concentrated on cooling the systems.


To do so, they developed the heavy duty aluminium calipers with finned casings, which are useful for improving the thermal exchange.

 

 

Thanks to this technology, Brembo made a clean sweep of the podium (54 out of 54).


 

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