Here are the most difficult races for Rossi, Marquez, Lorenzo, Vinales and Iannone's brakes

3/23/2017

Brembo, brake supplier to all of the MotoGP riders, unveils its ranking of which 2017 World Championship tracks put the brakes under the most stress.

Eighteen tracks, two thousand kilometers and just under 4,300 braking sections, and that's just counting the races. The 2017 MotoGP season is about to start and Brembo is here to guide you through the twists and turns of braking, as per tradition. Whereas a good engine can make the difference on a straightaway, the order of arrival is often conditioned by efficiency in braking.


 

 

Many believe that a rider who is good at cutting out, is always good at in under any circumstances. This isn't always true however, because brake use is determined by the track and the weather conditions.

Brembo technicians work in close contact with the premium class riders and teams and will take care of the braking systems of all the riders again this year. They classified the stress the braking systems are under on the 18 circuits in the 2017 MotoGP. They ranked the tracks on a scale of 1 to 5. The lowest score went to Phillip Island, which means it puts a modest amount of stress on the brakes. The stress goes up at Assen, although this track is still classified as Easy. On nine of the MotoGP tracks, including the hosts of the season's first three races and the two Italian circuits, a Medium amount of stress is put on the braking systems. Brakes are challenged even more on the Jerez, Brno and Aragon circuits, but their scores remain lower than the tracks classified as VERY HARD: Barcelona, Spielberg, Motegi and Sepang.

 

 

The ranking is a result of a series of numerical and qualitative assessments made against the distinctive characteristics of each Grand Prix. It's one thing to brake on the cold Silverstone track, where the temperature measured 64.4°F at last year's race.

It's an entirely different thing to race in the beginning of June on the hot Barcelona track, where the asphalt during the last two races registered a temperature of 118.4°F. The latter case poses the opposite problem of trying to cool the carbon brakes as they reach the dangerous temperature of 1742°F.

Obviously, the shape of the track also plays a decisive role. Although nearly all of the GP races measure the same length in kilometers, there are some races where the riders use the brakes almost 300 times (297 to be precise), like at Jerez, and others where there are just over 150 braking sections, like the Australian GP at Phillip Island. Other tracks have the same number of braking sections but vary in length, so the number of times the riders brake is also different: Aragon, Brno and Sepang have 11 braking sections each lap, but on the first track the riders compete for 23 laps, on the second 22 laps and on the third 20. This means that the Aragon GP has a total of 253 braking sections and the Malaysia GP 'only' 220.


 
 

However, the total number of braking sections is often misleading when assessing the stress placed on the braking systems because it does not take into consideration the layout of each track. There are 10 braking sections on the 4,542 meters at Assen, but since the circuit is extremely winding, the braking is only slightly challenging, which is an advantage in cooling the system.

The riders turn to their brakes 10 times per lap at Motegi too, but since there is a lot of hard braking on the second gear corners, the heat dissipation is very poor. In fact, four times per lap on the Japanese track the braking space for the MotoGP bikes surpasses 200 meters and on one corner in particular the bikes ride their brakes for up to 263 meters.

Another variable not to be underestimated is the duration of each braking section. Two braking sections lasting three seconds put a very different stress on the braking system than one lasting six seconds. On the first and last curves at Sepang, the riders hit the brakes for 5.3 and 5.6 seconds. At Assen, on the other hand, the longest braking section doesn't last more than 3.9 seconds.


 
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One might think that correlating the amount of time spent braking to the total duration of the GP race would result in a reliable measurement of the stress put on the braking system. Actually, not even this parameter is enough to explain the overall stress when taken on its own.

At Termas de Rio Hondo, Jerez and Assen, the riders rely on their brakes for 31% of the race, and yet none of these tracks are classified among the most demanding on the braking systems. By the same token, brakes are used for 23% of the race at Austin but it ranks as more challenging than the Dutch circuit.


 

How violent braking is, which is measured as average peak deceleration per lap, also has an influence on the amount of stress put on the braking systems. On the first three braking sections at Spielberg, the rider and his bike experience 1.5 g of peak deceleration, which is why the Austrian circuit has an average peak deceleration per lap of 1.3 g, a value that is by far the highest in the world championship.

So, as you will have imagined, each of the 18 tracks is a world unto itself, but Brembo doesn't see that as a viable excuse. Instead, Brembo feels called to give its best in terms of reliability and performance under any conditions. Once again, Brembo is supplying all of the bikes with discs, calipers, master cylinders and brake pads that have been proven to be the top-of-the-line in performance.


 

Brembo S.p.A. | P.IVA 00222620163

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