Brembo: the secrets of braking in MotoGP (Part 3)

4/26/2016

To stay at the top, Brembo has continued to invest in order to find new technical solutions and new materials for improving performance.

Since the birth of MotoGP in 2002, Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki have always trusted Brembo braking systems. This trust is a sign of recognition of the manufacturing quality of Italian brakes. However, in racing, hierarchies can change in just a few months.


 

To stay at the top, Brembo has continued to invest in order to find new technical solutions and new materials for improving performance. It has always done this by trying to cater for manufacturers's requirements. In this interview, Lorenzo Bortolozzo, MotoGP Customer Manager, explains the direction that Brembo's development has taken.


 

Which manufacturer has collaborated the most with development?


 

“Every brand has very different requirements depending on how its motorcycle is used. All the manufacturers help to develop the system in order to achieve maximum performance and safety”.


 

If you wanted to define the differences between the MotoGP factories, what adjective would you use?


 

“Ducati is more demanding during braking because its motorcycles are the ones that load the front axle more whereas Honda HRC is the gentlest and therefore generates less heat when braking, probably because it has better engine braking. This technical aspect is very important when braking but we do not have this data because it is jealously kept a secret by the teams. Ducati and Honda therefore represent the two extremes whereas Yamaha and Suzuki are somewhere in the middle. Ducati nearly always uses 340 mm discs whereas Honda prefers 320 mm ones”.


 

 

 

Brake-by-wire technology is used in F1: do you think it could be used in MotoGP too?


“In the short term, I don't think so because manufacturers are concentrating on keeping costs down, whereas it is more likely there will be research aimed at future series production and some private testing in MotoGP cannot therefore be excluded”.


What direction will the development of MotoGP braking systems take?


“In the future, discs will probably be made of carbon-ceramic and not just carbon. This is a technology that is already well established in the car world and may well be introduced to MotoGP in a few years time”.


What is the advantage?


“Resorting to technology that would do away with the need to change bike in dry and wet conditions: when there is water on the track, a steel disc is needed which guarantees excellent performance even when it's raining. But this is just an idea for the future…”.

 

 

In 2016 Michelin tyres will replace Bridgestone tyres: will the French tyres which are very different from the Japanese ones have an effect on braking?


“Bridgestone tyres needed to be treated rough in that they needed harsh braking to reach the right temperature whereas Michelin tyres have different characteristics. They have excellent rear grip and different grip at the front, at least at present. According to the riders, if you maintain the same style of riding when braking, there are more problems because the French tyres are more likely to cause lowside. We are still at an experimental stage and we do not know exactly which tyres will be used, but frequent falls during tests have highlighted this characteristic. We too are waiting to see which tyres will be approved so that we can adapt our braking system to their characteristics. We will be hot on Michelin's heels”.


What about the rear brake?


“Up until just a few years ago, it was virtually forgotten by riders whereas it is now used much more, not so much when braking, but when accelerating to transform it into a sort of traction control which helps to prevent tyre spin. The master of this technique was Casey Stoner. And now all the top riders use it more and more because it helps trace a trajectory that is much closer to an ideal one when coming out of a corner”.

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Team telemetry has confirmed that there are significant advantages…


“The team technicians advise riders to perfect their use of the rear brake because it helps to gain lap time. Although the front braking system expresses concepts that are more or less similar for everyone, very different solutions are being developed for the rear system…”.


All in all, research never stops but becomes increasingly specialised. And Brembo is ready to sniff out any changes so that it remains an undisputed leader in the industry…


 

​Did you miss the previous parts? Click the link below to find out all of Brembo’s secrets of braking in MotoGP:


 

Brembo: the secrets of braking in MotoGP (Part 1)


 

Brembo: the secrets of braking in MotoGP (Part 2)


 

 

 

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

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