At Losail, the Superbikes brake a lot but the MotoGP bikes even more

10/31/2017

Will Kawasaki dispel the Qatar taboo?

The 2017 World Superbike Championship ends with races on November 3 and 4 at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Just like the MotoGP bikes, the Superbikes compete in the evening under the circuit's spotlights. Located about 23 km north of Doha, the track cost 60 million US dollars to build and was inaugurated in October 2004 by the MotoGP.

The Superbikes debuted a year later, but didn't run from 2010 to 2013. Contrary to the other seasonal events, Race 1 is held on Friday and Race 2 on Saturday.

Even though it is positioned in one of the hottest areas on the planet, the track doesn't present any particular temperature problems because the races start at 9 pm, four hours and 10 minutes after the sun sets. During the two races in 2016, the tarmac reached 28°C and in 2015 it got up to 34°C.

According to Brembo technicians, who work closely with 17 World Superbike riders, Losail International Circuit is a fairly demanding circuit for the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 3 on the difficulty index, exactly the same score given to four other tracks.


 
grafico sbk x donington.jpg  

The demand on the brakes during the GP

The 16 corners on the track correspond to a full 13 braking sections, a record for the World Superbike. Overall, during one lap the brakes are used for 31,5 seconds, which comes to 27% of the total duration of the race.

The MotoGP bikes also turn to their Brembo brakes 13 times per lap, but they spend more time doing so because their lap times are lower and their speeds are higher.

The average deceleration on the numerous corners changes constantly and covers a broad range that goes from 0,8 G to 1,5 G. This is one of the reasons why the average peak deceleration per lap is 1,13 G, a perfectly respectable figure considering a Lexus LC 500H Sport+ reaches a maximum of 1,04 G when braking from 200 km/h to zero.

Summing up all of the force applied by a rider on the brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag, the result comes in at just over 900 kg, which is more than 50% less than the force applied by the MotoGP riders.

This is due to the difference in the duration of the races and the variance in the load per lap: The Superbikes apply 54 kg and the MotoGP bikes 64kg.


 

The most demanding braking sections

Of the 13 braking sections at Losail International Circuit, three are classified as very demanding on the brakes, seven are of medium difficulty and the remaining three are light.

The Superbikes don't cross the finish line going as fast as the MotoGP bikes, but they still experience impressive braking at the first corner: 309 km/h to 100 km/h in 231 meters and 4 seconds.

To make this happen, the riders apply 5,7 kg of pressure on the brake lever and are subjected to a 1,5 G deceleration, while the pressure of the Brembo HTC 64T brake fluid hits 12,3 bar.

Despite using Brembo carbon brakes, the MotoGP riders brake longer (289 meters) and harder (7,5 kg) on this turn because they have to drop 251 km/h (from 350 km/h to 99 km/h).

The variance between the Superbikes and the MotoGP bikes is lighter on the second most challenging corner on the brakes, turn 16: The Superbikes slow down from 238 km/h to 96 km/h in 3,4 seconds while traveling 155 meters.

The peak deceleration is still 1,5 G, but the load on the lever doesn't exceed 5,6 kg. On turn 7 however, the deceleration reaches 1,4 G as the bikes go from 193 km/h to 96 km/h in just 2,9 seconds and 114 meters.

As far as braking distance, it is worth mentioning turn 4: 157 meters to come down from 238 km/h to 116 km/h.

 

 

Brembo performance

Bikes with Brembo brakes have won 15 of the 16 World Superbike races contested at Losail International Circuit, including the last 13. Kawasaki has yet to win on this track while Suzuki has won five times, Aprilia four, Ducati three, Yamaha two and Honda one.

Chaz Davies took first place in both races in 2016 but Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri currently have zero victories.


 

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

Follow us

Follow us on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedIngoogle_plus.jpgPinterestInstagramVineYoukuWeibosnapchat.pngwechat.png