Round 1 of the World Superbike in Australia, from Brembo’s point of view


 A guide to Brembo’s series braking systems and how they are used at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit


According to Brembo's technicians, who work closely with World Superbike riders, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is by far the least demanding on brakes.

On a difficulty scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 1, a distinction it shares only with the track at Assen.

Choosing to run the races in late February and early March, in the middle of the Australian summer, means higher temperatures for the drivers than in MotoGP. In 2015, the races were held in 30- and 31-degree heat (air temperature) and last year's Race 2 was in 28 degrees. The temperature of the asphalt was much higher. In the last five years it has reached heights of 45 degrees and never once dropped below 29. ​​


Brembo's range of Superbike discs​​

Every driver can choose between Brembo discs of 336 mm and 338.5 mm in diameter. The greater diameter can withstand more pressure but weighs more. Within each of the two options, drivers can also choose between four different thicknesses, ranging from 6.5 mm to 7.1 mm.​

Carbon has been banned in Superbike since 1994 to keep costs down. The discs are therefore made of steel, although the regulations allow up to 2.1% of their total weight to be composed of carbon. Beryllium alloys are banned for the same reason.​



How brakes are used in Round 1 of the World Superbike​

The 4,445 meters (2.762 miles) of track wind round 12 bends, half of which lie in the section against which the chilly Pacific waves crash. The drivers apply their brakes seven times a lap, as they do at the Donington Park Circuit. ​​

But unlike at that British track, where the overall braking time is over 28 seconds a lap, here in Australia it is just under 16 seconds. From the green light to the checkered flag, brakes are down for just under six minutes, to avoid any risk of overheating.​ ​



The most demanding braking points in the Australian Round​

None of the seven braking points on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is considered particularly demanding on the brakes themselves. Six are of middling difficulty and one is light. ​

The first bend asks the most of braking systems, although they only need to be down for three seconds. But to reach it, the bikes have to cover one of the fastest points in World Superbike at 312 km/h (194 mph). They only have 200 meters (650 feet) to get back down to 191 km/h (119 mph) afterwards. ​

Braking at bend two is slightly less nerve-wracking, as the bikes have to drop their speed by a third here, from 205 km/h (127 mph) to 134 km/h (83 mph). Brakes are down for 2.3 seconds because the deceleration is less intense (at just 1.2 g). The pressure on the lever is 4 kg but lasts for just 105 meters (344 feet).

Getting off bend number ten requires 4.2 kg of pressure on the lever. The exit speed is lower, at just 164 km/h (102 mph), which explains the low braking distance and time of 83 meters (272 feet) and 1.6 seconds. ​