Round 6 of the World Superbike Championship in Catalonia, according to Brembo


 A guide to the Brembo braking systems on production derived bikes, and their use on the Barcelona circuit


According to Brembo technicians who work closely with 17 World Superbike riders, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a particularly demanding circuit for the brakes. On a difficulty index scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 5 - the highest of all the tracks used in 2020. 

The Superbikes have never raced on this track, but they did a couple of test days back in July and the times weren't far off those of MotoGP, despite using the regulation steel discs that don't offer the same high performance as carbon ones. The comparison between the two categories will be even more marked in a week's time, when the premier class will be competing here. ​


The Brembo thumb pump​​

In recent years, the thumb pump has come back into fashion in the World Superbike Championship because it guarantees an advantage, especially on right-hand bends where it means the rider can keep his foot on the footrest. The rear thumb brake, in fact, is a hand-operated command on the left-hand side of the handlebars. 

It was invented by the Brembo engineers to compensate for Mick Doohan's physical restrictions, when he was unable to fine-tune the level of force applied with his right leg after a fall during the Dutch GP in 1992. Apart from using it to slow down the bike, today's riders also find it handy for balancing the bike when accelerating to avoid skating, as if it were a sort of traction control. ​​


Brake use during Round 6 of the World Superbike Championship​​

The Superbike riders use their brakes on ten of the bends on the Barcelona track - that's one more than for MotoGP. The difference lies on the third bend, where the Superbikes have to slow down by 28 km/h (17 mph), whereas those riding a prototype don't need to use the brakes. 

Despite this, the brakes are used by Superbike riders for just over 27 and a half seconds on one lap of the Barcelona circuit, compared with the 29 seconds of the MotoGP: the reason is the higher speed that MotoGP riders reach, meaning that they need to brake for longer when coming into the bend.



The most demanding braking section of the Barcelona Round ​

Of the 10 braking sections at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya , four are classified as very demanding on the brakes whereas three are of medium difficulty and the other three are light. 

As for MotoGP, the hardest of all is the first bend because of the straight of over 1 km (1,047 meters or 0.65 miles) that leads into it: to go from 310 km/h (193 mph) to 100 km/h (62 mph), the riders brake for 4.4 seconds, exerting a load of 6.1 kg (13.4 lbs) on the lever. In that length of time, the bikes travel 236 meters (774 feet). ​