Brembo pays tribute to Andrea Dovizioso's talent


 Andrea Dovizioso’s most wonderful achievements with Brembo brakes and his preferences


On Sunday 4 September in Misano, Andrea Dovizioso said goodbye to MotoGP. In his case, it would be wrong to say he has hung up his helmet for good because the 36-year-old rider from Forlì will carry on riding his motorbike for fun and will probably also compete, even if only in the Motocross Regional Championship. 

What we can say though if that by no longer riding MotoGP bikes he has said goodbye, unless in the future (never say never) he decides to be a test rider for a bike manufacturer, to Brembo carbon fiber brake discs because they are used, under current regulations, only on motorbikes in the premier class. ​



In actual fact, Dovi’s relationship with Brembo brakes began much earlier because in 2001, the RCGM team Aprilia won the 125cc European Championship with a Brembo brake system. With the same bike he made his debut in the World Championship in Mugello but retired from the race. 

From 2002 onwards Dovizioso was a permanent member of the World Championship where he raced a grand total of 326 consecutive GPs from the 2002 Japanese GP to the 2020 Portuguese GP: a record that is probably unparalleled and in this period of time he changed engine size, team, motorbike (Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, Yamaha again) and tires. 

The only brand he has always used (except for the 125 World Championship with Honda) is Brembo and that is one reason why his visit to Brembo Racing in December 2018 where the brake components used in MotoGP, Formula 1 and other international motorcycle races are designed, manufactured and tested was greeted with great enthusiasm by its employees. 

On that occasion, he was asked to compare the various categories: “In 125cc and 250cc there is very little room to personalize the brakes. You just need to find your set-up and the rest comes about as a consequence. In MotoGP on the other hand, everything is extreme and in the last decade the brakes have changed a lot”. 

Dovizioso went on to explain: “Both the diameter of the discs and the height of the braking band have increased, and there are many different combinations available. The brake calipers have undergone a technological evolution too and there are more options available for each rider to choose. We are heading towards a scenario where there are no more limits”. ​​



Just like every talented rider, Dovizioso has specific requests for the technicians who equip his Ducati: “I like to have a great deal of responsiveness and the least amount of play possible on the lever before I hit the brakes. Brembo has worked hard to improve this aspect over the years. Racing with an Italian motorcycle and Italian brakes makes getting good results even more satisfying”. 

If the present-day Ducati has become the motorcycle to beat (in the first 13 GPs in the 2022 season it has achieved 10 pole positions, 8 wins and 20 podiums) the merit lies with Dovizioso who when he arrived at Ducati after the disappointing experience with Valentino Rossi managed to put the manufacturer from Borgo Panigale back in the picture with 10 wins in the two-year period from 2017 to 2018. 

It is no surprise that all the technicians who have worked with Dovizioso in the World Championship have nicknamed him the "rider-engineer" because of his ability to scientifically analyze the behavior of the bike and is skilled at making improvements to the motorcycle, which he has demonstrated with the Desmosedici.



Before Marc Marquez suffered an injury to his arm and began a series of operations, the only rider who gave him any worries was Dovizioso, runner-up in the MotoGP World Championship in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In that period he beat the Spaniard several times on the last lap. 

Andrea’s speciality was corner passing. He began the series at the 2017 Austrian GP: Marquez attacked on the last corner but braked too late. Dovizioso let him through on the inside but managed to open the throttle first and overtook his rival while he was still trying to straighten up. 

The same thing two months later at the Japanese GP on a wet track. Dovizioso took the lead in the last lap on corner 13 with precision braking but on the last corner Marquez went back into the lead. However, he was forced to take the corner wide and the Ducati rider managed to take the lead again by following a straight line which helped him win by 249 thousandths of a second. ​ ​


That day, even if the track was soaking wet from the traffic lights to the end of 24 laps and the air temperature never exceeded 14°C, with the tarmac at 15°C, Dovizioso used carbon fiber discs. This was a decision that just a few months earlier would have seemed madness because everyone used steel discs. 

However, steel reduces a motorbike’s dynamic behavior since it is heavier than carbon fiber which offers better rideability when accelerating and changing direction and makes it easier to apply engine power to the ground. 

Over the last few years, the increase in bike power, tire development, the use of disc covers, and the development of carbon fiber have changed the scenario: on the one hand, increasing the force required of the brakes on the MotoGP bikes in the wet, and on the other, allowing the brakes to reach the required temperature range more quickly. ​


Dovizioso was immediately enthusiastic about using carbon fiber on wet surfaces: “It is good news because it gives us more consistent braking, just like on dry surfaces, and for a rider who brakes hard the way I do, this is critical. Of course, it isn't easy to manage this situation or to keep the brakes warm when it is really cold out, but I think it is a huge step forward”. 

At the 2018 Valencia GP, Dovizioso once again won in the rain with carbon discs: “We raced in conditions that were borderline, but we managed to make them work well. In the pause between the two races (the GP race was interrupted, then it started again, Ed.), we modified the bike so I could brake a little harder”. ​



Dovizioso’s golden years in MotoGP also coincided with a more widespread use of the thumb master cylinder: this solution was designed to help Mick Doohan return to racing in 500cc after his accident in the qualifying laps of the 1992 Dutch GP. The accident was serious enough that he risked amputation of his right leg, which had been crushed. 

Doohan was unable to use his right foot so Brembo technicians designed a thumb master cylinder that enabled him to use the rear brake anyway. Instead of a right brake pedal, the rear brake is operated by a hand control positioned on the left part of the handlebar. This ingenious solution helped the Australian go on to win five consecutive World Championships in the 500cc class, from 1994 to 1998. 

However, Dovizioso did not start using it in 2017: “I used the thumb master cylinder back in HRC, but then I shelved it. I took it up again with Ducati and I'm pleased so many other riders have discovered it. I only use it on right-hand turns because when you're in the middle of the curve, it isn't possible to operate the rear brake with your right foot. To do this, some riders keep their foot forward, others move it to the tip of the footpeg”. 

Some riders use the thumb master cylinder to avoid skidding when cornering, but Dovizioso doesn't: “The force you can apply with your finger on the thumb master cylinder is much less than the force you can apply with your foot. That is why I only use it when the bike is at the maximum lean angle”.



Dovizioso’s braking skill earnt him in 2018 and 2019 the best late braker title at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli awarded by the Brembo engineers using the data recording throughout the weekend of racing using the entire team’s telemetrics. 

This is a skill he has perfected over the years “I am very demanding when it comes to brakes because I've always been one of the best late brakers and I have an incredible sensitivity for the brakes. It is fundamental that I have responsive, precise brakes. I usually brake with my two fingers on the front lever”. 

Goodbye Dovi, we will miss your braking. ​