The scorching temperatures at Sepang put cooling at risk, but if it rains, keep an eye on the carbon discs


The MotoGP bikes brake for 35 seconds every lap.

For the fifth year in a row, the second-last race in the MotoGP World Championship will be held at Sepang International Circuit. The Malaysian GP is scheduled for November 2-4 on the circuit designed by Hermann Tilke, which was inaugurated in March 1999.

Located 85 km from Kuala Lumpur on a 260-hectare oil palm plantation, this is the second longest track in the World Championship after Silverstone and one of the most difficult for the MotoGP braking systems.

Formula 1 also raced here, but the brakes on the single-seaters were under less stress compared to the motorcycles. There are lots of braking sections for the MotoGP bikes, and the time spent braking is significant.

This combined with the tropical weather make managing the temperatures of both the brakes and the riders crucial. During a race in 2015, the air temperature reached 35°C and the tarmac hit 47°C.

In the 2016, the rain played a key role in FP2, FP4, Q1, Q2 and even during the race: Several riders tested the Brembo carbon discs to eliminate the problem of weather variations and intermittent rain.

That experimentation proved decisive for Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso’s victories respectively at Misano Adriatico and Motegi, where they used carbon discs to compete in the rain.

According to Brembo technicians, who assist 100% of the 2018 MotoGP pilots, Sepang International Circuit is very demanding on the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 5 on the difficulty index, the same score given to Motegi, Spielberg and Barcelona.




The demand on the brakes during the GP

At the Sepang International Circuit the Formula 1 cars used their brakes eight times per lap for a total of 17 seconds, while the MotoGP bikes have to use them 11 times for more than twice the time, 35 seconds.

That means the brakes on the motorcycles are in use for 29% of the race and those of the single-seaters for only 17%. The average peak deceleration per lap of the MotoGP bikes is 1,07 G due to there being five braking points that measure less than 1 G.

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 about 1 ton.

In other words, the riders are required to apply a force of more than 24 kg on the brake pedal every minute of the race.


The most demanding braking sections

Of the 11 braking sections on the track, two are classified as very demanding on the brakes, three are of medium difficulty and the remaining six are light.

The most challenging corner is the Pangkor Laut (turn 1): The MotoGP bikes hit the turn at 318 km/h and enter it at 74 km/h after traveling 263 meters in 5,3 seconds.

The riders are required to apply significant force: 1,5 G in deceleration and a 6,8 kg load on the brake lever, while the Brembo HTC 64T brake fluid gets up to 11,7 bar of pressure.

Turn 15, which is after the Penang Straight, is also difficult: The MotoGP bikes go from 311 km/h to 72 km/h in 5,6 seconds thanks to the 6,1 kg load on the brake lever.

The braking space on this corner measures 270 meters and the deceleration is 1,5 G.

There are three other corners where the braking distance is right around 200 meters: Turn 4 is 194 meters long, turn 9 is 191 meters and turn 14 is 189 meters.

On this last corner the bikes enter going 'just' 182 km/h and so the gap in speed attained through braking is less than 100 km/h.



Brembo performance

Motorcycles with Brembo brakes have won all the last 26 Malaysian GP races contested in the premium class, including the ones hosted at Shal Alam and Jojor.

From 2001 to 2006, Italian riders won five consecutive races: Valentino Rossi took the victory at four and Max Biaggi and Loris Capirossi each won one.

Ducati won the last two years with Andrea Dovizioso's victory in 2016 with Ducati. Yamaha, on the other hand, hasn't won at Sepang since 2010.


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

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