At Barcelona, MotoGP brakes twice as much as Formula One


 Guide to braking at the GP and the Brembo brake pads for MotoGP and street-legal bikes


The second Grand Prix of the season in Spain, five weeks after the spectacular show guaranteed by Jerez de la Frontera. According to the Brembo technicians who work closely with all the MotoGP World Championship riders, the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit is a very demanding circuit on brakes. 

On a scale of 1 to 6, it is rated 5 on the difficulty index, on a par with the Sepang International Circuit - only the Red Bull Ring, Twin Ring Motegi and Chang International Circuit get a higher rating. The brake system is subjected to huge stress on the first corner due to the 1,047 meter (0.6 mi) long straight preceding it. Almost all the other braking episodes are short and close together. ​


Brembo brake pads for MotoGP up to 800°C (1,472°F)​​​​​​​​​


The friction material used for the Brembo MotoGP brake pads is carbon. The outstanding friction coefficient and constant performance when hot together guarantee powerful, even and stable braking without fading ("lengthening" of the lever). 

Compared with the brakes of a sports bike for road use, the mass is different, along with the duration and even the maximum temperature. The Brembo brake pads for MotoGP weigh just 50 grams (1.8 oz) - less than half the weight of the road-going version, whereas the duration is no higher than 900 km (560 miles) and the maximum temperature that can be reached is 800°C (1,472°F). ​



The pads for street-legal bikes​

Brembo offers a number of different pads for those who use mostly street-legal bikes: the iconic Z03 and Z04 have recently been joined by the z10, available for the most popular supersport bikes. All three models are made of sintered material and consist of special compounds agglomerated through an adhesive-free sintering process. 

The lubricants added to the initial compound ensure consistent, smooth braking even when brake disc temperatures are high. This makes a loss of braking efficiency less likely, prevented also by the pad abrasives which remove deposits on the disc’s braking band. 

To remove any doubts about which brake pads are right for your bike, check out our special report.​




Twice as much as F1 ​ ​ ​ ​​​​​​​

On every lap of the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, riders have to use their brakes 10 times for a total of just under 34 seconds, 34% of the duration of the race. On the same track, the Formula 1 single-seaters use their brakes 8 times for under 13.3 seconds per lap which amounts to 17% of race time even if they have to take on two more corners. 

On each lap, the MotoGP riders exert a load of over 48 kg (105.8 lb) on the brake lever. From the starting line to the checkered flag, the value totals 1200 kg (2645.5 lb) and at 5 points on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the riders apply a load of over 5 kg (11 lb). ​


275 meters (300.7 yards) of braking​​ ​​​​ ​​

Of the 10 braking sections at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, 2 are classified as demanding on the brakes, 5 are of medium difficulty and the remaining 3 are relatively light. 

The most demanding hard braking for MotoGP is on the first corner: the motorcycles go from over 340 km/h (211.2 mph) to 99 km/h (61.5 mph) in just 5.6 seconds and cover a distance of 275 meters (300.7 yards). To do this, the riders apply a load of 6.4 kg (14 lb) to the brake lever and are subjected to a deceleration of 1.5 g whereas the brake fluid pressure soars to 13.6 bar. ​​


And in the video games?​​

To take on the first corner in the Catalunya GP in the MotoGP videogame, all you need are a few pointers. After coming out of the starting blocks, start braking when you get to the end of the red gates on the right. Move down into 2nd gear and then move towards the curb on the right before leaning in the other direction near turn 2. ​