The German MotoGP Grand Prix: brake well even if there is not much braking to be done


 The secrets of braking at the Sachsenring and Brembo brake fluid for track and road motorcycles


Summer is approaching and as usual, the World Championship will be held in Germany on the track which is Marc Marquez's traditional hunting ground. According to the Brembo technicians who work closely with all the MotoGP riders, the Sachsenring Circuit is a moderately demanding circuits for brakes. On a scale of 1 to 6, the German circuit is rated 3 on the difficulty index. 

However, the Nürburgring Nordschleife with its 73 corners remains memorable for Brembo. This was the venue for the German GP in 1978, the year when Virginio Ferrari with the Gallina team’s Suzuki and Brembo brakes stood at the top of the podium in a GP for the first time. ​ ​ ​


Brembo brake fluid can rise to 300 °C (572 °F) without reaching boiling point​​


In addition to brake calipers, discs, pads, brake master cylinders and clutch master cylinders, Brembo also supplies all the MotoGP riders with brake fluid. Two types are available: HTC64 brake fluid has higher heat resistance but lower hygroscopic properties. This refers to its ability to absorb the moisture in the atmosphere. 

For this reason, if humidity is high, the brake fluid has to be replaced once a day. LFC 600 brake fluid that teams opt for when temperatures are low needs to be replaced much less frequently and is more stable in terms of compressibility and more hygroscopic. They also have different dry boiling points: approximately 315°C (599 °F) for the LFC 600 fluid and 335°C (635 °F) for the HTC64 fluid. ​



Brake fluids for road motorcycles​ ​

LCF 600 Plus fluid is commercially available, although it is recommended for track use: since it has a high hygroscopic level, it has a limited lifespan. This depends on several factors, but it usually ranges from 2,000 to 4000 km (1242 to 2485 miles). It can be mixed with other DOT3 and DOT4 racing fluids but should not be used in brake systems with magnesium parts. 

 The Brembo Sport Evo 500++ DOT4 fluid, on the other hand, has a dry boiling point of 270 °C (518 °F) and is recommended for road use without compromising performance. Its excellent properties help it to reach a high mileage before it has to be replaced, usually from 12,000 to 24,000 km (7456 to 14912 miles). However, it is not for brake systems designed for mineral fluids. 

You can see the characteristics of Brembo brake fluids here.





25 seconds of braking​​ ​​​​​​​

The twisty Sachsenring circuit calls for moderate use of the brakes: there are 8 braking moments, 6 of which are on left-hand corners: only Austria and Thailand have fewer braking moments. 

Only 3 of the 8 braking moments on the Sachsenring circuit last at least 3.5 seconds. The braking distances are also short: the distance is less than 100 meters (109 yards) on half of the 8 braking moments. 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 790 kg (1741 lb). ​​ ​​


Six seconds with the brake lever pressed​​​ ​​​​ ​​

Of the 8 braking sections at the Sachsenring, only 1 is demanding on the brakes, 1 is of medium difficulty and the others are light. 

The first corner is the most demanding both on the riders and the brake systems: the motorcycles approach it at 294 km/h (183 mph) and come into the corner at 73 km/h (45 mph) after braking for 265 meters (289.8 yards). The riders use the brakes for 5.9 seconds with a load of 5.2 kg (11 lb) on the lever resulting in 1.4 G deceleration. ​



And in the video games?​​​

Timing is vital when taking on the first corner on the Sachsenring in the MotoGP video game: you must apply the brakes as soon as you go past the overhead traffic lights. 

Move into second gear and stay on the left-hand side of the track. Just before the vertical white line indicating the long lap penalty, start to lean into the corner. Make sure you don’t move too far over as you come into the green area on the right. The curb with the colors of the German flag will appear immediately afterwards and should be avoided so that the motorbike isn’t thrown off balance. ​