In Jerez, where Valentino was brilliant and Brembo made history


 MotoGp is back in Europe, where it will stay until the end of the summer (apart from the Kazakhstan GP in July).

MotoGp is back in Europe, where it will stay until the end of the summer (apart from the Kazakhstan GP in July). To improve safety standards on the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto, the exit lanes have been widened by 40 and 25 meters (43.7 and 27.3 yards) on turns 1 and 5 respectively. It’s thanks also to these works that the Andalusian track will be on the calendar in 2024 as well. 

According to the Brembo technicians who work closely with all the MotoGP World Championship riders, the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto is classified as a very demanding track for brakes. On a difficulty scale of 1 to 6, it’s rated 4 - the highest of the first five months of the season.

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Two needs and two strokes of genius


In 1999, Valentino Rossi called on his Brembo brakes on a point of this track where nobody had ever used them before. After winning the 250 cc race, 4 and a half seconds ahead of Tohru Ukawa, he saw a toilet for the race officials at the side of the track. He stopped and leaned his Aprilia against the wall of tires before going in and doing what he had to do (or at least pretending to). 

That bike had a Brembo caliper with radial connections - a component that had made its debut during the Jerez tests in February 1998 on Marcellino Lucchi’s bike. Its job was to meet the need for constant braking from the start of the race to the end. That solution revolutionized not only the competitions but also on-road use, because most high-powered motorbikes nowadays are fitted with radial calipers.


A winning hand


On the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto, the MotoGP riders use their brakes on 10 of the 13 bends. Over a complete lap, the braking system has to work for a total of 31 seconds, which means just under a third of the whole race. It’s unlikely that the bikes will reach a speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), and it’s for this reason too that there are no braking points longer than 270 meters (295.3 yards).

Between bends 8 and 11 however, the riders need to use their brakes on 4 consecutive bends. Adding together all the force values applied by a rider on the Brembo front brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag, the result comes to more than a metric ton, and that’s the second highest figure of the Iberian tracks after Valencia.


Around 230 km/h (142.9 mph) lost in 5.6 seconds

Of the 10 braking sections on the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto, 2 are classified as demanding on the brakes, 5 are of medium difficulty and the other 3 are light on the brake system.

The most complex braking is on the sixth turn: on a straight section 0.6 km (0.4 mile) long, the riders approach speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph) before applying the brakes for 5.6 seconds during which they’re subjected to deceleration at 1.8 G.

They come into the bend at 72 km/h (44.7 mph) after covering a distance of 263 meters (287.6 yards) while applying a maximum load of 6.8 kg (15 lb) on the brake lever.


And in the video games?

To handle the sixth turn on the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto in the MotoGP video game, you have to pay attention to the signs at the side of the track, showing the distances.

Brake at 200 meters (218.7 yards) and drop down hard to first gear, trying to stay as close as possible to the inner curb.

Make sure you don’t open the throttle too much when the motorcycle is still tilted.