Brembo unveils the 2019 Japanese MotoGP


 An in-depth look at the premium class' use of braking systems at Twin Ring Motegi


One week after the Formula 1 race, MotoGP is coming to Japan for the 16th competition in this year's World Championship being held October 18 to 20 at Twin Ring Motegi. Built by Honda in 1997, the track is located in the hills surrounding the city of Motegi on the island of Honshū, the biggest island in Japan. ​

The name Twin Ring comes from the union of the English word Twin with the German word Ring, which is representative of the two tracks found here: an oval one and a street circuit that intersect between turns 5-6 and 11-12. ​

Of course the MotoGP bikes use the street circuit, which stands out for having very few fast corners and many slow ones interspersed with medium length straights. There are seven corners that the bikes have to take going less than 100 km/h (62 mph). ​

It is this abundance of 2nd gear corners that has made the track one of the most demanding on the brakes, ever since its debut in the World Championship in 1999. It is really difficult it to cool the discs down between one braking section and another. ​

The perfect tarmac translates into good grip and improves the braking torque discharged, but as a consequence it increases the stress that the brakes are subject to. This is why the FIM regulations require the use of 340 mm discs. ​

Two years ago, despite the rain falling for the entire race, the top 9 finishers and 13 of the top 15 used carbon discs. Merit also of the Brembo technicians who assisted them on the track, explaining to them the methods for the correct use of carbon in the rain.

According to Brembo technicians, who assist 100% of the 2019 MotoGP pilots, the Twin Ring Motegi is very demanding on the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 5 on the difficulty index, exactly the same score given to the track at Sepang and the two European circuits. ​




The demand on the brakes during the GP ​

Of the 14 corners on Twin Ring Motegi, ten require the use of the brakes and on five of these, the riders apply the brakes for more than four seconds. This explains why the braking systems are being operated for 33 seconds per lap, which is equal to 32% of the entire race, one of the highest percentages for the World Championship. 

Since there are three braking sections of modest length (between 35 and 92 meters each, or 115-302 feet), the mean deceleration is not very high, it stays down at about 1.2 G, but his is still higher than that registered by a Honda Civic Type R when braking from 100 to 0 km/h. ​

Summing up all of the force applied by a rider on the Brembo brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag, the result comes in at more than 930 kg (2,050 lbs).​


The most demanding braking sections

Of the 10 braking sections on the circuit, five are considered very demanding on the brakes, while two are of medium difficulty and three are light.

The one that puts the most stress on the braking systems and the riders (1.5 G in deceleration) is the 90° corner at turn 11. The MotoGP bikes arrive at it going 308 km/h (191 mph) and then brake for 5.1 seconds to slow to 86 km/h (53 mph). In this short time span, the riders apply a 5.7 kg (12.6 lbs) load on the lever while traveling 250 meters (820 feet) and the pressure of the Brembo HTC 64T brake fluid gets to nearly 12.3 bar. ​

Also at turns 1, 3 and 5 the deceleration measures 1.5 G. Turn 3 in particular stands out for the force demanded of the riders (5.1 kg or 11.2 lbs load on the lever) and the brake fluid (11 bar) in order to slow down from 277 km/h (172 mph) to 93 km/h (58 mph) in 4.2 seconds and 202 meters (663 feet). ​

The measurements are more contained for turn 5, but still they are higher than the average of the other corners on the track: The bikes have a braking space of 216 meters (709 feet) and 4.8 seconds to reduce their speeds by 194 km/h (121 mph), from 271 km/h (168 mph) to 77 km/h (48 mph).​



Brembo performance​

Since the Japanese GP began being held at Motegi in 2004, the motorcycles with Brembo brakes have always won the MotoGP races: The first to take the victory was Makoto Tamada with Honda. The four Pacific GP races run at Motegi were also won by Brembo brakes. The following is a balance sheet of the races contested at Motegi: nine victories for Honda, five for Ducati (of which three in row for Loris Capirossi), four for Yamaha and​ one for Suzuki. Of the last eight races, Spanish riders won seven times, with Dani Pedrosa coming in first at three of these. But in 2017 Andrea Dovizioso won the race.