MotoGP in Thailand with huge brake discs


 The MotoGP tour de force goes on, with the third round in three weeks.

The MotoGP tour de force goes on, with the third round in three weeks. According to the Brembo technicians who work closely with all 22 premier class riders, Chang International Circuit is one of the most demanding tracks for the brakes. On a difficulty index scale of 1 to 6, it earned a 6; in fact the discs used have a diameter of 355 mm (14 inches).

The track was designed by the German architect Hermann Tilke and is 410 km (255 miles) north of the capital Bangkok, in Buriram, which in the local language means “town of happiness”. The track layout alternates very long straights ending with a hard braking stretch and second- or third-gear bends where it’s essential to find the right pace.

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Chantra, the local hero


The Thai motorcycling school is fairly recent and Somkiat Chantra is its most prominent figure. The 24-year-old made his World Championship debut at the first Thailand Moto3 GP in 2018, getting himself noticed straight away with a fantastic 7th place result. The following year he became the official rider for Honda Team Asia in Moto2, and since early 2022 has been considered one of the best in that category.

At the beginning of October, Chantra (whose Moto2 bike has Brembo calipers and master cylinders) had the perfect weekend at Motogi: he was ahead in every free practice session, then he earned himself pole position and went on to win the race, not only running the fastest lap but leading the way from start to finish.


A highly intense first part


The MotoGP riders use their brakes on 7 of the 12 bends on the track, for a total of 26 seconds per lap, which means 29% of the whole GP. Four of the 7 braking points are on the first 5 bends, with straight sections leading up to them. The only notable bend on the second half of the track is no.12, where riders have to reduce their speed by just under 200 km/h (124 mph) by braking over a distance of 213 meters (233 yards).

Adding up all the force a MotoGP rider applies on the Brembo brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag, the result comes in at more than 820 kg (1808 lb) - the highest of the three back-to-back races. Fortunately, there’s no strain on the riders for more than 2 bends in a row, although the level of humidity may have some effect on them.


A drop of 250 km/h (155 mph) in 6 seconds

Of the 7 braking sections on the Chang International Circuit, 3 are classified as very demanding on the brakes, another 3 are of medium difficulty, and only 1 is light.

The hardest for the braking system is on the third bend, preceded by a straight of almost 1 kilometer (0.6 miles): the bikes go from 327 km/h to 77 km/h (203 mph to 48 mph) in 6 seconds, over a distance of 293 meters (320 yards).

Riders apply 5.2 kg (11 lb) of pressure to the brake lever and are subjected to a deceleration of 1.8 G.


And in video games?

To handle bend 3 of the Chang International Circuit in the best way in the MotoGP video game, you need to remember that bend 2 is just a slight curve to the left on the straight that links bends 1 and 3.

That means it’s a good idea to stay on the left, so you don’t end up in the grass. Start braking when you get to the end of the second of the 4 grandstands one after the other on your left.

Drop down to second gear, but be careful not to hit the gas too soon as it’s a hairpin bend.