The 2020 Portugal MotoGP Grand Prix according to Brembo


 A guide to Brembo braking systems in the premier class and their use on the Algarve International Circuit


According to Brembo technicians who work closely with all the MotoGP World Championship riders, the Algarve International Circuit is one of the least demanding circuits for brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 2 on the difficulty index, the lowest in the 2020 championship. 

Its continuous ascents and descents make it hard for the riders to calibrate the throttle-off moment, with the risk of arriving too late when coming downhill or braking too soon on upward stretches: the maximum slope on descents is 12% and on ascents 6%, while the cross slope is 8% in certain points. ​


Brembo carbon in MotoGP, whatever the conditions​

Over the last three years, Brembo has done away with a long-standing taboo: since carbon was introduced in the 500 class, it had always been set aside in rainy situations in favor of steel discs. To ensure a good friction coefficient, carbon needs to reach a temperature of at least 250 °C and, until recently, this was somewhat difficult in wet and rainy conditions. 

The carbon developments made by Brembo in recent years have allowed the operating temperature range to be widened, however. This, along with the enhanced performance of the engines and tires, has boosted the temperature of the discs even in the rain, meaning that steel has largely fallen by the wayside. ​ ​ ​


Brake use during the Portugal MotoGP Grand Prix​

MotoGP riders use the brakes in nine of the 15 bends of the Portuguese track, one less than in the Superbike World Championship raced here in August. MotoGP brakes are in use for 30 seconds per lap as compared to Superbike brakes, in use for almost 31.5 seconds. 

Five times a lap, however, braking in MotoGP results in a speed drop of less than 100 km/h (62 mph) and therefore a brake usage of less than 3.2 seconds. Except for a couple of bends, average deceleration does not exceed 1 g; as a result, from start to checkered flag, the total load on the brake lever does not reach 650 kg. ​​ ​​​



The most demanding braking section of the Portugal GP​ ​​ ​

Of the nine braking sections on the Algarve International Circuit, only one is classed as demanding for the brakes, one is of average difficulty and the remaining 7 are not particularly challenging. 

The stretch just after the finish line, 969 m (0.6 miles) long, is the hardest braking point in MotoGP: prototypes go from 325 km/h (202 mph) to 119 km/h (74 mph) in 4.8 seconds, traveling 282 meters (925 feet). To do this, riders apply a load of 4.3 kg (9.5 lbs) on the brake lever and are subjected to a 1.5 G deceleration, while the brake fluid pressure soars to 9.2 bar. ​ ​