Rossi vs. Marquez: opposites compared in an analysis by Brembo


 Racking up one victory after another, the two dominant forces of this millennium are rewriting the history of motorcycling. And doing it their own way because they have totally opposed braking styles

​One has secured worldwide acclaim in the 500cc and MotoGP categories with his consecutive triumphs and achievements. The other is beating all records for precocity.

We are speaking respectively of Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. The Italian has won 9 world championship titles and 114 GPs and at the age of 38 has no intention of retiring. The rampant Spaniard, for his part, has won 5 world championship titles and 55 GP race wins at the age of just 24.




Valentino Rossi’s career is closely tied to Brembo: in all his successes, including the 125cc and 250cc classes in which he raced from 1996 to 1999, he has always used these Italian brake systems. Knowing his requirements perfectly, Brembo engineers consider Valentino Rossi to be a highly demanding tester in the development of the braking system.

Standing out because of his very powerful and effective braking, Valentino usually recovers a few metres on the riders who precede him by putting his foot down in the cornering manoeuvre. Thanks to the refined sensibilities he has shown in his long career, his braking is always linear, never abrupt. At every turn Rossi prefers to control the rolling of the front wheel, to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Not surprisingly, he rarely falls, as is demonstrated by his 230 consecutive GP starts from 1996 to 2010.



On the contrary, Marc Marquez has a “wilder” approach to braking. The Spaniard is always pushing his limits and has no fear of coming off the bike: in 2015 he fell 6 times in races, paying for it with the same number of race withdrawals. His braking style uses the front system as little as possible and it is no coincidence that the RC213V is one of the few bikes in the premier class to use smaller diameter discs (usually 320 mm), except on the demanding track at Motegi.

The two rivals are also characterised by their contrasting approaches to the rear brake. While not as linear as Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi makes clean cornering one of his hallmarks. To control the pitching, il Dottore prefers to rely on the accelerator and the weight of his body. In short, he is rarely seen using the rear disc when cornering.


Marc Marquez, on the other hand, adopts a style that involves moving his body and head within the curve to open the gas as much as possible. Correcting the trajectories with the rear single disc he is able to maintain a higher speed through the corners. The result is the spectacular skidding of the rear tyre that leaves striking marks on the asphalt.

These two highly contrasting applications demonstrate the great versatility of Brembo’s carbon braking systems, which are capable of reaching a heat of 800 degrees. Perhaps this versatility is why the 100% bikes in MotoGP 2016 used Brembo systems.