Brembo unveils round 2 of the Superbike World Championship in Thailand


An in-depth look at how the modified production bikes use their braking systems on the Chang International Circuit


The second round of the Superbike World Championship is scheduled for 23-25 March on the Chang International Circuit. After an investment of 54 million euros was made to build this track, it was inaugurated in October 2014 and named after a local beer brand.

In the three seasons that it hosted the Superbike World Championship, this Thai circuit set itself apart for its especially high temperatures: the air temperature ranged between 32 and 36 degrees and the asphalt between 42 and 50 degrees.

According to Brembo engineers, who work closely with 16 of the World Superbike riders, the Chang International Circuit is by far the most demanding circuit for the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned 5 on the difficulty index, matched only by the Imola and Donington tracks.


Brake Use During the GP


Just like the Phillip Island track, the Chang International Circuit features 12 curves and 7 braking points. However, both the curves and the braking are completely different to those on the Australian track, which benefits from milder temperatures since it is located near the ocean.

The first section on the Thai track is characterised by long straightaways and stop-and-go braking, while the part in the middle features rounder curves that are closer together. The 4,554-metre lap ends with another violent braking section.

During the course of one lap the riders apply their brakes for 26 seconds, which is six seconds more than Phillip Island. This holds true despite the fact that the lap average is identical on both tracks: 173 km/h. The brakes are used for almost nine minutes throughout the 20 laps of the race, which when combined with the air temperature, can translate into a dangerous rise in the temperature of the steel discs.

The average deceleration of 1.24 g per lap is particularly high for bikes: it is not a coincidence that this statistic is higher than those registered on 15 tracks used in the MotoGP World Championship.

Adding up all the forces exerted by a rider on the brake lever from start to chequered flag gives a value of more than 770 tons, which is equivalent to the weight of 7 scooters manoeuvring the streets of Thailand.


The Most Challenging Stops

Of the seven braking sections on the Chang International Circuit, three are considered very challenging for the brakes and the other four present mid-level difficulty.

The toughest curve overall is the third because the Superbikes enter it after a kilometre-long straightaway: they brake for about six seconds (5.9 to be precise) to go from 305 km/h to entering the hairpin bend at 76 km/h.

While stopping, the braking system pressure reaches 12.2 bar, which is well over three times the pressure of a can of Coca Cola.

To brake fully requires a good 255 metres, which is four times the width of the Great Buddha of Thailand.

The braking section at curve 12 is even slower (68 km/h) and the bikes approach it going 248 km/h: the brakes are used for 4.9 seconds, applying a load of 6 kg on the lever. In that short period of time, the Superbikes travel 194 metres.

The third most difficult curve is the first following the starting line. Here too the load on the lever is 6 kg and the braking system pressure is 12.2 bar, but the braking section is shorter, measuring "only" 3.8 seconds and 173 metres.

All of the curves in the central part of the track require less time and space in braking, but they are still to be contended with. Of these, curve 5 is the most challenging as it lasts 3.2 seconds, but the deceleration is just 1.2 g.


​​​You might also be interested in:

Brembo celebrates 30 years of the Superbike World Championship chasing the victory number 700

​​​3 bikes out of 4 at the start of the Superbike World Championship will be equipped with Brembo brakes: here are the trends concerning the braking systems for the 2018 season


Brembo Performance

The Kawasaki bikes equipped with Brembo brakes dominated in the three races held in Thailand: Jonathan Rea won five times and Tom Sykes once.

Brembo brakes also made a clean sweep on the podiums, placing 17 riders in the top three spots for the six races contended: 10 for Kawasaki, 2 for Aprilia, 1 for Suzuki, 3 for Ducati and 1 for Yamaha.​​


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