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 15-17 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 four 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 41 and 50 degrees.​

According to Brembo engineers, who work closely with 15 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 almost 25 seconds, which is four seconds more than Phillip Island. This holds true despite the fact that the lap average is identical on both tracks: 176 km/h (109 mph). The brakes are used for almost eight minutes and 15 seconds 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 1.27 g per lap is particularly high for bikes: it is not a coincidence that this statistic is higher than those registered on 18 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 almost 700 kgs (1,543 lbs).​


The Most Challenging Stops

Of the seven braking sections on the Chang International Circuit, six are considered very challenging for the brakes and the other one presents low-level difficulty.​

The toughest curve overall is the third because the Superbikes enter it after a kilometre-long straightaway: they brake for 5.4 seconds ​to go from 305 km/h (190 mph) to entering the hairpin bend at 70 km/h (43.5 mph).

While stopping, the braking system pressure reaches 10.8 bar.​ To brake fully requires a good 236 meters (774 feet).​

The braking section at curve 12 is equally slow (70 km/h) and the bikes approach it going 253 km/h (157 mph): the brakes are used for 4.7 seconds, applying a load of 5.3 kg (11.7 lbs) on the lever. In that short period of time, the Superbikes travel 192 meters (630 feet).

The third most difficult curve is the first following the starting line. Here too t​he load on the lever is 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs) and the braking system pressure is 11.8 bar, but the braking section is shorter, measuring "only" 3.4 seconds and 156 meters (512 feet).

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 3.4 seconds, but the deceleration is just 1.2 g.​


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Brembo Performance

The Kawasaki bikes equipped with Brembo brakes won seven of eight races held in Thailand: Jonathan Rea won six times and Tom Sykes once. But Race 2 last year was won by Chaz Davies with Ducati​.​

Brembo brakes also almost made a clean sweep on the podiums, placing 23 riders in the top three spots for the eight races contended: 11 for Kawasaki, 6 for Ducati, 3 for Yamaha. 2 for Aprilia and 1 for Suzuki.​


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