Brembo brakes star in the Superbike World Championship in every sense.

7/2/2021

 Brembo slotted discs and 6-piston calipers are coming to Superbike, but it’s not what you think!

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Brembo brakes have played a starring role in the Superbike World Championship from the very first races, in 1988. At the time, they equipped the Ducati 851, Bimota YB4 and Yamaha FZR750 as well as the RCM team’s Honda RC30 that Fred Merkel rode to victory as world champion in the category. 


The brake discs were made of cast iron and 5 mm (0.2") thick, with two-piece calipers, axial brake master cylinders and organic pads. These were clearly solutions in keeping with the superbike philosophy of the period.

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In those days, street-legal sports bike were much less sophisticated than they are today. That applies both to performance – acceleration and top speed, and to chassis architecture, including the braking system, to say nothing of electronics, basically a future development. 


The early championships were pretty rough and ready in general, from team organization to the preparation of the riders, as well as the rules themselves. No one at the time, for example, thought of having a car on the track out ahead of the bikes on the warm-up lap. ​

 

Having said that, safety cars only became a fixture in Formula 1 in 1993, after occasional use starting from the 1973 Canadian GP. It came to biking a few years later, appearing in World Superbike only in 2008. 


The safety car’s job is to check that the track is in perfect condition before each session, with no oil or debris on the asphalt or flooded sections, and that all marshals and emergency services are positioned correctly along the circuit. ​  

 

Before the start, however, the safety car takes up position behind the group and follows for most of the first lap. This way, the doctor sitting next to the driver can intervene quickly on any injury in a serious accident, providing the initial treatment. 


The best car for this role therefore needs great pick-up and good roadholding, and of course has to be equipped with a braking system that’s up to the job. In other words, it has to be able to accelerate and brake as quickly as possible. ​

 

Since 2019, the position of World Superbike safety car has been covered by the Hyundai N, with the N indicating both where it was made (Namyang, South Korea) and where it was honed (the old Nürburgring, in Germany). The Nürburgring is a byword for racing, where Brembo brakes have been put through their paces since 1975 in Formula 1. 


New this year is the use of the Brembo GT kit on the four Hyundai i30 Fastback Ns set to take turns as safety car on the track. It’s nearly a given, since 17 of the riders competing employ Brembo brake components.



Many of these bikes already feature Brembo brakes as standard, like the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, Ducati Panigale V4 R and Honda CBR 1000 RR-R. But for the Superbike World Championship they’re equipped with the new finned caliper and innovative steel ventilated disc, both from Brembo and just what you want for perfect ventilation. 


In the case of the Hyundai i30 Fastback N, on the other hand, the Brembo GT kit guarantees more braking torque and greater thermal capacity with its brake caliper featuring six opposed aluminum pistons and oversized disc with aluminum housing characterized by TY3 slotting, as on the new Sport TY3 that has attracted so much attention in recent months. ​


 

The Brembo Sport model differs from the previous disc through the use of Type3 slotting and the highly visible Brembo logo on the braking band, which has slots with a design identical to the one adopted in the World Touring Car Cup.  ​


It’s a solution that enhances friction in all weather and asphalt conditions, which also means driving rain, dispersing more water on the surface compared to a disc with no slotting. In the same way, the gas that forms between pad and disc is also eliminated more effectively. 

Type3 slotting means greater mechanical strength than drilled discs, which means greater resistance to cracking. What’s more, performance is constant over the whole service life, at both high and low temperatures. All this comes without having to sacrifice pedal modularity. 


They may not offer the same spectacle as Superbike brakes, which we have to thank for some incredible stoppies in recent years, but the Brembo brakes on the safety car are no less crucial to keeping all the wheels turning, so to speak. Performance and safety, like every self-respecting Brembo component. ​


 
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On two wheels or four, Brembo is a must.​


 

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Brembo S.p.A. | P.IVA 00222620163

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