Brembo Unveils Round 8 of World Superbike in UK


 An in-depth look at the braking systems on the production-based motorcycles at Donington Park


From July 5 to 7 the World Superbike Championship is back on the circuit where it all began, Donington Park, for the eighth round of the season. It was on April 3, 1988 at Donington Park that the first race of the first World Superbike Championship was held. ​

Located in the hills of Leicestershire, Donington Park is a circuit that alternates between two very different sections: the first segment is fast and smooth while the second is full of abrupt braking sections that make it seem like a stop-and-go track. ​

Another factor to contend with are the low temperatures that block the brakes from reaching operating temperature. In fact, during both races in 2015 the temperature of the tarmac was just 70° F and the air temperature didn't go over 57°F, although it didn't rain.​

According to Brembo technicians, who work closely with 15 World Superbike riders, Donington Park is a highly demanding circuit for the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 5 on the difficulty index, exactly the same score given to the tracks at Imola and Buriram. ​


The demand on the brakes during the GP

The series of seven braking sections riders face each lap is actually the lowest number found on World Superbike Championship tracks and matches the amount at Phillip Island and Buriram. ​

The second part of the track is full of very long braking sections that require the riders to turn to their brakes for 28 seconds per lap. At Buriram, Laguna Seca and in Australia, the riders brake for less time. ​

Even though there aren't many, the braking sections are very demanding on the riders and on the Brembo systems. This is demonstrated by the average peak deceleration, which is registered at 1.14 G and is just below the record set by the Thai track. Despite being equipped with steel discs, the average deceleration of the Superbikes at Donington Park exceeds that reached on 10 out of 19 MotoGP tracks, where the bikes benefit from using carbon discs. ​

Summing up all of the force applied by a rider on the brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag, the result is close to 8 quintals (1,764 lbs).​


The most demanding braking sections

Of the seven braking sections at Donington Park, four are classified as demanding on the brakes, two are of medium difficulty and one is light. ​

The most difficult by far is at the start of the Fogarty Esses (turn 9) because the Superbikes arrive going 273 km/h (170 mph) and have a few short instants to drop down to 99 km/h (62 mph) by the end of the 209 meters (686 feet) braking section.​

The riders use their brakes for 4.3 seconds and apply a load of 5.1 lbs (11.2 lbs) on the brake lever, undergoing a deceleration of 1.3 G. At the beginning of the Fogarty Esses, the pressure on the Brembo brake fluid in the braking system gets up to 11 bar. ​

The brakes also undergo a great deal of stress at the Redgate Corner (turn 1): the Superbikes go from 259 km/h (161 mph) to 88 km/h (55 mph) traveling 215 meters (705 feet) in 4.8 seconds. The deceleration measures 1.3 G and the load on the lever is 5.1 kg (11,2 lbs). ​

The greatest loss of speed is registered at the Melbourne Hairpin (turn 11): the bikes reduce their speeds by 174 km/h (108 mph) in order to enter the hairpin at about 50 km/h (31 mph).

​The riders apply the brakes for 4.9 seconds but since they take the curve going 'just' 224 km/h (139 mph), this corner can't be ranked among the three most demanding on the braking system.



Brembo performance

Brembo brakes equipped Davide Tardozzi's Bimota YB4EI that won the inaugural World Superbike race in 1988. Marco Lucchinelli joined Tardozzi on the podium and then went on to win Race 2 with his Ducati 851, which also had Brembo brakes. ​

Bikes with Brembo brakes have monopolized the podium at all of the last eight World Superbike races run at Donington Park. All the last twelve races contested at Donington Park were won by Kawasaki bikes equipped with Brembo brakes.