Brembo Unveils Round 5 of World Superbike at Imola


 An in-depth look at the braking systems on the production-based motorcycles at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari


The fifth round of the World Superbike Championship 2019 is scheduled for May 10-12 at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, located in the province of Bologna.

Completed in 1952, the Autodromo was tested by Umberto Masetti (two-time world champion of the 500cc class) and Enrico Lorenzetti (world title holder in the 250cc class).

Fifteen years later it hosted its first World Championship race, but it wasn't until the 200 Miles of Imola was launched in 1972 that the track attained universal fame.

The circuit is very technical and includes truly challenging braking sections of every type possible. It's not a coincidence that Enzo Ferrari called the circuit, that bears his and his son Dino's names, a "little Nurburgring".

The track is made up of 22 corners, 13 of which are to the left, a very short straightaway at the arrival (358 meters, 0.22 miles), and slopes that reach 7.8%.

According to Brembo technicians, who work closely with 15 World Superbike riders, the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari 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 Donington and Buriram.



The demand on the brakes during the GP

The Superbikes use their brakes 12 times per lap, a value surpassed only by Villicum and Losail. In Bahrain the riders use their brakes for almost 38 seconds per lap, the highest value of the Superbike World Championship while at Imola they use them for​ 32 and a half seconds.

Overall, the riders apply the brakes for 30% of the entire duration of the race. Since the corners are taken in first, second, third and fourth gear, the average peak deceleration per lap is not very high. Regardless, the 1.09 G exerted by the production-based motorcycles using steel discs is still higher than that of the MotoGP bikes with carbon discs on the tracks in Barcelona, Assen, Sachsenring Austin, Phillip Island and Sepang.​

Summing up all the force applied by a rider on the brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag, the total comes to more than 920 kg (2,028 lbs). 



The most demanding braking sections

Of the 12 braking sections on the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari track, three are classified as very demanding on the brakes, six are of medium difficulty and three are light. ​

The most difficult by far is the Tamburello Corner (turn 2) because the Superbikes arrive going 289 km/h (180 mph) and have a few short instants to drop down to 100 km/h (62 mph) by the end of the 195 meters (640 feet) braking section. ​

The riders use their brakes for 4.1 seconds applying a 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs) load on the brake lever and experience a deceleration of 1.4 G, which is 0.28 G more than a Lamborghini Aventador braking from 200 km/h (124 mph) to 0.

The brakes also undergo a great deal of stress at the Alta Corner (turn 14): the Superbikes go from 236 km/h (147 mph) to 87 km/h (54 mph) traveling 149 meters (489 feet) in 3.5 seconds. The pressure of the Brembo fluid in the braking system reaches 11.4 bar. The Tosa (turn 7) on the other hand, is the corner taken at the lowest speed: 73 km/h (45 mph), after decelerating from 118 km/h (73 mph) over 111 meters (364 feet) in 3.3 seconds.


Brembo performance

Bikes with Brembo brakes have won the last 8 World Superbike races contested at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. In 2015 and 2018 Jonathan Rea took victories with Kawasaki, in 2016 and 2017 Chaz Davies came in first with Ducati.

​In fact, it was Ducati that won the first World Superbike race at Imola in 2001 with Ruben Xaus, and Brembo brakes of course.