Risk of brake pad vitrification if it rains at the World Superbike race on Lausitzring


 With four demanding braking sections, the German track boasts more deceleration than the MotoGP races at Sachsenring

After a break of about forty days, the World Superbike Championship is ready begin again with the two races in the 9th round scheduled for August 19 and 20 at Lausitz EuroSpeedway (Germany).

Built at the end of the 1990s on an abandoned coal mine, the circuit is located in the city of Schipkau about 40 miles from Dresda in former East Germany.
However, the track was recently purchased by Dekra, which has decided to transform it into a test center after these two races are over. The track used by the Superbikes debuted in 2001. It is 2,650 miles long and none of its straightaways measure more than 766 yards. There are 14 corners, eight of which are to the left.

Rain is a common variable during the race weekend: Last year it fell during the Superpole1 on Saturday and the day after it rained during Race 2, causing the air temperature to drop to 53°F. The problem doesn't effect the steel discs in any way, which by rule cannot contain any more carbon than 2% of its overall weight.
But it could cause vitrification in the Z04 Brembo brake pads if the riders aren't able to bring them down to the minimum operating temperature.

According to Brembo technicians, who work closely with 17 World Superbike riders, Lausitz EuroSpeedway is a fairly demanding circuit for the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a 3 on the difficulty index, exactly the same score given to the tracks at Portimão and Losail.

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The demand on the brakes during the GP

Each lap, the World Superbike riders use their brakes nine times, but the most difficult braking sections are evenly distributed along the track so overheating isn't an issue.

The braking systems are activated for 24 seconds every lap, which is the second least amount of time in the World Championship after Phillip Island. This means the brakes are applied for one fourth of the entire duration of the German race.

The three hairpin turns on the slower part of the track stand out for having decelerations of less than 1 G, which brings down the average peak deceleration at Lausitz EuroSpeedway to 1.11 G.
But this is still higher than the 1.10 G in deceleration per lap recorded by the MotoGP bikes with carbon discs on Sachsenring.

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 just under 1,764 lbs, which is the same weight as four BMW HP4 Race bikes plus the KTM 450 belonging to Antonio Cairoli, all equipped with Brembo calipers.


The most demanding braking sections

Of the nine braking sections at Lausitzring, four are classified as very demanding on the brakes, one is of medium difficulty and the remaining four are light.

The most demanding by far is turn 10 because it leads to the greatest differential in speed (112 mph) from the start of braking, while going 158 mph, to the end at 46 mph.

The riders hit the brakes for 4.4 seconds and apply a load of 13 lbs on the lever, while the pressure in the Brembo brake fluid in the braking system reaches 12.6 bar.

The first corner after the starting line puts a lot of stress on the braking system too and it also marks the fastest point on the track: The Superbikes reach 176 mph before braking for 3.5 seconds so that they can enter the turn going 71 mph.

The pressure on the Brembo brake fluid gets up to 12.2 bar and the deceleration tops off at 1.4 G.
Braking at turn 6 shouldn't be taken lightly either.

At 207 yards, this stretch of braking distance is the longest on the track, but the riders only need 4.1 seconds to go from 165 to 60 mph.



Brembo performance

The bikes with Brembo brakes have won 11 of the 12 World Superbike races contested at Lausitz EuroSpeedway; the only time it didn't win was back in 2001. Ducati has won six times, four of which were with Troy Bayliss.

Last year, Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea each won one race and in Race 2, Xavi Fores with the Barni Racing Team stepped up to the podium as well.