Now that MotoGP’s summer break is over and the Czech GP is almost underway, it’s time for some Brembo Brake Facts.
Begin Press Release:
Valentino Rossi returns to the Brno track where he won his first GP in 1996, equipped with Brembo brakes
DETROIT, (August 2, 2018) – After the long summer break, the MotoGP bikes are revved up for the tenth race of the season at the Automotodrom Brno, in the Czech Republic, August 3-5.
The circuit was originally named after Tomas Masaryk, the founder and first President of Czechoslovakia, and the current layout was opened in 1987.
The track measures nearly 3.4-miles, making this the fourth longest track in the World Championship. The straightaways are fairly short: they range from 38 to 695 yards, the last one positioned at the finish line. Although there are 14 turn (eight right handers), the average per lap is almost identical to the number at Losail (Qatar), where the MotoGP bikes reach speeds of more than 217 mph.
Between the first and third miles, the track stands out for its undulation. The lowest point has an altitude of 1,233 feet above sea level while the highest point measures 1,476. This element influences braking because it is one thing to slow a bike down on flat stretches, but it is totally different to do so at the bottom of a downward slope.
Another variable that conditions the braking is the weather. In 2014 and 2015 the temperature of the tarmac stayed below 73° F, but in 2006 it got up to 102° while in 2016 and last year the rain drove it down to 64° and 75°. Depending on the situation, the riders have to avoid vitrification of the friction material and excessive overheating.
According to Brembo technicians, who assist 100 percent of the 2018 MotoGP riders, Automotodrom Brno is demanding on the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it earned a four on the difficulty index, exactly the same score given to the Spanish tracks, Jerez and Aragon.
The demand on the brakes during the GP
On one full lap, the MotoGP riders use their brakes 11 times for a total of 31 seconds. This may seem like a lot but on seven other tracks, including Jerez which is about 0.6 miles shorter, the time spent braking is greater. The reason why is because four of the braking sections at Brno last less than two-seconds each.
In spite of the six corners with a deceleration of at least 1.4 G, the average deceleration on the track is 1.15 G. That doesn’t even come close to the 1.30 G at nearby Spielberg circuit, which has just seven braking sections, each one very intense.
Summing up all of the force applied by a rider on the Brembo brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag, the result comes in at more than 11.2 tons. Each lap the riders have to apply a force of 25 lbs., which is similar to that at Jerez.
The most demanding braking sections
Of the 11 braking sections at the Automotodrom Brno only one is classified as demanding on the brakes, six are of medium difficulty and the remaining four are light.
The most challenging by far is at the Kevin Schwantz corner (Turn 10), which is positioned almost at the end of a long descent. The MotoGP bikes arrive at it going 174 mph and then brake for 4.2 seconds to slow to 62 mph. To make this happen, the riders apply 13.6 lbs. of pressure on the brake lever and are subjected to a 1.5 G deceleration. During the 230 yards of braking, the pressure in the Brembo HTC 64T brake fluid reaches 10.7 bar, four times the pressure of a can of Pepsi Cola at room temperature.
There is more space to brake at the Frantisek Stastny corner (Turn 1) and at Turn 3, these measure 247 and 253 yards respectively. However, braking in the first section is more intense and tighter: 3.8 seconds with 12.6 lbs. on the brake lever. In the second section, the deceleration is less powerful because the track is going uphill, a deceleration of 1.4 G and a pressure of 10 bar on the Brembo brake fluid.
At Turn 9, right after the second split time, braking lasts a mere 1.2 seconds, just enough time to go from 80 mph to 65 mph.
The Brno circuit is famous because it was here that Valentino Rossi won his first race. It was August 18, 1996 and he was riding an Aprilia RS125 equipped with a two-piece Brembo front caliper with a radial mount and four small pistons. The caliper operated in conjunction with a Brembo carbon disc measuring 273 mm in diameter and a standard braking band.
At Brno, Rossi has won seven races, every time with Brembo brakes, while Marc Marquez has been victorious only three times, most recently in 2017. Since 1993, the year the race was named the Czech Grand Prix, the bikes with Brembo brakes have won all 25 editions in the 500 cc – MotoGP classes.