MotoGP without brakes at Motegi
Motegi is a circuit that is very hard on the brakes, and Brembo warned that sufficient cooling of the discs could be a problem at the Japanese venue. As it turns out, however, the problem could be even worse than expected. Among the first to sound the alarm was Valentino Rossi: "We have a problem with the brake discs overheating - the Ducati rider revealed - the braking distances start to increase, and the temperatures exceed the expected limits. We are already using the largest size disc, which should dissipate the heat most effectively. The problem is probably exacerbated by the 1000cc engines, compared to the old 800's. Brembo is checking the data, and perhaps the situation will improve as the track starts to generate more grip. I also think the characteristics of the Ducati are contributing to the problem."
But Rossi isn't the only one who noticed the issue, as his compatriot Andrea Dovizioso also mentioned it after free practice: "I don't know what temperature the discs are reaching, because we didn't mount the temperature sensors today, but I noticed something was up - the Yamaha rider said - You can feel a difference after just two or three laps. Normally when you arrive a little long into a corner you can play with the extra braking power that remains, but here that's not possible. After a few more laps, the lever starts to feel spongy and there is more free play in it. It's not a great sensation. I don't know if it is a safety issue, and I've never had something like this happen before."
Dovi also had a theory on what could be causing the phenomenon: "We were already at the limit of overheating here with the 800's, and now with the 1000's, partly because of the weight and partly because of the power, the situation is worse. It also depends a lot on the setup of the bike and the riding style. Spies is probably in the worse shape, and I am right behind him. Lorenzo, on the other hand, doesn't rely too heavily on strong braking, and that's an advantage for him, also over Pedrosa. Jorge was the only rider to do two long runs today, and I don't think he had the problem."
Translation by Sean Sedacca