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MotoGP, Brakes on fire at Montmelò: 800° on the discs

The force exercised during the race is equal to 1200 kg...the weight of more than 170 Iberian hams!

Brakes on fire at Montmelò: 800° on the discs

From 3 to 5 June the Barcelona-Catalonia circuit is hosting the 7th round of the 2016 MotoGP championship. Inaugurated on the 10 September 1991, has hosted the reigning class since 1996.

4727 metres in length, the track presents 8 right-hand corners and 5 left-handers with a main straight that is 1047 metres long. Thanks to this, this year the fastest bikes will, for the first time, be able to reach 350 km/h: incredible speed, but luckily all of the MotoGP riders boast Brembo braking systems.

The turns, all decisive and close together, mean high temperatures for the Brembo carbon discs and brake pads, which are effective also a temperatures close to 800 degrees. Consider how the Brembo brake pads mounted on the most prestigious supersport road bikes reach a maximum of 400 degrees. This, combined with a high track temperature, which reached 49 degrees last year, means its harder than usual to cool the brakes.

According to the Brembo technicians, the Barcelona-Catalonia circuit is one of the toughest on the brakes. On a scale of 1 to 5, it is given a rating of 5, a level not yet seen at the 6 tracks visited so far in 2016. The Motegi and Sepang tracks receive the same score, and will host GP races in the autumn.

THE BRAKING EFFORT -  The Barcelona-Catalonia track is very technical with hard braking that asks a lot of the brakes: in 5 corners the riders reduce their speed to less than 100 km/h. The 10 hard braking points mean that over the course of the race riders are on the brakes for a total of approximately 13 minutes. The average deceleration of the GP is equal to 1.14 g, a lot less than the F1s at the same track (the only different is one extra corner in the final section). But as we’ve already seen during the Austin GP, the decelerations are in line with the characteristics of the bikes they’re riding. Adding up all of the forces that a rider exercises on the brake level through the entire race, the value exceeds 1200 kg, the weight of more than 170 whole Iberian hams.

THE TOUGHEST BRAKING POINTS – Of the 10 braking points at the Barcelona-Catalonia circuit, only 1 is classified as being very tough on the brakes, while 7 are of medium difficulty and 2 are light. The Elf corner braking point is considered one of the most difficult in the championship, because it is preceded by a straight more than 1 km long. The bikes arrive at more than 340 km/h and the riders brake for 5.1 seconds, with a force of 7.7 kg on the lever and a pressure of 13.3 bar to take the corner at 91 km/h. Among the medium difficulty corners, the hardest is Caixa (turn 10), because the deceleration is almost 200 km/h in just 223 metres and 4.8 seconds. To deal with turn 3, riders use the brake for just 1.4 seconds, the time needed to go from 163 to 137 km/h.

BREMBO WINS – All 20 editions of the Catalonia GP have been won with Brembo brakes: 9 Honda wins, 8 Yamaha, 2 Ducati e 1 Suzuki. 6 wins in 500-MotoGP for Valentino Rossi, though he hasn’t won since 2009. Jorge Lorenzo has won 3 of the last 4 editions.


Translated by Heather Watson

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