Technology in MotoGP is reaching unthinkable levels just a few years ago, with the braking systems which in turn have progressed to the point of reducing stopping distances more and more. Brembo has never stopped the development of its systems, both in MotoGP and in Formula 1, and today he offered us the opportunity to talk to Pecco Bagnaia about this topic, offering many interesting ideas.
A nice chat in which we talked with Pecco about how important braking is today in MotoGP and also about the different techniques adopted by the riders currently on the grid. Space also for some curiosities about Casey Stoner, former ward of that Christian Gabarrini (already revealed by Cecchinello in our GPOnecar) who today follows Bagnaia in the garage and is an authentic gold mine with his experience.
First, let’s start from Le Mans. How demanding is it on the brakes?
“Le Mans is less demanding from a brake point of view than Jerez, but you have to be very careful with the temperatures. We usually use ‘low-end’ discs which are the ones that work best in these conditions. There are two very hard braking and it is often cold, so keeping the brakes warm isn’t easy. Last year I remember not having problems even with the rain “.
What did you feel in your first test with the 2016 MotoGP in Valencia, did the braking surprise you?
“When I tried MotoGP in 2016 it was a shock to braking. But I never had that blocking effect that other riders have. I immediately felt comfortable, I don’t remember it as a shocking experience. Sure, it takes some getting used to, but I can say that now I struggle more when riding bikes that don’t have carbon brakes. ”
In Valencia, a few years later, you also had to block the front and take a bad fall ….
“That episode happened, I could do little about it. It will never happen again, let’s say it was a small problem that had a great consequence. Maybe the guys from Brembo can explain it better!”.
In Jerez some riders complained about the difficulty of overtaking in modern MotoGP. Perhaps we could consider adopting steel discs as in SBK? What do you think about it?
“Since the beginning of the year I have made many comebacks, like in Portimao, Austin, Argentina. I believe that overtaking takes place. Both with and without these carbon brakes, as well as for aerodynamics. These are not the things that limit overtaking. When you ride faster than your rival, you inevitably overtake him. Even if you are at the limit, you can overcome, I don’t think these are technical limits. In Jerez, I think Aleix was fighting with Marquez and Miller who pull off very hard, while he favors corner exit. I think the track is also special, so in my opinion it was a mix of these factors. ”
Among the most famous users of the rear brake is Stoner. Have you ever talked about it with Gabarrini, who was following him?
“I talked a lot with Gabarrini about these things, because it is fascinating to talk with him about the driving styles of the various riders he has had. He always explained to me that Casey was very good at understanding how much grip he had on the rear and how much power it could use. It was certainly a period in which traction controls were not as developed as modern ones, especially with a bike like the Ducati 800, which by all accounts was undriveable, it was very difficult.
The power was on-off, dei had to find a square and Stoner always made the most of the potential that was there. He adapted using the rear brake a lot, but already in the two years with Honda he started to use it less because the technology has evolved so much in those years. Seeing Casey driving at that time was truly fascinating, did great things with a motorcycle that was undriveable. He adapted and made a lot of difference. Now among the riders who makes the most of the rear is Miller. He and I use it a lot when exiting the corners, because we both try to use very little dash control and we need the brake to limit the wheelie “.
Do you think this is an aspect where you can learn something from Miller?
“Jack is very good at managing the rear brake when entering corners, he is really a reference for me. Turns the bike in the last entry phase giving a very strong piston, while I put the bike sideways at the beginning detached. They are two different approaches, but in my opinion he has a lot of control from this point of view “.
What innovations have you tried this season regarding braking systems?
“This year we tried the 355 discs which on some tracks can help a lot, they are more explosive even if a little less modular. I liked them a lot”.
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