Brembo Engineer Andrea Bergami Interview, Part 2: "Moto2 Riders Are Now More Prepared For MotoGP Braking"

In the first part of the interview with Brembo engineer Andrea Bergami, we talked about the effect the holeshot devices and aerodynamics on MotoGP bikes, and how they have dramatically increased braking in the class, and we talked about the physical strain that is placing on the bodies of the riders.

In this second part, we continued our conversation about how the brakes have evolved over the past couple of years, how Moto2 is preparing riders better for entry into MotoGP, and how developments in racing are feeding into consumer components and road bikes. And Bergami explains in detail precisely what it is riders are looking for when it comes to braking.

First, Peter Bom and I asked about managing temperature in the brake discs. In the past, the difficulty with carbon discs was getting them up to temperature in the first place. With the additional cooling options for the discs – finned discs, finned calipers – was it hard to keep temperature in the brake discs?

"Sincerely, it's easier with the lower temperature," Bergami told us. "Yes it's always a problem. We see that tomorrow [Saturday at Portimão] will be a rainy day, and the weather is cold. So, here is not a demanding track for the brakes, so I think that tomorrow will be more the task to keep the temperature in the brake than dissipate the temperature in the brake. But this is easy. Why? Because now we have the solution of the covers." The brake disc covers are not a one-size-fits-all solution, but are tailored to each particular set of circumstances. "The teams have many steps, many specific covers that they can play easily with the temperature of the brake. And this can be used also for aerodynamic reasons."

Are there any tracks were there is a big gap in between hard braking zones where discs can lose temperature? "Portimão is not an easy track for this because you arrive in Turn 1 usually where you are very cold, but if you cover the disc a lot, the problem is then because the temperature increased a lot during hard braking for Turn 1, and with the cover you can't cool down the temperature the following turn. So you have to find the balance between these points."

While brake discs have to be brought up to temperature, for the calipers, it was more important to keep the temperature below a certain level. "For the caliper is the most important thing is the maximum temperature," Bergami said. "Because the limit of the caliper is obviously in the seal, which are rubber seals, so at a certain temperature you have a real consumption of the seal."

"So your limit on the caliper is 210°C. If you can stay under 210°C, for us, the performance is OK and consistent." Stable temperatures translate to a consistent feel at the lever, the point at which the rider interacts with the brakes. "Obviously, this is then very related to the the brake lever stability, because if you run very near to the limit, you can expect that the travel of the lever will be longer. If you stay in the middle temperature, say 150°C or near to this, you have a stable travel of the lever, and so stable performance of the braking system."

This was where the finned brake caliper Brembo had introduced made such a big difference. "Let me say that after the last introduction that we did in the last year of the finned calipers, I never saw any teams that reach 200°C. All are near 150°C." That really helped give the riders the consistency that they are looking from from the brakes.

The only time brake caliper temperatures start to rise is when riders get stuck behind another bike, Bergami explained. "The only variable that can affect this is the slipstream. Because when a rider rides very close and in the slipstream of another rider, obviously you have a sudden increase in the temperature, a sort of thermal heat shock that can create a longer travel of the lever. And this is the only time in which the rider can expect to find the lever with a little bit longer travel, or have to adjust a little bit. But apart from that, no."

This highlights perhaps the most important design factor for Brembo. "This is one of the most important targets of our braking systems, to give the most consistent possible braking system," Bergami explained to us. "Because at the end, like many other parameters of the motorbike, the riders also have to ride every lap expecting always the same thing. Because only in this way can you improve."

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Comments

It's nice to learn about technical developments that work with the rider, rather than working for the rider.

Braking systems with consistent feel and fade-free performance benefit the riders, and it's interesting to learn how these systems are built. The rider still needs to sort out body position, location of brake application, braking force, etc to maximize braking performance. Guessing the brake lever travel is a "skill" the sport can afford to lose. 

These systems walk a fine line between augmenting a rider's skill or replacing a rider's skill, but Brembo seem to be on the sporting side of the equation. Hopefully the GPC can tweak the rules to address the relative inopportunity for overtaking in braking zones, and they can do so without adversely affecting Brembo.

I spent more time than I'd care to admit looking at the high res image of the crashed bike.

 

Mark

At first glance I thought it was Maverick's bike from Spielberg, but then I realized it was an RNF bike. Anybody know where that was taken?

Binder Stekkenwall Assen at :49 seconds from photog off to right? Bike gets moved out of crash path by marshalls, crash truck comes later. Not on video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mpQzmvuJs74

Slow and zoomed, several photogs are poised shooting that spot. A crash like that certainly will mark your hanis! (Super sorry welcome commenter, just can't leave such humor alone, have at my name too if you'd like)

Wavey For The Win!

(Shared dislike of Honda is a tie though)

Good snooping. We must be bored? I have a 3pm patient waiting, so thanks for putting it to rest!

Following a bike --> temps going up significantly such that brake lever feel/reach changes? Confirmation of what we had been talking about so much early season re F tires.

The Moto2 engineer perspective is a valuable one. I love these bikes! Not many seem to share that w me, perhaps just due to a spec engine? "A mini Superbike" = COOOL. (You sure though? Bespoke chassis would be way stiffer and more adjustable/tunable - curious what suspension folks would say now). The Brembos on my bike are good. Removed the ABS, looking fwd to the shortened direct lines. The Ohlins are nice as well. Best feeling bike I've ever had (2014 Triumph 675R). No gizmos of any kind. Mini Superbike? Maybe. I don't like the maxi Superbikes after they left 180HP land. Mini in weight and stature, Triumph yes. And approaching the very old days of Superbikes re power. In case kids forgot already, a mini Superbike has a name of its own, called a Supersport. And a Ninja 300 is NOT called a Sportbike, it is an entry standard. Tell the young people?

But it DOES prepare me for MotoGP. I am so well prepared to watch Silverstone! Might get fish and chips on my Supersport. I keep staring at the dirty secret pic of (I think D.Binder's) Yamaha too. Never seen all those exposed privates before! Wow. So...

"Moto2 Style" -- we have a rather fresh perspective articulated well here that can be unpacked a bit more. We used to say 250 Style (Lorenzo) was supplanted by Moto2 Style (Marquez). The rear started blasting out, braking battles commenced. The polite era (250) ushered out by the kids of Moto2. That Honda CBR600RR was a pretty cool road bike! I had a gorgeous blacked out 2007, set up well. A friend still has it (are you a reader here? Say hi to the dogs!). The frame is too soft with race tires and stiff setup.

2010 thru 2018 in Moto2 guise, the engine is wide and not very powerful (for sure not grunty). Predictable smooth easy power, but soft and rather high up the rev range. The wide engine shape/size AND power delivery dictated some aspects of (first Gen Marquez bike) Moto2 chassis and handling. Riding style followed. Not just meaning the adjustment of riders from 250-->Moto2, rather the young overdog rider style that CAME UP IN Moto2. It takes time to manifest. It was Marc Marquez. Just like 250 had their last of many, Lorenzo. 2019 on we have a different new "Moto2 Style" being referred to by the Brembo engineer in the article. 2018 Moto2 had battle of Bagnaia and Oliveira for top step, followed a good bit back by Binder. Quartararo and Mir were there but it was Pecco - Oliveira. How was Pecco's adjustment to MotoGP? Aboard the not getting there but not yet fully Gigi'd Duc? Tough and gradual. See his style evolution? Moto2 to Moto2ii?

2019 Moto2 is a closer fought transition year, A.Marquez/Binder/Luthi/Navarro/A.Fernandez all have a good go. Brad Binder as we know thrives in MotoGP with an adaptive and very toothy aggressive style. But it is the hungry younger riders coming through the mid pack one can focus on for "Moto2ii Style." 

2020! Bastianni, Marini, Bezzecchi, Martin...see it? 

2021 Gardner, R.Fernandez, Bezzecchi...see it now? 

Yamaha stayed the Tuning Fork 250 Lorenzo style bike. The Honda MotoGP project careened at through and past the apex with a big Moto2 bucking braking back it in bronco. 

Here we are Mutterrers: that ended. It ended itself, and nearly The Marc. Honda's reign, even prominence. There is good news. It will need its own label, either that or we all know we are referring to "Moto2 Style ii" brought to you by Triumph Triple. And now a European V4 very high tech MotoGP bike. The Moto2ii bike handles WAY better than the 2010-2018. Power delivery is magnificent AND just plain more. Top spec #'s for horsepower are not the place to look, deceivingly mild. The head/cam on the 765 is REALLY the limiting factor, it is milder kit than the Daytona 675. The chassis bespoke built ended up remarkably spot on similar to geometry of the Triumph Daytona (and thus Street Triple unpaired upright bars/pegs version homologated in Supersport today).

Moto2 Style? No longer Honda backing it in. Unfortunately or fortunately, there are electronics. And the electronics are used. Stoner dialed them down and used the right hand. Marc did so and used his body dynamically with a both wheels skating loose. Not the Moto2ii kids. They carry more corner speed. They and the Moto2 ii bike get out of corners with lots more early drive. They just plain handle much better. It is a bit of a Goldilocks sweet middle between 250 and Moto2 episode 1 in a sense. Elbows are dragging, but held closer to the body. The whole body is off the bike more and moving alot. We see Bastiannini and Martin with Moto2ii. They can carry LOTS of lean angle. But they don't HAVE to. Multiple lines are more easily available and naturally. They get the bike pushed up onto the fatter contact patch very early post apex. Electronics sort and smooth out cornering. So you commit more your body fully. The bike can move around a bit. It can carve a U. It can grab and drive a V. And right now it is Red. 

250 Style = Yamaha

Moto2 Style = Honda 

Moto2ii Style = Ducati

Remy Gardner, pull a Zarco and get thee on a Duc ASAP. You are better than this. These tech based articles are fantastic David. Ohlins too please and thank you? Re damaged brake rotors, we used to annually ship for straightening, then keep as spares. With cars, there was a thing of "turning" them for a resurface if grooved from worn out pads (not warped). If you speak of it now you are given a senior discount, since a brand new one from China is $5 more than the old machine shop turning fee. Anyhoo, please don't race damaged rotors! Pulsing grabby brakes are a nightmare. 

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Toprak is sure doing some magnificent brake grabbing on SBK kit. It isn't enough this season as he is in 3rd, but it is lovely to see and MotoGP esque.

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Rea is doing a Quartararo right now with his contract talks. Pushing Kawi for something. Is it bike? Money? 

Lunchbreak over. Cheers Mutterrers! See you for WSBK racing here.

"Shapeshifters out. E-bikes in Supersport. Quarty is Alien. Red kid is rising" latest mantra