Turn 1 – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
In terms of braking, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the most demanding in the entire World Championship due to both the high temperatures and the three major brakes required on the track. Riders brake 10 times for approximately 30 seconds on each lap, meaning that 28% of their time on the track is spent braking.
The hardest braking point is on the approach into turn 1, as the rider has been going full throttle on the starting straight that stretches for over a kilometre. To take the turn safely, the bike must be going at 100 km/h, but on the first straight it reaches speeds of up to 340 km/h. This means a deceleration of 240 km/h in just 285 metres.
The F1 cars competing on this circuit “only” reach a speed of slightly more than 315 km/h on this straight, but they take the bend at 156 km/h.
Turn 1 – Red Bull Ring
It’s true that the Red Bull Ring is the circuit with the least number of turns in the World Championship — just ten in total — but there are seven braking markers, meaning that almost every turn requires severe deceleration. MotoGP brake manufacturer Brembo considers three of these turns as requiring extreme braking, so it is no surprise that this Austrian track holds the record for the highest average deceleration force, with 1.3 g.
One such extreme braking section is the approach to turn 1. While it is a simple uphill turn, it requires some seriously harsh braking. The bike gets to this point at 310 km/h and has about four seconds to get down to less than 100 km/h to safely take the turn. F1 cars, on the other hand, reach a slightly higher speed and take the turn at around 144 km/h.
Turn 11 – Motegi
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Motegi. In a previous report we told you that this stop-and-go circuit is the only one where the use of 340 mm brake discs is mandatory. Motegi is the circuit where riders spend the most time braking, for approximately 33% of the race. This equals about 35 seconds per lap.
Out of the 10 braking markers, turn 11 really stands out, not only because it is a very sharp bend, but also because it comes after a long downhill straight, hence its name the “Downhill straight”. It requires a deceleration from approximately 310 km/h to less than 80 km/h, braking for 260 metres with 1.5 g of deceleration and a force of 7.5 kg on the lever. With all this going on, the internal pressure of the brake fluid reaches 13.2 bar.
Turns 1 and 15 – Sepang
The Malaysian GP has what is considered to be the most demanding track for brakes in the entire World Championship. The high temperatures, which can be in the region of 35°C in the air and 45°C on the asphalt, plus the shape of the track, all prove to be a challenge for brake components.
Sepang has 11 braking markers, the most extreme ones being turns 1 and 15 at the end and at the start of the final stretch, respectively. Turn 15 is slightly slower than turn 1, and requires a force of 6.1 kg on the lever to get down to under 70 km/h over a 270-metre stretch.
Turn 1 really puts the brakes to the test. The bike reaches 320 km/h at this point, and must decelerate to approximately 70 km/h. The braking lasts 5.3 seconds and takes place over a 260-metre distance. There is approximately 1.5 g of deceleration with a force of 6.8 kg on the lever.
If we compare it to F1, the cars reach this point at a slightly faster speed and brake to 90 km/h in just 68 metres, applying 123 kg of force on the brake pedal and 4.4 g of deceleration. In short, Turn 1 in Sepang requires the fastest braking in the MotoGP World Championship, putting the rider’s skill and the resistance of the bike’s brake components to the test.