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WorldSBK Magny-Cours: French track second most demanding on brakes

According to the Brembo technicians who work closely with 17 WorldSBK riders, Magny-Cours is a highly-demanding track for the brakes. On a difficulty index scale of one to five, it earned a four – only Catalunya gets a higher rating.

The track alternates large high-speed curves, where brakes are hardly used at all, and intense braking sections where the braking system is really put to the test: in a couple of spots, the speed on entering the bend is lower than 55 km/h (34 mph) and in a couple of others it’s still less than 75 km/h (47 mph).

In addition to that, the characteristic rain and low temperatures might be an issue for the braking systems, keeping them from reaching their minimum working temperature.


Brembo’s discs for Superbikes

Every rider can choose between 338.5 mm diameter discs or 336 mm ones. The larger diameter means that more pressure can be exerted, but it also weighs more. For each option, the riders can choose from four different thicknesses from a minimum of 6.5 mm up to 7.1 mm.

Carbon has been barred from Superbike since 1994, to limit costs; the discs, in fact, are made of steel, even though regulations permit the use of carbon as long as it doesn’t account for more than 2.1% of the total disc weight. Alloys containing beryllium are also banned.

Use of the brakes

The Superbike riders use their brakes on nine of the bends on the Magny-Cours circuit, seven of these being right-hand ones; only two of the eight left-hand bends call for the use of the braking system. The brakes are used for an average of over 29 and a half seconds per lap – that’s 31% of the total race time. Only Jerez can count a higher percentage.

Summing up all the forces applied by a rider on the brake lever from the starting line to the checkered flag over the two races, the result comes in at about 830 kg. That’s no small thing if you consider that in 150 braking sections, the riders exert a load of at least 4 kg (8.8 lbs) and can even reach more than 6 kg (13.2 lbs).


Most demanding section

Of the nine braking sections at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, one is classified as very demanding on the brakes whereas six are of medium difficulty and the other two are light.

The most demanding by far is bend 5, with a speed gap of 244 km/h (152 mph): the Superbikes come in at 288 km/h (179 mph) and slow down to 44 km/h (27 mph) in 5.6 seconds as they travel 233 meters (764 feet).

The riders apply a 6.3 kg (13.9 lbs) load on the brake lever, undergoing a 1.5 g deceleration while Brembo’s HTC 64T brake fluid reaches a pressure level of 13.5 bar.

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