Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why MotoGP riders use the rear brake 70% of every lap

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


Why MotoGP riders use the rear brake 70% of every lap

The rear brake has become one of the most important tools on a MotoGP bike. Tech 3 KTM rider Danilo Petrucci explains why

Most road riders use a lot more front brake, while MotoGP riders use the rear brake much more. This is just one example of how the art and science of riding a MotoGP bike has very little to do with everyday motorcycling.

The rear brake is now one of the most important tools on a MotoGP machine, which is why riders use it through 70% of the lap, while they use the front brake half as much (but with a lot more braking force and stopping power).

MotoGP riders use the rear brake to help stop the bike, to turn the bike, to adjust its attitude, to stabilise the bike and reduce wheelies during acceleration.

“The rear brake on a MotoGP bike is important everywhere,” says Tech 3 KTM rider Danilo Petrucci. “This is why I have a thumb brake and a foot brake, so I can use the rear brake in all circumstances.

“When I rode Superstock 600 I could’ve removed the rear brake and still been fast, but when I went to 1000 Superstock I learned it was a tool you really, really need to use. In MotoGP there aren’t any tracks where you use the rear brake more or less, because you use it in most situations at every track.

“Sometimes the engineers tell you to use it less because there’s the matter of fuel consumption, but it does so much to stabilise the bike. I’m nearly always on the rear brake, into and out of corners. Really the only time I don’t use it is when I’m in fourth, fifth and sixth gears.”

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

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Comments

Really interesting article about an aspect of riding I knew of, but really had no understanding of how it is used at the MotoGP level.  It would be interesting to hear how Petrucci's use of the rear brake compares to other riders.  The riders are often talking about how they have to "completely change their riding style" because of the bike or tires.  I'd imagine the use of rear brake would be a big part of this.