MotoGP, Brembo: Here are the secrets of Dovizioso’s brakes

Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati, who were number one in MotoGP after the first three laps, couldn’t have started this season better. The Italian driver has 54 points. Not far behind are Valentino Rossi with 51, Alex Rins with 49 and Marc Marquez with 45.

In December 2018 Andrea Dovizioso spent an afternoon in Curno at the Brembo Racing headquarters, where the brake components were developed, manufactured and tested for use in MotoGP, Formula 1 and other international motorsport competitions.

Once again he confirmed what technicians who worked with him at the World Cup had always said and what earned him the nickname “Rider Engineer”: He has a keen ability to scientifically analyze the behavior of the bike and is in the Manufacturing experience improvements to the motorcycle, which he demonstrated with the Desmosedici.

As soon as he stepped into the showroom, Dovizioso began to ask questions about the brake caliper and brake disc combinations shown for the Formula 1 single-seaters and prototypes. He continued to ask questions to engineers at the factory that makes MotoGP brakes. “I saw a lot of precision and a level of technique that I imagined, but I didn’t believe it until I saw it. The number of checks and the serious handling of work and materials are intense, which makes sense since braking is an essential aspect of racing“He said before going back to Borgo Panigale.


Andrea has his own way of looking at braking. “I am very demanding when it comes to braking because I have always been one of the strongest drivers in this area and have always been particularly sensitive to the brakes. For me it is important that I have responsive and precise brakes. I usually brake with just two fingers on the front lever. “

Since 2017, Andrea Dovizioso has been the only driver that Marc Marquez constantly worries about. Proof is the second place he secured in the final classifications in 2017 and 2018, as well as his GP race victories: the Spanish rider won 16 and Dovizioso won 11. No other MotoGP rider achieved more than four victories in total.

“I use the thumb master cylinder, but only when the bike is at the maximum steering angle.”

It might just be a coincidence, but this period directly corresponds to the more regular use of the thumb master cylinder. This solution was developed to help Mick Doohan ride 500cc motorcycles again after his accident in the qualifying laps of the 1992 Dutch GP. The accident was so severe that he risked amputation of his right leg, which had been bruised. Since Doohan couldn’t use his right foot, Brembo engineers designed a thumb master cylinder that allowed him to use the rear brake anyway. Instead of a right brake pedal, the rear brake was operated using a hand control on the left part of the handlebar. This ingenious solution helped the Australian to win five successive world championships in the 500cc class from 1994 to 1998.

However, Dovizioso did not use it for long. “I used the thumb master cylinder in HRC, but then put it back. I’ve picked it up again with Ducati and I’m delighted that so many other riders have discovered it. I only use it for right turns as it is not possible to use the rear brake with your right foot in the middle of the turn. To do this, some drivers hold their foot forward, others move it to the tip of the footrest. “Some use the thumb master cylinder to avoid skidding when cornering, but Dovizioso doesn’t. “The force you can exert on the thumb master cylinder with your finger is much less than what you can exert with your foot. That’s why I only use it when the bike is at the maximum lean angle”.


Andrea Dovizioso was the second rider to ever win a wet MotoGP race with carbon discs. He made it at the 2017 Japanese GP, despite the fact that the rain never let up in the 24 laps. The air temperature that day did not exceed 14 ° C and the asphalt never exceeded 15 ° C.

Dovizioso is excited about it. “It’s good news because it allows us to brake more evenly, like on dry surfaces, and for a driver who overtakes like me, this is crucial. Obviously it’s not easy to deal with this situation or keep the brakes warm when it’s really cold, but I think it’s a big step forward. ”At the Valencia GP in 2018, Dovizioso won again in the rain with carbon discs:“ We drove under extreme conditions, but we managed to make them work well. In the break between the two races (the GP race was interrupted, then it started again, Ed.) We modified the bike so that I could brake a little harder. “

Dovizioso has been using Brembo brakes for more than a decade. He said, “On the 125 and 250 there was very little room to personalize the brakes. All you have to do is find your setup and the rest will come as a result. In MotoGP, however, everything is extreme and the brakes have changed a lot over the past decade. Both the diameter of the discs and the height of the brake band have increased and many different combinations are available. The brake calipers have also gone through a technological advancement and there are more options to choose from for every driver. We are approaching a scenario in which there are no longer any limits”.

Like any talented rider, Dovizioso has special requirements for the technicians who equip his Ducati. I like being very responsive and having as little play as possible on the lever before I hit the brakes. Brembo has worked hard over the years to improve this aspect. When you ride an Italian motorcycle and Italian brakes, good results become even more satisfactory. “