And now, for something completely different. Here’s an interesting video that the folks at Pramac Ducati put together during the off-season test at Jerez (and thus outside of Dorna’s choke-hold on video usage).

In it, we see a compilation of several video spots from laps that Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci turned at the Spanish track, which when put together give great insight into how the MotoGP riders tackle a race course.

For those of you who say “I never use the rear brake,” Mr. Redding’s right foot has a tutorial for you. Meanwhile, Petrucci’s left-foot shows how GP riders are shifting (note the reverse shift pattern) well ahead of the fast corners, letting the slipper clutch and engine management systems do the hard work.

If you are astute, you can probably pick up a couple new tricks…though we doubt you’ll watch the video only once.

Source: Pramac Racing (Facebook)

  • MacaveliMC

    The rear brake usage is very interesting. I wish we had more info on why he used it when he did. Looks like he uses it on some corner entries and some corner exits under acceleration, maybe for anti-wheelie?

  • durandal1

    I agree, on the exits it seems to be wheelie control, but mid-corner is more of an open question. Is it to point the bike? Is it because of limited engine braking? Would be very interesting to know.

  • TB

    Didn’t Casey Stoner use the rear brake quite a bit as well at the start?

  • Paul

    Mid-corner rear brake is to keep the bike from understeering, which I think was a Ducati problem last season.

  • Paul

    Great video, thanks for sharing it, Jensen. Amazing amount of rear brake use, for sure. Keeping that Ducati on line in the corners.

  • Elton Alwine

    Jesus! Redding practically uses the rear brake like a footrest mid corner through the exit of the turn!

  • Sam Noah

    i did recall reading an article interview with him regarding usage of rear break. if my memories serve me right. casey used rear brake, like 10% woth 90% front brake

  • TonyG

    Ahhh….the “I never use the rear brake brigade….” Often the same people who will tell you how much better they are than any ABS system, and in any conditions. On a serious note: Great fun to see a really talented rider in this detail.

  • TB

    Sort of makes sense. If the traction control can’t avoid spinning up the back wheel, either because it’s not clever enough or you run it at a minimum because you don’t trust it why not open the throttle and use the back brake to load the wheel till you’re ready to release it out of the corner..
    The different riding styles are definitely quite interesting to learn about though. I once read that Hopper only uses his left arm for steering and keeps the right loose so he can really finesse the throttle and brake.

  • Dhawal

    Looking at how Redding’s shoes curl up a couple of times, looks like there is a lot of rear brake being used. Sometimes deceleration and sometime while accelerating.

    27770kms on the street and three sets of front brake pads on my Yamaha and the factory pad with more than half its life left on the rear.

    On a sport bike, with 320mm twin floating disc, the braking force generated with the four piston caliper is much much more than what the 220mm 2 piston floating mounted caliper. Thus to stop the motorcycle quicker, we tend to use the front brake most of the time.

    As I mentioned above, I rarely use the rear brake. The two instances I use the rear brake are when I want to stabilize the motorcycle approaching a corner or mid corner by easing off the front brake a little or when the front slides a lot and I have to keep braking for the motorcycle to stop in time.

    In my opinion, there is nothing masculine about using only the front brake. There are two brakes for a reason. To all those who are ‘I only use the front brake, only p***ies use the rear brake’ guys, here’s a little something for you. Disconnect your brake light connection for front brake and have someone ride behind you. If the brake light flashes, then you are obviously lying about you using only the front.

  • Joe D

    I use both, one or the other together, separately whenever. I depends on what I need to do, what the bike is capable of and desired trajectory. This is where electronics falter. No matter how good the sensors and programming, nothing beats the human touch.

  • Alam R

    Some serious fancy footwork.
    I use rear brake on the street for sweeping corners and scrubbing a bit of speed and of course slow speed control. Never used it on the track… might give it a try!

  • chris

    mat mladin never used the rear brake, so ymmv.

  • Ryan Donahue

    For now…

  • TR

    I use rear brake on track all the time. Didn’t used to though. Started racing a heavier bike and notice it helped quite a bit. Also made it work on a small bore 2 stroke. Kept the bike more balanced through a turn, actually improved corner speed and obviously was able to enter a corner faster since I was braking a lot later. I use it on the street ALL the time. I also use it all the time in the woods(fast intermediate cross country rider).

  • n/a

    I believe Tom Sykes likes to trail the rear brake too.

  • azboy

    You want the traction control engaging only when absolutely necessary, due to the drop in available HP. That is where the need for an electronics “strategy” comes in to play. Every time the traction or wheelie control engages, you are losing some level of available HP. If you can accomplish the same thing by utilizing the rear brake, you will get off the corner quicker by having the maximum available amount of HP.

  • TB

    An added bonus of doing it yourself could be that you save time by being able to predict better what’s going to happen because you’re directly influencing the back wheel, without a black box modification of your input. My logic being that in a TC scenario you lean hard on the lever, wait till the system responds, back off or push harder to align reality with expectation, iterate as required, then get on with entering or exiting the corner.
    In contrast to Scott in the video, I don’t use the back brake on my track bike to save concentration dollars (using Superbike school language) by 1) reducing time spent in thinking about moving my right foot to the lever and applying pressure (how much and for how long) 2) by not having to deal with cramps when my right shin starts to fatigue as the day goes on. I’m also lucky that my old track bike makes nowhere near the level of grunt a MotoGP bikes do and that I’m nowhere near threshold braking as I go into a corner.. :)

  • TonyG

    Firstly, Chris thanks for the reply. Anyone quoting Mat has my respect. And I laughed my arse off when I looked up ymmv, a very useful acronym. Secondly, though this, rundown suggests that Mat used the rear very sparingly but not zero (it would seem a lot of refinement for a completely unused capability) My issue was not though with track usage so much as when when Mr or Ms ‘I really didn’t see you…’ does a U orsomeother turn in front of me, which seems to happen once every 10 days to me, and then I am on the rear hard and the front harder. Cheers and KICKSTANDS UP!

  • tony

    throwing my hat in the ring…!

    my track bike is an 05 gsxr thou. 165hp at the crank. my home track is fontana speedway. certain sections…i need all the brakes i can get! trips me out when i see dudes spending much time and $ obsessing over front brake then absolutely ignoring the rear. i’ve seen guys actually disconnect it after passing tech…wow…

    might be interesting to note how many rear brakers have dirt bike backgrounds. or not. maybe i’ll just continue to let them run off track…

  • AHA

    (To step away from the track for a moment) In town particularly in heavy traffic, the rear brake is often all you need. If you’re using the front a lot especially when filtering, you aren’t reading the traffic and you probably need to work harder on your anticipation skills. YMMV: the rear on a KTM will stop a bus. I’ve yet to ride a Ducati where the rear lever was connected to anything :) Honda etc somewhere in between.

  • chris

    those rrw videos on mladin are the best, especially the last minute and a half(ish) of this one, which is what i was thinking about:

  • TonyG

    Chris, that was an excellent video and certainly makes your case about an alternative approach to rear braking use for cornering in racing. I also really enjoyed the commentary about corner speed, which is certainly topical in the current GP context. Thanks!