How Long Until Hybrid Bikes in MotoGP?

Surely, to many GP fans, adding hybrid motorcycles on the grid most likely sounds like the most disrespectful form of blasphemy. But if we skip the first wave of revolt and take some time to look at things with a more open-minded approach, the sight is not THAT horrific.
In the four-wheeled GP world, things happened more or less the same, and now the F1 cars seem to enjoy the advantages and new opportunities electric boost brings. Even more, in the supercar world, adding electric motors to aid the petrol-powered ones was eventually deemed a most welcome addition to the segment.

The same could happen to MotoGP, and even the Moto2 and Moto3, in an indefinite future. Despite the fact that this sport was born and grew as a petrol-powered series "par excellence," things ARE changing in the two-wheeler business and it will not be too long until electricity makes inroads in GP territory.

Of course, we are now dealing with suppositions and only trying to anticipate, but the change is imminent

If anything, it's hard to believe that Brembo would spend money on investigating the amounts of energy generated by the strongest braking sectors of a GP track just for the fun of it. Likewise, gathering such data is not exactly easy, if any pretense of relevance is expected.

This means research work, putting up a system that can harness and interpret data, and then assembling all the info in a readable, easy-to-understand way. And if you ask us, we believe that Brembo is cooking something...

The photo, or, if you want, the "readable, easy-to-understand way of putting things" was published by Brembo on Twitter ahead of the Indianapolis GP round. Why Brembo has decided in favor of Indy is hard to tell, but we might have two possible reasons.

One is that the Italian brake specialist has had this coming for some time now and profited from the summer break in the Grand Prix championship to get their act together. The other could relate to the fact that Indianapolis is a very fast circuit, with two straight lines that end in turns for which the riders must brake hard, sometimes from speeds as high as 337 km/h (209 mph).

Brembo has taken into account several parameters, such as the overall time spent braking at the Indy track, the initial speed, the stopping distance, brake categorization, and the amount of energy produced by a bike during the GP.

Although it disclosed data from only three of the 16 turns of the Indianapolis track, it seems more than enough to at least make us think about the possibilities. Turn 1, Turn 6 and Turn 10 produced a total of 413 kW, with braking summing 629 meters (2,063 feet). The average speed ahead of these turns is 286 km/h (178 mph).

Is Brembo preparing to tap into the regenerative motorcycle brake niche?

Still, there are four more turns identified by Brembo at Indy as being capable of producing significant amounts of energy. Is this a hint that we might get to see Brembo surfacing regenerative brakes that can be used in the motorcycle racing scene?

The electric motorcycle segment has been constantly improving during the last few years, and the recent models are using high-spec brake components from Brembo's range. You (or Brembo, for what's worth) don't need us to tell you that there is a huge potential in this field.

With Brembo's current expertise, switching over to e-brakes would probably be a less daunting enterprise. Having the GP championship changed would instead be a much crazier adventure, even though we strongly believe that the sport WILL change in the not-so-distant future.

Of course, adding an electric mobility component to the prototypes would have to benefit from a new set of sporting and technical regulations, and it is questionable how the IRTA would see this move. It's only been months since the last modifications in the GP regulations and the promise of more stability in this respect.

One electron to rule them all

Even so, in case someone is indeed thinking seriously about adding an electric motor to MotoGP bikes, maybe a spec unit could tick all the boxes. After all, there has been a lot of talking prior to the introduction of the spec ECU and the unified bike software for the premier class, but in the end, all teams and manufacturers got along.

In case an electric motor does become a part of the actual future of the championship, Dorna could decide in favor of a single unit to be used by all the bikes on the grid, with the same power rating and performance specs, the same battery packs, and the same brakes.

This might have an impact on the costs of racing for the private teams, of course. Even more, some manufacturers, such as Honda, may still want to use their subsidiary brakes, in this case, Nissin, for developing new products for road-going motorcycles.

Even in such a scenario, we can expect Dorna, IRTA and the Grand Prix Commission to find a solution to make ends meet. Electric racing series are a reality and they will only expand as e-bike manufacturers up their game and the prices of the bikes dwindle.

Battery technology has also come a long way lately, and the whole segment is making steady progress the racing will most likely not be able to hold at bay for too long.

How long until hybrid bikes in MotoGP? We cannot give you an answer right now, but Brembo might know more on this than meets the eye.
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