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By ¡Cambia el mapa!

Yamaha: Brake's chaos and the serious threat to engines

Juan Martínez, former MotoGP ™ technical chief and DAZN commentator, discusses the problems that Yamaha are going through

The 2020 season seems to have taken an unexpected turn for Yamaha following a promising start to the season. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) secured victories in the Jerez double, and he was joined on the podium by Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on both occasions, while teammate Valentino Rossi also returned to the rostrum in Andalucia. 

Things began to change in Brno where we saw the initial warning signs - despite Franco Morbidelli's (Petronas Yamaha SRT) first podium.

What is happening to Yamaha? To help us understand, from a technical point of view, the DAZN presenters spoke this week on ¡Cambia el mapa !, the MotoGP ™ podcast in Spanish, about the problems suffered by the fretboard brand, both with the brakes and with the engines, as well as many other topics related to Ducati's difficulties with the tires, the KTM explosion, the recovery of Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) or the favorites for the title. Below, we reproduce some of the explanations of Juan Martínez, former MotoGP ™ technical chief and commentator for DAZN, about the problems that have hampered the performance of the M1 lately, especially on a track that "is the most demanding circuit for the brakes," as cataloged by Brembo ".


The chaos of the brakes

Brembo had special calipers available to the teams, which in the case of Ducati they had already used before. What were you looking for with those new tweezers?


Basically, what they are trying to do is dissipate the temperature that is generated in the discs and in the pads. You brake the motorcycle because you exert friction between the pads and the discs and the brake disc track and the temperature that is generated ends up being transmitted to all the components that are in contact with those pads and discs. What you want is that the temperature that is absorbed by the entire system is reduced as quickly as possible. That is why you try to favor the cooling of the system.

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What can be done so that the Yamahas do not continue to suffer so much with this problem?


It seems that not only Yamaha had these problems. It is true that the most obvious case was Maverick and that he was one of the drivers who did not adopt Brembo's solution from the first Grand Prix to the second in Austria. From the looks of it, after the readings and analysis done by Brembo after the first race, they understood that everything was very close to the limit and they had no more problems due to the fact that the race was stopped. The red flag favored that in the first Grand Prix there were no more pilots with the same problem as Maverick. This means that for the second GP, which is the following week, Brembo offers different pickups, pickups they call High Mass.

One of the ways to dissipate that generated temperature is to increase the mass of the components. In recent years there have been two important modifications. On the one hand, the total diameter of the disc was increased, thereby gaining some mass and leverage, which affected the effectiveness of the ability to stop the bike. On the other hand, it was understood that it was also helped by increasing the track inwards, which is why discs are lately rare. When there are these discs you will see that the central part of the disc is as if it were closed a lot. It is to gain mass in the brake disc track so that it can absorb some of that heat. What did Brembo do here? Given the limitations, he tried to make some pills, which are also called High Mass, which what they do is increase the mass. How do you increase the mass? Well, gaining some thickness in the pad and gaining some contact surface. Some of the pilots who tested it, the fact that the contact surface was different with the disc, changed their sensations in the action of the brake. That's why some drivers took the risk of not changing those pads, as was the case with Maverick and Mir.


Maverick literally said, "my brake blew". Alex Márquez, who was behind him, said he saw a piece jump. Could it be a pill or a piece of the record? You can pass? Could it be broken?


Yes, the disk can disintegrate. Obviously, if something happens to the disc, the pads, as they are placed, are thrown off. What's going on? Carbon as a material is very resistant and needs to work at a certain temperature to be efficient, but it also has a maximum oxidation temperature of the material. What does this mean? When you exceed that temperature or that temperature peak that is around 900º -considered an extreme temperature for carbon discs-, if you exceed it for a certain time, you run the risk that the material may separate, that is , that the disk literally disappears, breaks. The question in the case of Maverick, and we do not know, is whether they really had a rust problem, which was what Brembo had detected after the first race. What does Brembo do? It controls temperature spikes and how long that temperature is maintained, which could damage the durability or strength of the material in this case. If this was the case, Maverick's problem is that that temperature or that oxidation rate of the material was exceeded, resulting in the disc itself breaking. That could turn out to be it.


To summarize, is this solved? Will it happen again? Is it because of this circuit? What do we say?


The thing about the brakes is about this circuit. In fact, Brembo also, as an aid after the first race, asked the teams to use any ventilation element or to favor the cooling of the brake calipers. I think it is relative to this particular circuit. Having seen what I have seen, surely if Maverick had used those other pills, surely that problem would not have occurred. I think at the next circuit, at Misano, they shouldn't have that problem. The next demanding circuit they have in terms of brakes would be Barcelona, ​​but it is not as demanding as Austria.


The threat of engines

In the case of having broken the engine with the incident of the last race, Viñales would have only 3 of the 5 engines to complete the season. Can it be achieved with the races that lie ahead?


Now we have 9 races left. Considering that you have approximately 550 km, it is 4950 km. If you divide those 4950: Warm Up and race are around 150 ... I am doing calculations ... There are 3600 km that he has to do in training condition and 1350 that he should do with the engine, which is I suppose what they should estimate. If they have recognise  which are the components that may have problems and which are good, well, surely, the ones that are good are used for the Warm Up and the race, with which they are very, very, very fair, so as not to say that I think any races will come out of the pitlane.

This is my appreciation and seen what I've seen. Then you really have to look at the engines that have the wrong valves, which they could use for training, understanding that they hold up to all training sessions, and if that conditions the way you train because you have to use fewer revolutions. It is not that on Sunday I automatically put 500 revolutions and that's it, because the change is modified and there are a series of inconveniences, in the calculation of consumption ... It is not that you can make the changes just like that.


Regardless of one day being wrong with the 'setting' for the tires, Maverick also had a clutch problem in the Austrian race. Don't you think there are too many things together at Yamaha?


Criticism from the outside is much easier than when you are inside the garage. It is true that from the outside it seems strange that in a structure like Yamaha so many things are happening. They are small details or small nuances. It is an indication that they have a major chaos inside. In the end, when this happens with the clutch - the overheating of the clutch - they should understand exactly why it is: if it is because it is the same bike that made the first exit and then the clutch was already almost at the limit or out of tolerance to make another departure. When we talk about the 'setting' of the motorcycle there are also very particular things. For the start, apart from the new 'holeshot' system, the connection that the rider has with the clutch actuation is important. Depending on the rider, it requires one way or another to adjust that clutch.

What does it mean to adjust that clutch? They can be from the clutch springs, which are harder or softer depending on how the pilot likes the cam, the thickness or the use of those discs: there are pilots who care less because they trust to release the Clutch quickly and the management of the bike will do everything, and there are riders who like to modulate. The one who likes to modulate is the one with the highest risk of overheating. Then, you, according to your pilot, make a 'setting' of the clutch. If you do not foresee that at some point you can have two outings in a row, either you should change the motorcycle because the other clutch is ready or you really should change the clutch.

It seems difficult to understand why all these little details are happening. It is true that if to this you add that the detail has also happened that Maverick in the end the third Brno tire goes bad, there are those small adjustments that fortune is not accompanying them at the moment. Obviously, those inside with all the data and with all the details, have to make decisions so that this does not happen again. Whatever. If it is a question of procedure, procedure; If it is a matter of exchanging tasks, then tasks, but they have to make decisions. What there cannot be are these small details that are destroying the brand's possibilities, the driver's confidence and, obviously, the result is being quite bad.


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