MotoGP bikes are some of the most advanced machines in the world along with F1 cars, built for one thing – speed. But sometimes riders also need to stop the bikes, too.
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow commented on the recent addition of a new brake lever on his handlebars. Some in the GP paddock call it a “scooter brake” because of how it operates the rear brake with the foot brake linked together. For some riders, this is an unnatural style of riding since they’ve never done it except for on a scooter. But then again, good riders always find an edge.
Crutchlow commented that it’s not natural for him yet. But he says he will continue to use it because it may be an advantage in some areas.
“I don’t use it [mid-corner], I use it in the braking zone. In the mid-corner I use my foot again, which is strange!” he told Crash.net during recent Sepang testing.
“It’s getting to that point where you’re not thinking about it [on the bike], whereas at the moment I’m still thinking about it.”
Crutchlow says the purpose of the rear hand-brake for him is a little different than some of his competitors:
“[We] want to decelerate the bike earlier in the braking zone and the position you’re in, in the braking zone, doesn’t always allow you to use your rear brake. Because you’re sliding forward and unless you put your leg at a 90-degree angle like Marc, it’s difficult to do.”
He admits that there are still some adjustments necessary because the finger-brake [lever] “is so sensitive… when you ride a bicycle and you brake, you brake with basically the same power on both hands.
“So that was what I did a few times when I was riding today! I braked full [power] with the right hand and then grabbed the left lever [and the bike went sideways]!”