UPDATE: It appears that the ban on winglets was made after the MSMA (Manufacturers' Association) failed to reach agreement on a proposal for the future of the devices.
With Ducati strongly opposed to a ban - and no hard evidence to prove they are dangerous - a set of regulations regarding the size, shape, location and detachment of the wings had been under discussion within the MSMA.
But it seems a state of deadlock was reached, prompting the Grand Prix Commission to impose a simple 'yes' or 'no' vote on whether to ban wings. A 'unanimous agreement' by the Commission means all four parties voted for a ban, but does not mean that all the individual MSMA members wanted a ban.
Had a technical proposal for wing regulations been unanimously agreed upon by the MSMA members it would not have been opposed by the rest of the Grand Prix Commission - as is always the case for technical matters.
MotoGP will ban the use of aerodynamic wings from 2017.
After a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission - Dorna, FIM, IRTA and MSMA - on Saturday at Assen, the following statement was issued:
"The Commission unanimously agreed that unanimously agreed that, with effect from the 2017, the use of aerodynamic wings in the MotoGP class will be banned.
"The actual regulation will replicate those for the Moto3 and Moto2 classes where the use of wings is already prohibited.
“Wings that comply with current technical regulations may continue to be used for the remainder of the 2016 season.”
The main purpose of the winglets is to generate downforce at the front of the bike during acceleration, thus reducing the amount of wheelie without needing to cut engine output.
However some riders have expressed safety concerns due to the risk of a 'slicing' injury, plus the unsettling turbulence created for following riders, while others warned of spiralling development costs.
The safety and cost arguments have been challenged by Ducati
, which debuted the latest generation of winglets at the start of 2015 and has been at the forefront of the technology ever since.
Nevertheless, there have long been rumours that winglets could be banned, as already occurred in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes
, if the manufacturers could not agree on a proposal to satisfy the concerns.
Yamaha joined Ducati in using winglets late last season, Honda held its winglet debut at the 2016 Qatar test, while Suzuki and Aprilia made it a clean sweep of all five manufacturers with winglets available at Jerez in April.
By Peter McLaren