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MotoGP designers explore wing ban limits

"I cannot say too much about the actual designs, but I basically informed them of what would be approved and what would not" - Danny Aldridge, MotoGP Technical Director.
It's no secret that in the wake of the wing ban, MotoGP manufacturers are trying to discover exactly what they can and can't get away with in 2017.

The new rules state: "It is not permitted to add any device or shape to the fairing or bodywork that is not integrated in the body streamlining (eg. wings, fins, bulges, etc.), that may provide an aerodynamic effect (eg. providing downforce, disrupting aerodynamic wake, etc.). The Technical Director will be the sole judge of whether a device or fairing design falls into the above definition."

While '2017' machines have already been seen during testing, next year's fairing designs are far from finalised.

Ducati's decision to test with wings still fitted to its 2017 Desmosedici prompted speculation they have found a way to keep downforce while staying within the new rules. Ducati state the wings were kept for 'chassis comparisons', but if nothing else it proved that the GP17 fairing is yet to be seen.

"For next year we have to completely change the aerodynamics of the bike, and for sure we are not ready at the moment with the new aerodynamics," said Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna.

Meanwhile, Herve Poncharal revealed that Yamaha had 'brought a very special fairing' to the Valencia test, aimed at replicating the performance of the winglets.

As the 'sole judge' of what is and isn't legal next season, MotoGP Technical Director Danny Aldridge confirmed that Yamaha, like 'most manufacturers', has submitted a number of fairing designs for review.

"I can confirm that Yamaha have shown me various designs of fairings - and some in Valencia - to know if they will be legal or not in 2017," Aldridge told

"I cannot say too much about the actual designs, but I basically informed them of what would be approved and what would not. It's not only Yamaha that are submitting designs, most of the other manufacturers have also done the same."

Asked how the design submissions have been made, Aldridge responded that some manufacturers supplied 3D CAD drawings while others provided complete ready-to-test fairings.

"To me, it makes sense to work only with drawings until you get approval, but if a manufacturer prefers to produce the fairing, that's their choice and money!"

Using the feedback from Aldridge, manufacturers will complete their 2017 fairing designs ready for pre-season tests at Sepang, Phillip Island and Qatar.

But the new limit on fairing updates (one per rider, per season) raises the possibility that some teams may wait until the last moment to debut their 2017 designs, for example only at the Qatar test.

That would allow a manufacturer to check the fairing works as planned with their race riders, but make it difficult for rivals to respond/copy the design before the start of the season - at which point they are limited to only one fairing update.

Ducati chose the Qatar test to debut the new generation of MotoGP winglets, just before the opening race of 2015.

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: wings , fairing

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December 11, 2016 12:24 PM

Motojunky: Tetley your reading way to much into this.
There should be zero opportunity to mis-interpret the rules if they are written properly. If I can spot prospective loopholes then I’m one hundred per cent sure that the team’s boffins and legal eagles will see even more. And I forsee that there will be many protests and much dissent created by these vague Rules. Remember Gigi getting his works bikes into the Open class and the Rule makers having to invent a separate class ? Anyway, I consider myself to have shook a six when I can read anything on Crash these days. There is now a full page ad which completely locks up my PC and the only way to continue on the site is to log out and log in again. I see many of the other regular and prolific posters no longer appear here and now I, too have reached the end of my patience and tolerance. Crash will have some explaining to do to their advertisers when their new exposure figures are published.


December 14, 2016 1:31 PM

@ motojunky and tetley The three of us have all been posting here for over 5 years and it seems we are all hacked off by the state of crash. I can cope with the stupid adverts - especially the shouty video ones - as I can block them. In the last 12 months though the number of 'An unexpected error has occurred' has reached stupid proportions. We get NO information, apology or explanation...EVER. I wouldn't consider any of us to be moaners or unreasonable, yet at least three long term, loyal posters are considering defecting, having had our fill of 'unexpected errors' which go unexplained. Could we please have a little spend on the integrity of the site rather than new twitter feeds or even more ads. We are your customers after all.

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