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MotoGP: Wheel covers, wings on final day of Sepang private test

Ducati unveils latest version of 'lenticular' wheel covers, plus 'light' sensors - white wings appear at Yamaha.
The final day of this week's private Sepang MotoGP test saw Ducati unveil yet another technical development, and Yamaha appear with white wings on their M1.

As on the previous two days, a damp track delayed the start of testing - and was followed by an afternoon rain storm.

In between the MotoGP test teams present - from all six manufacturers - got their final chance to check their machines in the dry, prior to handing them to the race riders in next week's official test.

Ducati - which caused a stir on Wednesday with a mysterious new black ('salad') box under the tail unit of the GP17 - again rolled-out visible new developments on Friday.

This time, Michele Pirro appeared on track with 'lenticular' wheel covers. The Italian had briefly tried a similar (more extreme) version on the rear wheel during last September's Misano round, but this time they were fitted front and rear (see picture).

At Misano, Ducati had said the covers were 'for the evaluation of aerodynamics'.

Pirro also rode with special sensors fitted to his Ducati, which created a small beam of light under his bike, presumably to measure chassis and/or tyre movement.

Star test rider Casey Stoner was also on track today, but seemed to be troubled by technical issues, stopping twice at Turn 12. Both Stoner and Pirro are expected to ride at some stage during next week's test.

Over at Yamaha, Katsuyuki Nakasuga had some white wings fitted to his M1, despite the ban on such devices for 2017. Ducati have also occasionally put the devices back on, in order to better understand how to adapt the set-up for a wing-free future.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda), Mike di Meglio (Aprilia) and Mika Kallio (KTM) were again on track, while the first of the race teams also began to arrive and set-up their pit garages for next week.

As well as the MotoGP teams, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki and Moriwaki superbikes are also present. The circuit remains open for wet weather testing, with the likes of Kallio and Pirro still out on track.

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: Yamaha , Ducati , Sepang , wing , cover

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Wheel covers front and rear on Pirro`s Ducati (Peter McLaren).
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Barney Stinson

January 27, 2017 5:15 PM

So, as evident by the teams using different aero packages, we can tell which manufacturer was so vehemently against it -- Honda. This is what happens when one manufacturer has too much say and power. Don't get me wrong, I'm Honda through and through. But, I think this ban and limits on aero and fairings is stupid. You have a control ECU, control tire, locked up motors... where can a company express its engineering prowess. When HRC comes out and says they can throw more money at aero than any other OEM, what's that other than an idle threat to oppress innovation? This is less a prototype series each year that goes by.


January 27, 2017 6:40 PM

The ban is because the teams couldn't come up with a clear set of rules by themselves by a cut off date, so the decision was made for them . Its always the same when you let teams have a say, they fall out and cant work together, same in F1. the rules should be set by FIM etc and if the teams want to races they run to those rules, simple, but letting them have a voice, just Muddy's the water

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