Ducati 'hammerhead' fairing will not be raced

"That shape was too extreme... We are working on something different"
Ducati 'hammerhead' fairing will not be raced

Ducati's extreme hammerhead fairing, which caused a stir in winter testing, will not be used in a MotoGP race.

With external winglets banned for this season, all six manufacturers have responded with various fairing designs aimed at recovering some of the lost downforce.

But while Suzuki, Yamaha, Aprilia and KTM have already used such fairings during a grand prix weekend, Honda and Ducati have so far stuck with a standard design.

Quizzed about the future of the 'hammerhead' fairing at Jerez on Sunday - where new star signing Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first podium for the team - Ducati Corse sporting director Paolo Ciabatti replied:

"The fairing you saw in the Qatar test and here in Jerez for a private test is not going to be raced. We were looking for an effect to - not totally, but partially - replace the downforce. But in the end, to achieve that we lose too much top speed. So we are working on something different.

"The riders have not tested any other fairing design yet, only the one used in Qatar and then again for further feedback at Jerez, after which we decided that shape was too extreme. The balance between the positive and the negative was more on the negative side, for our bike. So we have to work on something different."

To try and limit aerodynamic development, teams were allowed to start the season with one (wingless) Valencia 2016 fairing design and then homologate one additional 2017 design.

Now that the season has started, only one further fairing change is allowed, with the exception of new manufacturer KTM.

"Because we only have one option [left] to homologate, we need to be sure that it works fine and not spoil the only chance we have to use a different fairing," Ciabatti confirmed.

Once Ducati does introduce a downforce fairing, "probably at some tracks we will use the new option and some tracks we will stay with the current option. Because the winglets were flexible, we could have different numbers, shapes, different places. But we cannot do that now."

New star signing Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first podium for Ducati with third at the Spanish Grand Prix.

By Peter McLaren

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