Francesco Bagnaia: Front ride-height ban ‘not a problem’

If Ducati's MotoGP rivals hoped that the new-for-2023 front ride-height ban might cause a drop in performance for the Desmosedicis, they are likely to be disappointed.
Francesco Bagnaia, 2023 Ducati
Francesco Bagnaia, 2023 Ducati

While the front system was tried in pre-season testing and continued to be developed by the likes of Pramac’s Johann Zarco, reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia has revealed he removed it after the opening race weekend in Qatar.

“I used the front height device in the test and FP1, FP2, FP3 in Qatar, then I stopped using it,” Bagnaia said. “So it will not be a big change for me. When they decided to take it away, it was not a problem for me.”

The front ride-height ban is the only significant change to the MotoGP technical rules for 2023. Rear ride-height devices, as pioneered by Ducati, plus front and rear holeshot devices (for the start only) remain legal.

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Meanwhile, Bagnaia also revealed the switch to a smaller fairing had proved beneficial in terms of handling for the GP22.

“If you remember, all the years the Ducati fairing was very big and last year we went with a really small one. I pushed a lot for it and we changed a lot the feeling on the bike,” he said.

While Ducati has joined Yamaha in unveiling its 2023 team colours, the latest aerodynamics remain a closely guided secret until track action begins at Sepang next month.

But Bagnaia doesn’t expect anything radical for the GP23.

“Next season’s [fairing] will be very similar to this year,” he said. “I didn't go to the wind tunnel because they have ways to replicate us [on the bike] so they don't need us.

“But in any case, speaking about aerodynamics they are working very hard.”

Ducati has followed Aprilia’s lead by investigating a fatter lower fairing, to speed up air passing under the bike during cornering, plus rear seat aerodynamic devices.

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