Update: Yamaha and Aprilia, like Suzuki, have homologated their special fairing -
but they do not plan to use it this weekend. Honda, like Ducati, have not yet homologated a special fairing.

As a follow-up to yesterday's story about homologated fairings for the 2017 MotoGP season, some interesting details have emerged of Ducati's aerodynamic strategy.

Manufacturers have responded to the ban on external winglets by testing special fairing designs that 'integrate' (cover) the aerodynamic devices, to try and restore some of the lost downforce, but are now also restricted to just one in-season fairing update.

Thursday in Qatar was the deadline to homologate the first of the two 2017 fairings, which can be used alongside a (wingless) 2016 version.

Suzuki was the only manufacturer to use a special 'winglet' fairing during Thursday practice, meaning it was unclear which fairings had been homologated by the other manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia - KTM is exempt).

But Crash.net understands that Ducati opted not to homologate the radical 'hammerhead' or 'F1'-style fairing used during the recent pre-season test and instead chose to homologate a newer (2017) version of its standard fairing.

That fairing was then used by Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci during Thursday practice. While the rules allow Ducati to also use its Valencia 2016 fairing design, if they wish, bike changes mean the 2016 fairing is not compatible with the GP17.

It seems the Ducati 'F1' fairing did not work as planned during the Qatar test, causing a 10km/h reduction in top speed and additional cornering difficulties.

The fairing will thus undergo further development before potentially being homologated for use later in the season, as the team's one in-season update.

Until then, Ducati - which pioneered the modern era of MotoGP winglets - will have to compete without any downforce devices on its bikes.

By Peter McLaren



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