A special exemption has been added to the MotoGP aerodynamic rules for 2020, allowing factories to remove their side pods (winglets) during the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Normally, such fairing alternations would count as a change of design and so not be possible under the Aero Body homologation rules, unless the wingless version of the fairing was to be registered as the rider's only design update of the season.

'For safety reasons it will be permitted for teams to remove the side pods from the aero body,' the new 'Phillip Island' rule states.

'The conditions are that all side pods are removed, and it does not affect the external profile of the homologated fairing. All modifications must be preapproved by the Technical Director.'

The move follows the cancellation of Saturday qualifying due to strong gusts of wind during last October's Phillip Island event and implies that use of the wings increases the risk of being blown off track.

But Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso isn't so sure.

"I don’t understand who said riding without winglets at Phillip Island is better. I’m not convinced about that," said the Italian.

"I think the winglets keep the front low, which is much better [in windy conditions].

"For sure there are negative things [about the wings] because when leaning on the side maybe it’s a bit worse, the bike is heavier. But maybe it’s safer [for crosswinds].

"I don’t know if that change of the rules will affect or change anything at Phillip Island."

While the wing exemption currently only applies to the Australian round, 'Race Direction will be responsible for determining and announcing if this concession will apply at any other events, based on adverse weather conditions.'

 

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