Winglets are to be banned in all three MotoGP classes from 2017 onwards. At Assen, the Grand Prix Commission met and decided on an outright ban on aerodynamic wings, after the MSMA had failed to reach an agreement among all manufacturers on a joint proposal.
There has been much discussion of winglets over the past few months, as they have taken on an ever greater importance. With the introduction of the common ECU software, winglets were one way of reducing the amount of wheelie MotoGP bikes had.
But as the factories – and especially Ducati – gained more experience with winglets, the winglets grew larger, raising safety concerns over the effect of an impact during a crash.
Action had been expected to be taken at the previous Grand Prix Commission meeting in Mugello, but the parties failed to reach an agreement.
Dorna, IRTA and the FIM then presented the MSMA manufacturers with an ultimatum: if the MSMA could produce a unanimous proposal to regulate and restrict the size and extent of the winglets, they would adopt that.
If they couldn’t then winglets would be banned. With the manufacturers deeply split over winglets, with Honda on one side and Ducati on the other, they could not agree a unanimous proposal.
Whether the outright ban will end the focus on aerodynamics remains to be seen. The focus is likely to shift to the shape and size of fairings to achieve the same effect.
The rules will need to be carefully written to define what a winglet actually is, and Ducati have already hinted that they will be searching for loopholes in the rules.
“Like in Formula One, we will have to look very carefully at the future rules,” Ducati boss Davide Tardozzi told the Italian site GPOne.com(link is external). “Every single word will be important, because everything which is not forbidden will be allowed.”
Source: Dorna; Photo: Ducati Corse
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.