If you watched the Japanese GP this weekend, then you have already seen that the ECSTAR Suzuki MotoGP team has updated its aerodynamic package for the season, adding a more radical design to the Suzuki GSX-RR, in the pursuit of better lap times.
The new aeros take some visual inspiration from what we have already seen from Ducati Corse, adding a complex shape that mimics a winglet design, while staying within the letter of the law of MotoGP’s current winglet ban.
Unlike some of the designs that we have seen, namely the ones from Honda and Ducati, Suzuki’s doesn’t appear to have the capacity for modular changes – that is to say, the aerodynamic package doesn’t appear to be adjustable for different conditions.
On the HRC design, Honda has engineered different inserts to its fairings, allowing for more or less downforce as the ride needs it, while at Ducati, the Italian have made a sort of two-part design that can add a lower bracket to the hammerhead-like top section.
It is of note that the long sweeping mustache wings replace the chubby cheeks of the previous design, moving the aerodynamic surface both lower on the motorcycle, but also farther forward.
Presumably this helps the fairing surface get cleaner air, while also having more mechanical purchase on the motorcycle chassis.
Where the mustache curls back into the fairing, we assume the air is better wrapped around the rider’s body – the key to aerodynamics being a two-part equation: 1) to cut through the air ahead of the vehicle as effectively as possible, and 2) to merge the air back together behind the vehicle as best as possible.
As for results, and without spoiling the race (it was a really good one, if you haven’t seen it), the Japanese GP might not be the best test for Suzuki’s new design, with the rain-soaked day at Motegi being more about a rider’s skill for feeling the changing traction conditions.
That being said, with Phillip Island just a weekend away though, the Australian track’s high-speed turns (and significant coastal winds) could prove an excellent testing ground for Suzuki’s design. Keep your eyes on the time sheets and trap speeds.
Photos: Suzuki Racing