Ducati Desmosedici Gets Wings for Sachsenring

07/18/2010 @ 12:09 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS


MotoGP fans in attendance during qualifying at the German GP may have felt like they were watching a Formula 1 race. This is because while at Sachsenring on Saturday, the Marlboro Ducati team used a new fairing design for the Desmosedici GP10 that incorporates F1-style winglets.

Used for only part of Saturday’s sessions, both Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were fitted with the new fairing, which has small lateral ‘wings’ on each side of the bike. Ducati says these wings are designed “to help prevent wheelies around the dramatic undulations” of the German circuit. We just think they look pretty cool. More photos after the jump.





Photos: Ducati Corse

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  • CBR600RR 09

    Sure as hell didn;t slow them down, or stop the wheelies! It was an amazing race to watch and the Red Flag came out on lap 9 for an RdP, Bautista and Espargaro crash. RdP broke his left Tib and Fib, and his bike lit up with flames.

    Rossi and Casey rode like there was a demon chasing them the way they were over taking one another in the later stages of the restart and once Dani got past Lorenzo it was OVER!!!

    Astonishing race, wonderful to watch, why can’t it be like that ALLL the time!

  • Bjorn

    I didn’t think I was watching an F1 race; there was overtaking and excitement.

  • Rob

    I wondered how long it would take before aerodynamic downforce starting playing a factor in GP

  • Gildas

    Aerodynamic downforce is not usefull on bikes because when you lean, the center of downforce would be next to the tyres adding even more pressure thus reducing grip.

    Another issue would be: how to you “unstick” the bike from the downforce to straighten it out?

    You would need movable aerodynamics to do that. And that’s against the rules.


  • KK

    While i agree on the excitement factor this week, it just sucks that it had to involve ppl breaking bones. i hate to see that but yeah, and awesome race over all

  • Steven Oliver

    Wings only create noticeable downforce once you reach a fairly high speed. I would imagine wings of this size probably have little to no effect on the ride in curves because they’re not going fast enough for them to make a meaningful amount of downforce. Frankly, I can’t imagine those wings are anywhere near big enough to combat the wheelies created by the torque. Quieting the air going in/around the fairings though; that I can see.

    I would have to argue, personally, that downforce is probably more or less worthless on a bike. First look at how big wings are on cars (like in F1). Then consider how far over a MotoGP rider leans going around a curve. Your wing then becomes very limited size wise on a bike; after all you can’t have that thing dragging the pavement. Where would even you put a wing on a bike to increase your speed around a curve if you were at full lean? Not to mention wings slow you down down the straight.

  • BikePilot

    I like it!

    Aerodynamic downforce is very useful on a bike, just like on a car. The trouble is keeping the downforce, DOWNforce because as noted the force vector changes with the bike’s lean angle.

    I wonder if the racing regulations would allow for movable aerodynamic panels? If so, I think we will see before long deployable “wings” on the sides of the bikes that operate primarily when the bike is at a significant lean-angle.

    As for the wings, they could easily generate a few lbs of downforce at speed and positioned out front like that even say 10lbs could make a significant difference in keeping the front end plated. At the speeds the bike will reach they may well generate quite a lot more force than that I’d guess.

  • The winglets on the Ducati are similar to what we’ve been using on the Fischer MRX

  • Gildas

    After looking a them and had a nice long coffee (black, strong, one sugar) this is my two cent worth:

    It’s not a down force system… It’s a vortex splitter.

    The air moving down with the wheel hits air going backwards on the lip of the mud guard, this creates a vortex that hits the bike where the wing is.
    This vortex probably climbs into the low pressure zone behind the rider. This probably does no hinder the bike when going straight (even adds speed by lowering drag). But leaning over it probably has a moment of instability when compressed by the ground. The vortex probably switches going over then under the rider being first a “air cushion” then “ground effect” thus loading and unloading the front wheel = high speed unstability.

    Actually, making a serrated edge on the front mud guard would be more effective…

    In this age of super computers, modelling and calculated fluid dynamics, the punter sometimes forget that some aero problems cannot be modeled or the computer gets it plain wrong. Buffeting chief amongst them.

    How do i post a 2 cent picture of what should be done to that mudguard?


  • Ralph

    It’s no good Jen… Jen talk to me.

    So much for Top Gun!

    The Yamaha YZR 500cc bikes had wings too in ’99.
    Didn’t help Gary McCoy btw. or was he traveling to much sideways?

  • Shaswata Panja

    The authority on motorcycle downforce is Tony Foale As a lot of people sugggested you need movable aerodynamics please take a look at the second half of this article http://www.tonyfoale.com/Articles/Aerodynamics/AERO.htm

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  • I picked up on these winglets too, Toby Moody told me they were not for downforce simply to reduce lift on the straights.

    I drew a quick pic to highlight the detail…


    and these pics to highlight the different approaches teams take to their fairings


  • Thank you for the interesting story, even though it did take quite a long time to understand. (English is not my first tongue) Can I ask where you got your sources from? Many thanks!