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Winglets Permanently Banned from MotoGP

No aerodynamic winglets will be present on the premier class motorcycles as of the end of the current season. At Assen, the IRTA, FIM, and Dorna agreed to ban them in any form, as the MSMA failed to come to a sensible conclusion after being asked to devise a set of rules for these add-ons.
Ducati winglets on a MotoGP bike 1 photo
The fact that the bodies regulating MotoGP were not very happy with the winglets that made their way fairly recently on almost all the bikes is old news. Among the manufacturers, the most vocal against the aero winglets was Honda, never shying away from expressing their discontent with these add-ons, albeit they devised some for their bikes, as well.

Winglets made their way to the MotoGP races with Ducati, who appears to have mastered this technology and added it to all their machines. Yamaha and Honda joined the club, too, but this didn't mean they were entirely happy with this.

It is not official whether Honda championed the ban, but we can, at least, expect them to have vetoed any decision in favor of the winglets. The FIM, Dorna and IRTA asked the MSMA to come up with a set of rules for the aerodynamic winglets, thus regulating their dimensions, number and use. And because the manufacturers failed to reach a unanimous result that would lead to an official MSMA proposal, the ban was imposed by the other bodies.

The main reason for the ban was rider safety, with the theme repeatedly making the headlines each time a Ducati or other bike with winglets would crash in a race this year. No rider sustained any injuries caused by the aerodynamic winglets, even when Andrea Iannone's machine touched the back of Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez.

Ducati, through their Team Manager Davide Tardozzi, already warned that Borgo Panigale will be seeking for loopholes in the new, restrictive regulations, and declared that the new rules would better be wisely conceived.

Winglets gone, it's expected that the manufacturers will pay more attention to the shape of the fairings, and we might see MotoGP bikes evolving quite a bit in the coming years, compensating the lesser tuneability of the spec ECU software.

However, the winglets are still usable until Valencia, so it's still game on in the aerodynamic battle.


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