We reported earlier on the MotoGP rule banning “wings” for 2017. The operative language prohibits the following: “Devices or shapes protruding from the fairing or bodywork and not integrated in the body streamlining (eg wings, fins, bulges, etc.) that may provide an aerodynamic effect.”
At the recently concluded Sepang test, Yamaha riders debuted a fairing design with integrated fins providing aerodynamic downforce (see photo above). Is it legal? Will Yamaha be permitted to use it this year? The answer to both questions is “yes”.
The person charged with that decision is MotoGP techincal director Danny Aldridge, who was quoted earlier today in the press stating “To use the Yamaha example, for me it’s allowed because – although the rules say ‘no bulges’ – the reason I don’t class it as a ‘bulge’ is because it’s a continuous curve, with a similar radius from the top to the bottom. There’s no real variation in the angle of the curve. Safety wise, it’s perfect. There’s no issue at all. What we don’t want is things coming out of the fairing at 90-degree angles or with any sudden changes in radius.”
Other manufacturers are expected to incorporate aerodynamic features into their new fairings. Don’t expect to see the final versions of these designs before the first race at Qatar in late March.
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