MotoGP, The GP Commission against wings: no fairing integration

Yet another footnote to the regulation that bans the use of any aerodynamic appendage


As the saying goes, every law has a loophole. Perhaps the Grand Prix Commission realises this, considering it convened at Misano to clarify certain details regarding the wing ban. The presumed risk is that designers, unable to use aerodynamic appendages on the MotoGP bikes as of next year, will integrate them into the fairing.

It is therefore underlined that: “Devices or shapes protruding from the fairing or bodywork and not integrated in the body streamlining (e.g. wings, fins, bulges, etc.) that may provide an aerodynamic effect (e.g. providing downforce, disrupting aerodynamic wake, etc.) are not allowed. The Technical Director will be the sole judge of whether a device or fairing design falls into the above definition".

But it doesn't end there because: “to avoid that the front of the fairing is wing-shaped, with unpredictable safety results, the front of the fairing cannot protrude more than 150mm beyond a vertical line drawn through the front wheel spindle. (It should be noted that all fairings in current use already comply with this).

So, in summary: one cannot design fairings with a profile that resembles that of the winglets. What is clear is that these continual clarifications appear to be an effect of ‘technical paranoia’ and let it be clear that we are being ironic in saying this.

When the first appendages appeared in 1974 at the German GP (HERE is a brief history), they were welcomed with curiosity and no-one complained about them being dangerous. Which is the official reason why, 30 years later, they are being banned. But not immediately. As if they will suddenly become sharp blades as of 1 January but do not present a danger in the current championship.

Of course, their prohibition comes down to politics rather than safety, there's a good reason why all of the manufacturers are using them regularly on their bikes.

We can only await the next footnote, perhaps a famous sponsor will have to remove the word 'wings' from its slogan...


Translated by Heather Watson

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