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MotoGP, Ducati like F1: a 'masked' presentation

Gigi Dall'Igna will not unveil the new aerodynamics of the GP17 in Bologna tomorrow

Ducati like F1: a 'masked' presentation

The photo that's been doing the rounds on the internet for days. Many thought it was a stolen image, or a fake one.

It has been discussed on forums and on Facebook, analysed in its every detail. Starting with what is probably the 'truest' part: sponsor Leon Cupra, alongside the Seat brand on the front fairing. Not present in 2016, and with Seat having been a Volkswagen brand ever since 1985, it falls within Audi's orbit and so it's credible that the Ducati is used as an advertising vehicle in 2017.

It's also clear though that the fairing is that of 2016, without winglets though because, as we all know, they are banned by the regulation. And so?

There are those who are betting on the fact that the dimensions are different. The reality though is very different. This will indeed be the bike that Ducati presents tomorrow as the GP17, but in effect it is not. Or rather, it is but only in part, because, as is now the done thing also in F1, Ducati will not unveil the new aerodynamics of its new creation tomorrow.

Actually, it's likely that we won't even see the new fairing at the Sepang tests, and that it will probably only make its debut at the first Grand Prix, at Losail, in Qatar, after some private testing.

Why all the secrecy? It's simple. To prevent the competition - who, let's not forget, is well behind Borgo Panigale in terms of its aerodynamic development - from copying, as it clearly did last year.

We also remind you that this year, as well as the 2016 fairing (without wings), only two aerodynamic evolutions will be permitted during the season. So it doesn't make sense to waste your chances. Although, seeing as the MotoGP regulations are so badly written, what is and isn't legal will come down to just one man: Danny Aldridge, Technical Director for Dorna.

A risk that might only exist on paper though, because just as in F1, when a team has an idea, it usually presents it to the FIA for approval, which of course has to keep it confidential. A system that hasn't always worked perfectly when rival teams go on the attack, so much so that things that were initially permitted have then sometimes been banned.

The latest example was the front suspension of the Mercedes, equipped with a system that limited height variation from the ground. Suspension or an aerodynamic aid? MotoGP is now on the same path and, though designing and researching a wing in the wind tunnel was relatively expensive, foraging through the folds of the new regulation will prove even more costly.

Translated by Heather Watson

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