They were welcomed as an interesting feature, before quickly becoming a controversial element. They were then removed only to reappear, under a different guise but essentially the same thing. What are we referring to? The wings of course, or aerodynamic appendages as the engineers prefer to call them. Whichever wording we use, they are creating debate, not just among the fans but also at the table of those deciding on the future of MotoGP.
In Argentina, they took centre stage during discussions at the latest meeting of the MSMA, the association that brings the manufacturers together, As reported by Speedweek, the scandal started with a letter sent by KTM. In short, the Austrian company has consulted experts in the first (bear in mind the connection between the motorcycle firm and Red Bull, directly involved in Formula 1) and they have advised that it stop development in this area (an area explored over the winter, during testing at Sepang, as you can see in the photo above).
Why? Firstly, the benefits gained from wings on a bike are much smaller than if they were to be used on a car, and also because this would lead to unlimited development, particularly in terms of costs.
KTM therefore proposes that aerodynamic development is frozen or, if possible, that wings are definitively banned. But in order to propose a change to the regulation, all manufacturers must be in agreement. They are not.
The Austrian manufacturer has found two allies in the shape of Honda, already responsible for the first ban, and Suzuki. On the other side of the barricade is, of course, Ducati, who has made aerodynamic research one of its strengths. Aprilia and Yamaha are somewhere in the middle: the Italian manufacturer is ready to go along, albeit begrudgingly, with the decision of the majority, while the Japanese are still undecided.
So no conclusions were drawn at the meeting, although another is set to take place in Austin. We can bet that this arm-wrestling will drag on for a while, the winners needing not only to be right but also to have political weight. Will Ducati have learned its lesson?