Fabio Quartararo might have been expecting some sort of aero boost from Yamaha at the Portimao tests but now, it seems, he meant it in another way!
Joking aside, this is how the Iwata manufacturer’s M1 presented itself on the Portuguese circuit in the early afternoon, with a truly massive rear wing. Moreover, unlike the one tested for the first time by Savadori on the Aprilia at Mugello and then, subsequently, by Aleix Espargarò which has practically zero incidence, this one has varying degrees of inclination and therefore is able to generate significant downforce even when the bike is upright.
The rear wing tested by Aprilia on the RS-GP, in fact, worked mainly under braking, when the sinking of the front suspension caused it, thanks to the elevation of the tail, to have an incidence such as to help grip at the rear and prevent the bike from lifting. “The idea is to help create a bit of load especially in the braking phase, so as to try to reduce rear wheel hopping, making the bike more anchored to the ground and thus facilitating corner entry. But we are still at the beginning and we must also understand well how to intervene at the set-up level", said Romano Albesiano.
This, on the other hand, seems to work right away, also and above all under acceleration and might offer rear grip during acceleration. Of course, there are doubts that it will be able to function at one hundred percent efficiency in an area of dirty air such as the back of the rider, but whatever: now, in an attempt to recover tenths, by improving grip, it seems that the only solution is aerodynamics.
Obviously load, the so-called downforce, comes at a price: we are curious to understand how many km/h of top speed the M1 will lose on the long Portimao straight. When will we have a small hand lever on the handlebar to stall the rear wing with DRS* as is now used in F.1 when you are in your opponent's slipstream?
As we wrote upon its appearance in motorcycling (and as happened in car racing), once the Pandora's box of aerodynamics is open, it is impossible to close it again, unless new regulations are written which, at this point, are decisively necessary. But not for reasons of aesthetics or safety, as spoilers on the fairing or spoons underneath were given a free pass when they were introduced, but simply because one has to ask oneself if motorcycling, or rather the motorcycle as an object, really needs it. OK, so now let's all go and build ourselves a spoiler in the garage!
P.S. If someone can explain to the Iwata engineers the possible function of a nice nolder on the airfoil, then we're good to go.
* DRS is an acronym for Drag Reduction System.