The famous device for adjusting the height of the MotoGP bikes has gone from being an object of desire of all the engineers in the paddock, after the first intuition of Gigi Dall'Igna and Ducati, to being present on all the bikes on the grid. Years of experimentation have undoubtedly perfected it, smoothing out the initial problems and today it is common practice to see bikes that literally squat when coming out of corners, transferring most of the load to the rear and obviously favouring grip under acceleration.
A change also made possible by aerodynamic progress, because hand in hand with the evolution of this device, the aerodynamic load generated by the appendages present on the bikes has increased to the point where we can almost speak of ground effect, a term more than known in Formula 1 but far removed from the vocabulary of the MotoGP paddock until a few months ago.
This is because the joint action of the downforce thrust on the front of the bike with the mechanical movement triggered by this lowering device lead the bikes to maintain the best possible position under acceleration, generating a great push on the tire which is not dispersed by the front wheelie, which is kept at bay precisely by aerodynamics capable of generating an ever higher quantity of kg of load.
The opening photo shows Aprilia's lowering unit and the undersigned had the opportunity to see it with their own eyes in Noale during our visit to the Aprilia Racing Department. At the time we weren't allowed to photograph or film it, but now the bikes are on the track and all the secrets to be jealously guarded before the start of hostilities can be considered as melting away like snow in the sun, at least as regards everything that it is visible to the naked eye.
Photo credit @MotoGP Tech Facebook page