In a meeting at Assen on Saturday, the Grand Prix Commission has decided that Winglets will be banned in all three MotoGP from 2017 and onward.
Pioneered by Ducati last year, the winglets have appeared on Yamaha and Honda bikes since then but they have come under fire with Dani Pedrosa being one of the more vocal opponents of winglets. This came after his collision with Andrea Dovizioso in Austin, since then he and others have claimed that the winglets are dangerous and could potentially slice someone’s leg clean open.
Another concern was the air turbulence behind a winged Ducati travelling at speeds in excess of 200mph, how the front of the chasing motorcycle could potentially be lifted which causes the chaser to lose contact with the track. Both Pedrosa and Bradley Smith experienced this and when Smith braked behind a Ducati, he felt like a pocket of air was hitting him.
In light of these concerns, the factories were expected to come to an agreement to regulate and restrict the size and extent of the winglets. Dorna, IRTA and the FIM gave them an ultimatum: either they come to an agreement or winglets will be banned. Of course, Ducati and Honda couldn’t agree on a unanimous proposal so winglets will be banned after the 2016 season.
The new ban will need to be written precisely and without loopholes because Ducati will be going over it with a fine toothed comb. In an interview with Italian site and translated by asphaltandrubber.com, Davide Tardozzi said; “like in Formula One, we will have to look very carefully at the future rules. “Every single word will be important, because everything which is not forbidden will be allowed.”
We’ll have to wait and see what Ducati comes out with next year to circumvent the new winglet ban.