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No winglets is the rule for 2017, but that hasn’t stopped the MotoGP™ manufacturers exploring aerodynamics as a key field in which to make some big gains on their rivals. So what have we seen in preseason?
The aero-fairing homologation explained
First to debut their design was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, specifically nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi. The ‘Doctor’ headed out in Sepang first to show off what has been dubbed “internal winglets” – with the fairing widened to try and get the same effects as were to be had from the banned aero additions.
2017 Sepang Test Day 2 - Highlights
The "Hammerhead" explained by Dall'Igna
The most radical of the “aero-fairings” seems to be the Borgo Panigale factory’s option, which appeared in Qatar. With a completely redesigned front, the “Hammerhead” raised more than just a few eyebrows – but the first man to test it, Andrea Dovizioso, had positive things to say.
Joining the game late – in public at least – Honda’s first foray was seen on Marc Marquez’ RC213V in Qatar, and was a slightly wider design. Then the Japanese manufacturer came out with a more radical design a little later, with black carbon back on track for the first time since the team launch.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s “aero-fairing” broke cover in Australia during the second test, and was tested by both Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins. The fairing is wider at the front and is another more “internal winglet” kind of solution.
#AusTest Technical Review: Fairings, Forks and Fast Times
Significant changes to the look of the RS-GP were also out on track for the first time in Phillip Island, with the front of the bike getting a redesign for Aleix Espargaro to try first.
Now the season awaits and we wait to see which of the options tried out in testing make it onto a grid – and how the designers shape the future of MotoGP™.
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