During the opening minutes of MotoGP™ FP1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina, motogp.com pitlane reporter Simon Crafar spoke to MotoGP™ Technical Director Danny Aldridge about the controversial Ducati tyre cooling aid.
“(It’s) very simple, we have a set of guidelines that the manufacturers have to follow. It’s sort of an appendix of the rule book and this is updated as and when we feel necessary to clarify certain situations, such as the aerobody,” began Aldridge.
“At the beginning of March, before the Grand Prix, we updated these guidelines to control what was allowed on the swingarm, as an attachment. These guidelines define what can be used there and what can’t. One of the items that it’s allowed to be used for is cooling the rear tyre and also water dispersion, which Yamaha have used as well.
“So, Ducati came to me in Qatar, they said ‘we have this device, the primary purpose of this device was to aid the cooling of the rear tyre because they thought they had a problem with this. Following the demonstration to me, I examined and, in my opinion, it did what they said; the primary purpose was for cooling. From this point onwards the other manufacturers felt this was not correct, that in their opinion, from the information they had, it was for more downforce, which is not allowed in the guidelines. This is where the issue occurred, this is why they put the protest in, the protest was rejected and was in my favour, that my reading of the rules was correct and the reason for it, as Ducati declared, was for cooling.”
The question was then put to Aldridge whether any other manufacturers had tried to homologate a similar device ahead of the Argentina GP:
“The only thing I can comment on is, obviously, that any new device that a manufacturer brings to me, it has to be approved. I would never make it public knowledge what is new until it goes on track, so I can’t say if anyone has come to me and I won’t say if anything’s been rejected at this point. It’s rumours at this point, so you’ll have to wait and see if anything appears on track.”