MotoGP 2019: Ducati Threatens to Protest Honda Winglets

Marc Marquez at Qatar 2019 - Photo credit ultimatemotorcycling
  • The row over aerodynamic devices in MotoGP escalates as Ducati threatens protest Honda’s winglets.

  • To Ducati, Honda’s winglets are dangerous for a number of reasons.

  • The row is in light of Honda’s participation in the protest against Ducati’s use of a “spoon” on the GP19’s swingarm in Qatar.

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The row over aerodynamic devices in MotoGP escalates as Ducati threatens protest Honda’s winglets.

Honda was among four (in addition to Aprilia, Suzuki, KTM) who protested against Ducati for using the “spoon” in front of the rear wheel. The protest was logged following last weeknd’s Qatar GP. However, it was thrown out by the FIM stewards and subsequently referred to the FIM Court of Appeals.

Gigi Dall’Inga, Ducati’s Tech Chief, was the most irritated by Honda’s participation in the protest.

“I was quite surprised above all by the behaviour of Honda which, in addition to being a protagonist of the world championship, is also one of the founding fathers of modern MotoGP together with Ducati and Yamaha (who didn’t protest),” Dall”Igna told Sky Italia.

“I don’t have much to say about this in the case of KTM and Aprilia… The approach that Suzuki and Honda can take is different, because they can actually take a real advantage of a possible disqualification of [Qatar GP winner Andrea] Dovizioso and Ducati from the first race of the championship.”

Ducati’s stand lies in the approval by MotoGP Technical Director Danny Aldridge before the Qatar GP. Aprilia, on the other hand, claimed that Aldrige had said that a similar part would be ruled illegal.

“The fact that Honda has questioned the choices of the technical director puts us in a position to raise the question of whether to make a complaint against them.”

“Until now, all disputes of a technical nature had been resolved either within the Manufacturers’ Association or by discussing them with the technical director,” Dall’Igna continued.

About Honda’s winglet, Dall’Igna finds them dangerous. He said, “Honda’s wings are honestly dangerous for us. Not only that, but as they are made with such a slender base, they could be subject to significant deformation from the loads they are subjected to, and therefore could perhaps perform the function of movable aerodynamic devices.”

Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti previously suggested that the protest was “political” in nature. In fact, Ducati was enamoured with Honda ever since protesting Ducati’s debuting of winglets on their bikes, which gave rise to the current regulations on “aero bodies.”

“I think they wanted to intimidate us and prevent us from using a part that had already been approved by the technical director,” said Dall’Igna.

“Obviously we decided to use this and then they found themselves forced to continue in a situation that, if I were in their shoes, I would find embarrassing.”

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Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."