MotoGP: We’re Back to Winglets – Sort Of

Race Director Mike Webb speaks on the new external winglet regulation changes for the MotoGP 2017 season – are winglets here to stay?

It’s what’s on the inside that matters. At least that seems to be ringing true for MotoGP this forthcoming season. While those hideous abominations that were known as “winglets” have been banned from the exterior of the bikes, the new regulations have opened up development to the teams for internal aero tinkering. Internal winglets, if you will.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - JANUARY 31:  Maverick Vinales of Spain and  Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rounds the bend during the MotoGP Tests In Sepang at Sepang Circuit on January 31, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – JANUARY 31: Maverick Vinales of Spain and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rounds the bend during the MotoGP Tests In Sepang at Sepang Circuit on January 31, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

With the changes being solely relegated to the internals of the bike, we’ll hopefully see an era of tuning that doesn’t result in creating one aesthetically f-ugly bike. For the sake of viewership. But let’s take a closer look at that delicious technical regulation language.

The FIM Grand Prix regulations claim that:

“Only the external shape, excluding the windscreen, is defined in this regulation, so the following parts are not considered as part of the Aero Body: windscreen, cooling ducts, fairing supports, and any other parts inside the external profile of the bodywork.”- FIM Grand Prix Regulations

Race director Mike Webb has also taken a moment out of his busy schedule to clear up any confusion that may remain for us plebs:

“It’s specifically in the description of the homologated fairing that’s in the rulebook now. It says we’re looking at the outside shape of the fairing, the outside profile.

Anything internal including brackets, holders, vents, things like that, they don’t follow under the homologation. Whatever – winglets, ducts – they put inside is free. They can do what they want. That’s the area you’ll see some development during the year. They will play with internal things but the external shape is fixed.” – Mike Webb

Rossisepangg

 

If those external winglets really did effect the aero of the bikes is still up for debate, and the future pushes into internal aero development from the MotoGP teams should prove that we won’t need to see those hideous creations ever again. Please dear God let it be true.