Ducati sent tongues wagging this weekend with their new “winglet” style addition to the swingarm of their Desmosedici GP19s. Many journalists, fans and teams looked on in awe of this new device. After Sunday’s thrilling battle, Dovizioso took the victory after a duel with Marquez, almost identical to 2018’s season opener.
This new device was designed to stop overheating of the rear tyre, however Petrucci stated that he did not feel any benefit, whilst Dovizioso opted not to test this prior to Sunday’s race.
Qatar GP | Is Dovizioso’s victory in danger?
However, the greater drama was to take place post-race in the Dorna/FIM offices. Suzuki, Aprilia, KTM and Honda took their concerns about this new addition to the Desmosedici GP19’s to race direction for further investigation.
Ducati said that they had been given a full report on the component after the Qatar test, Danny Aldridge (MotoGP Technical Director) stated that a lower aerodynamic device was not illegal, however it could not be mounted to the fairing, it must be attached to the swingarm.
Simon Patterson (@denkmit Twitter) reported that Davide Brivio (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Manager) explained the reasons for Suzuki’s protests, “By filing this protest, we are forcing them to evaluate, to judge and to clarify the principples of the rules, the regulations, and the guidelines. As stated before, this is the main purpose of our actions : to clarify what we can and cannot do.” It seems there is greater clarification needed on what, exactly, teams are permitted to fit to the motorcycle, with the intention of getting an aerodynamic effect or advantage.
In a statement released today, the FIM stated that in regard to the original protests, the #QatarGP results still stood. However, as these teams continued their protests, the issue had been referred to the MotoGP Court of Appeal, a decision will be announced before the Argentinian Grand Prix on March 31st 2019.