After new MotoGP regulations put a stop to the “winglets” seen on several racebikes last season, manufacturers have been trying new strategies to add aerodynamic features that comply with the new rules. The latest development, debuted today by Jorge Lorenzo during free practice for this weekend’s Brno round, is a new fairing design that looks somewhat like Sally Field’s costume from The Flying Nun.
The new design has a pair of aerodynamic elements extending from either side of the central air intake and curving downwards and back toward the narrower main part of the bodywork. It’s not clear if the new design will pass inspection, but Ducati may be hoping the fact the extensions connect back with the body is enough.
The design is similar to one Ducati tested at Losail over the winter, pictured below. That design had the openings higher in the front fairing. Both designs were intended to provide more downforce but sacrificed overall top speed.
Lorenzo finished 15th overall today in Free Practice 1 using the new fairing. Lorenzo says he did lose a bit of top speed but sees some roof for improvement.
“In the afternoon we tried the new fairing and even though my final classification today was not what we hoped for, I’m really satisfied,” says Lorenzo. “They’ve done a great job in Ducati Corse! In the end I didn’t use the new tire, which would have allowed me to improve my time, but the most important thing was to understand the behavior of the bike in this new configuration. We probably lose a bit in top speed, but by working well on the setting I’m sure that the new fairing has a lot of potential.”
— Ducati Motor (@DucatiMotor) August 4, 2017
We’ll see if Lorenzo continues to use the new fairing design through the weekend.