Monday, 3 April 2017

MotoGP: Ducati: No plans to homologate 'hammerhead' yet

Ducati: No plans to homologate 'hammerhead' yet
Ducati may have conducted more tests with its radical 'hammerhead' fairing, but the factory does not plan to submit the design for MotoGP use just yet. 

 The Italian factory debuted its exotic answer to the ban on external wings during the pre-season test in Qatar, but opted to homologate a 'normal' fairing for use during the race weekend, where Andrea Dovizioso finished a close second to Maverick Vinales.

And while the F1-style 'hammerhead' was then seen painted in official Ducati race colours for the first time during this week's private Jerez test, it will not be homologated for use in the upcoming events. 

 "We have no plans to homologate it for the moment. We are still working on it," a Ducati spokesman told 

 Ducati, like the four other manufacturers subject to the new 'Aero Body' homologation rules, can only submit one more fairing design during the 2017 season, hence the need to make sure it is optimised. 

 The initial test in Qatar indicated the hammerhead replaced most of the lost downforce from the removal of external winglets, but cost almost 10km/h of top speed (along a 350km/h straight) as well as some cornering difficulties. 

 "I'm really happy about the result because without the winglets it was very difficult to create that [level of] downforce," Dovizioso said at the Qatar race weekend. 

"It's interesting and for sure we will use during the season. Still it is not fixed when and how. It is still developing." 

The Italian confirmed that Ducati did not homologate it immediately because at the Qatar test: "The positive was smaller than the negative. 

You have more stability [from the downforce], but there is some negative in the middle of the corner. 

It is always a balance." While all the established manufacturers - KTM is exempt from the homologation rules - have tested special downforce-generating fairings, only Suzuki used it on track at the Qatar MotoGP. 

It is understood that Yamaha and Aprilia also homologated their special fairings at round one, which can be used alongside a wingless version of the Valencia 2016 designs, while Honda joined Ducati in choosing to update its standard fairing instead. 

 An official post-race test will be held back at Jerez, venue for round four of the world championship, on May 8. 

 That will offer the next chance for Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo to try the 'hammerhead' away from a grand prix weekend, unless they wish to use more of their limited private test days. 

 Meanwhile, development of the fairing can continue with test rider Michele Pirro, who rode for three days at Jerez, compared with just one for Lorenzo and Dovizioso. MotoGP now heads for Argentina and Austin, before the first European round at Jerez. - Crash

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