MotoGP Winglets War!

Posted on 22 Oct, 2015 by Scott Jones
Ducati-GP15-winglets-Phillip-Island-2015-S

Winglets on the Ducati GP15 appeared as early as Losail and have made some interesting changes in size and design since then. Above, the latest iteration of the GP15’s winglet compliment as seen pre-race at Phillip Island. Below, some examples of how Ducati got to this point and comparison to Yamaha’s latest version.

When we arrived at Losail at the start of the 2015 season Ducati caused a buzz by revealing winglets on the GP15, but it was more a case of They’re Back than something new in the paddock. In 2010 Ducati built winglets of a different design into the fairings of the GP10, shown here at Laguna Seca:

Ducati-GP10-winglets-Laguna-Seca-2010

 

Neither was this the first iteration of MotoGP winglets as the Marlboro Yamaha team built them into the fairings of bikes ridden by Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi in 2002. I do not own copyright to any photos of these bikes, so please visit our friends at Crash.net to see an example.

Current technology allows Ducati to install and remove winglets as desired for a given set of track conditions, and this is something new compared to any previous example I could find. In the 2010 photo you can see how the winglets are part of the fairing. Not so with this season’s designs, as we’ll see a bit later.

The 2015 winglets are also of a more sophisticated aerodynamic design compared to earlier instances of MotoGP winglets. Those used at Losail are different from the 2010 Ducati winglet design and suggest a wind tunnel has been involved in the design of the modern version:
Ducati-GP15-winglets-Losail-2015
Also, given the width of the winglets, the fairings around the area of the handlebars are extended to avoid violating regulations regarding anything attached to the bike being wider than the fairing.

 

Ducati-GP15-winglets-Silverstone-2015 1The contour is more easily seen at various angles.

 

At CotA Ducati started experimenting with changing the side fin by removing a curved portion at the rear.Ducati-GP15-winglet-Cota-2015This cut out appeared to have been done rather crudely, without the fit and finish one usually sees in the MotoGP pit lane.

 

By Mugello the shape of the cut out had evolved, or else doing each one by hand resulted in no two being just alike:Ducati-GP15-winglet-Mugello-2015

 

More on the next page:

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