Aprilia told Ducati-style rear wing was illegal

Aprilia MotoGP boss Massimo Rivola says the Noale marque was told running Ducati's contentious rear scoop would only be permitted in the wet on safety grounds.

Aprilia, Suzuki, KTM and Honda launched a protest against the use of the swingarm-mounted rear winglet on the GP19s of Qatar race winner Andrea Dovizioso, team-mate Danilo Petrucci and Pramac's Jack Miller last Sunday.

The protests were initially rejected by MotoGP technical direction, but the case has since been referred to the court of appeals.

The four aggrieved manufacturers believed the device had an aerodynamic effect and was not simply for cooling purposes, as Ducati had stated, and this would be illegal.

Rivola says Aprilia asked MotoGP technical director Danny Aldridge in February if such a device could be used in the dry, taking inspiration from a similar winglet Yamaha used in wet conditions last year.

However, the Aprilia CEO was told by Aldridge that mounting a rear scoop would only be allowed in wet sessions on safety grounds. 

“In the last race of 2018, in Valencia, Yamaha had used a kind of spoon attached to the swingarm, which in case of rain splits the water flow and was considered legal by safety principles,” Rivola told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It was an idea that opened our eyes, so much so that at the beginning of the year we asked the technical delegate Danny Aldridge if we could go and develop something in that area, where we know that there is performance.

“That answer was that it could only mounted in we conditions, so we stopped.”

Rivola says “it's quite easy to work out” what Ducati's winglet does, and believes there is not “much to discuss” over its legality.

“What the element does, it's quite easy to work out,” he added.

“As can be seen from a simple fluid dynamics study, everything that applies to the front influences what is behind it.

“In that area the air is very fast, so put a winglet there and it generates load. It does not seem to me that there is much to discuss. 

“Furthermore, if a wing is mounted on a swingarm that is mobile itself, an effect is produced.”

Rivola says Aprilia's protest was not to “spite” Ducati, but to gain clarification on the rules.

“Ours was not an action against Ducati, we don't want to spite anyone. 

“What I find serious is that the e-mail in which we were denied a similar solution is February 19, and after a week there is another one that was certainly studied by the Bologna team for a long time.”

“Now it will be up to the FIM to prove that the appendix does not create and advantage.

“In rejecting the appeal they were unable to give an explanation. That is why we have decided to continue by appealing to the Court [of Appeals] that is better prepared to discuss technical issues.”