Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola says Ducati should keep its Qatar win
Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola says Ducati should retain its Qatar MotoGP win on the eve of the Court of Appeal hearing on the legality of its rear winglet.
Andrea Dovizioso edged Honda's Marc Marquez to the opening win of the year in Qatar two weeks ago, though a protest was launched by all bar Yamaha directly after the race over Ducati's use of its swingarm-mounted scoop.
The case was rejected by Race Direction, and so Aprilia, Honda, KTM and Suzuki referred the matter to the Court of Appeals, with the hearing set to take place on Friday.
Ducati insists its rear scoop is used to aid cooling of the rear tyre, though those who lodged the protest believe it has an aerodynamic benefit, which is not permitted under current aero rules.
Rivola - who last week claimed Aprilia was told in the pre-season Ducati's wing was illegal - says the case should not have any “retroactive effect” on the Qatar result, but has called for technical director Danny Aldridge to admit he “misunderstood” the winglet's true purpose.
“In my opinion, this case has no retroactive effect: Dovizioso retains his victory from Qatar and from the upcoming grand prix in Argentina, Ducati will appear at the start without the part on question on their machines,” Rivola told Motorsprint.
“You must leave this victory in tact and then start discussing new rules about this technical issue.
“I think Danny Aldridge gave his permission based on the information he had, information that Ducati gave him.
“But if this part has an aerodynamic effect on the stability of the motorcycle, and it does, then he was wrong.
“He did not check well, he relied on Ducati's explanation, but in his position he could not just give it the OK.
“If it works that way, then something in our regulations is wrong and needs to be changed.
“We should not immediately start thinking badly, we just think the technical director misinterpreted Ducati's aerodynamic fittings.
“If he remains in good faith, he must now explain that he has misunderstood that solution and that the rules must be rewritten.
“Let the technical director gather more information, then prepare a new technical document in writing and add a new line. I think everyone can live with that.”
Last week, Ducati boss Gigi Dall'Igna said the Italian marque could launch its own protest against Honda's aero fairing, as he does not believe it conforms to the regulations.