Ducati MotoGP Aero Swingarm Deemed Legal

Rennie Scaysbrook | March 26, 2019

The controversial Ducati MotoGP aero swingarm that Andrea Dovizioso took to victory in the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship has been deemed legal, following a ruling from the FIM Court of Appeal.

Ducati MotoGP Aero Swingarm legal dovizioso
The aero scoop, for either downforce or cooling the tire or both, is now legal on the Ducati.

Protests following Dovi’s win were lodged by Aprilia, Honda, Suzuki, and KTM—with only Yamaha absent in the process. Their complaint centered around a spoiler fitted to the underside of the Ducati Desmosedici swingarm, one Ducati claimed was to help cool the rear tire but one others say gave an aerodynamic advantage. There’s no exact ruling that states such a device is banned, but the rule is open to interpretation, with even MotoGP’s technical staff stumped as to the spoiler’s legality.

The court met today (March 26, 2019), with the FIM issuing the following statement.

“During the MotoGP race at the season opener in Qatar on 10 March 2019, technical protests concerning the use of a device on the Ducati machine were lodged with the FIM MotoGP Stewards by Team Suzuki Ecstar against #43 Jack Miller (Ducati), by Repsol Honda Team against #4 Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), and by Red Bull KTM Factory Team and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini against #9 Danilo Petrucci (Ducati).

“The protesting teams considered that the device was primarily an aerodynamic device and therefore not compliant with the MotoGP technical regulations. After a hearing, the four protests were rejected.

Ducati MotoGP Aero Swingarm legal dovizioso 2
Dovizioso now gets to keep his Qatar won and the 25 championship points that go with it.

“The same four teams then lodged appeals against the MotoGP Stewards’ decision to the MotoGP Appeal Stewards and a further hearing was conducted. The MotoGP Appeal Stewards determined that further technical evaluation was required and that this was not possible under the circumstances. They, therefore, decided to refer the matter to the MotoGP Court of Appeal in accordance with Art. 3.3.3.2 of the applicable Regulations.

“Following a hearing in Mies on Friday 22 March, the MotoGP Court of Appeal handed down its decision today 26 March and the parties (the four appellants, Ducati, and the FIM) have been duly notified.”

On these grounds, the MotoGP Court of Appeal rules that

  • The appeals filed by Team Aprilia, Team Suzuki, Team Honda, and Team KTM are admissible.
  • The provisional race results are confirmed and are declared as final.
  • The request to declare the Device illegal and ban its use in future races is rejected.
  • An appeal against this decision may be lodged before the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne Switzerland within 5 days pursuant to Article 3.9 of the 2019 FIM World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

The short of it is, Dovi gets to keep his win and the 25 points that go with it. And you can bet MotoGP’s aero tech boffins at every team outside of Ducati is now searching high and low to for another solution Ducati technical boss Gigi Dall’Igna’s latest invention.

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Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.

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