Aragon WorldSBK test: Ducati wings legal but not adjustable

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

In two ways Ducati’s all-new WorldSBK Panigale V4R machine spread its wings today at Motorland Aragon in the first post-season winter test.

Works rider Chaz Davies and Barni Racing Ducati new signing Michael Ruben Rinaldi took to the track on their full WorldSBK spec machines, winglets and all, this morning. There was no Alvaro Bautista, as he is racing at MotoGP Valencia in the coming days.

The winglets fitted to the new Ducati V4 have caused much consternation in some quarters, but they are not just legal for WorldSBK use, but mandatory for the Ducati, as they are considered to be an integral part of the stock bike. For that reason they cannot be removed from the race bike’s bodywork.

Ducati’s engineering guru in WorldSBK, Marco Zambenedetti, explained the place this novelty plays inside the WorldSBK paddock.

“The rules explain how we can use winglets. If the winglets are present on the stock bike and homologated, if we use exactly the same shape and dimensions of the stock bike, we are obliged to use, because it is a part of the fairing,” he told bikesportnews.com shortly before Davies took to the track.

“The tolerance is like it is like 2mm, so we can’t ‘play’.”

The exact wording in the 2018 FIM technical rules is this…

Wings and other aerodynamic aids will only be considered legal if originally fitted to the homologated road specification machine in all of Europe, Japan and North America. For race use the wings must follow the dimensions and profiles of the homologated shapes exactly (+-2 mm).

The leading edges (including end plates) must have a minimum circumference of 3 mm. All wings must have a rounded end (8 mm radius) or be enclosed/integrated into the fairing. Alternatively the originally fitted and homologated wings may be used from the street bike without modification except to their fairing mounting. The position of the wings must be +-5 mm, angle of attack +-2.