MotoGP Qatar: Gossip, intrigue and handbags over aero - Bikesport News

MotoGP Qatar: Gossip, intrigue and handbags over aero

Handbags are still swinging over Ducati’s interpretation of the MotoGP aero rules which led to their ‘tyre cooling’ device being protested by all manufacturers apart from Yamaha after the Qatar race on Sunday.

Even though Danilo Petrucci told everyone who would listen that it wasn’t a device for tyre cooling, boss Paolo Ciabatti contradicted that when the balloon went up.

It appears that a memo from series technical boss Danny Aldridge about the use of bolt-ons left a loophole in the rules about such devices through which Gigi Dall’Igna promptly jumped. Team manager Davide Tardozzi had apparently been warned that if Ducati used the devices, a protest would be lodged.

They did and it was. However, the protesting bosses knew all too well the stewards would sling it out so hedged their bets on the appeal court, which is now considering the evidence.

It has emerged that a few weeks ago, Ducati asked for an appendix to be added to the rules to cover their new devices on the grounds they are for cooling the front and rear tyres.

Aldridge gave his consent and wrote some new rules, which were communicated on March 4. Ducati firmly believe their devices are within those rules. Everyone else seems to think that’s bollocks.

KTM boss Pit Beirer says he wants clarity on aero which is situated away from the fairing before people start bolting RS500 Cosworth wings to seat humps. Suzuki boss Davide Brivio is also after clarity on the subject.

The MotoGP speed war is back in town as Honda managed to claim the fastest top whack at Buriram for the first time in ages. Marc Marquez saw 220mph on his RC213V with Jack Miller the top Ducati clocking 219.75mph. Cal Crutchlow was third fastest with a 219.2 and Joan Mir was the quickest Suzuki at 218.25. Tellingly, Rossi was the quickest Yamaha at 216.87mph…

Jorge Lorenzo blamed a slipping clutch for his decidely-average performance on Sunday, where he was caught and briefly passed by rookie Fabio Quartararo who started from the pitlane. He also said the crash in FP1 also limited him as he couldn’t find the same pace for the rest of the weekend.

Danilo Petrucci gambled on the soft front tyre with his GP19 and it didn’t pay off as he suffered similar grip problems to Maverick Vinales when trying to pass. Petrucci also took the soft tyre last year. He joked that maybe he won’t do it next year…

Miller’s seat came unglued from his Pramac Ducati’s sub-frame, forcing the Australian to rip it off and discard it on the track. It began to work its way free at the start of the three right-handers and then after Miller nearly crashed, he decided to ditch it. Subsequently, his arse suffered a serious lack of grip and he was forced to retire after having to ride with more lean angle which tore up his front.

Alex Rins got his panties in a bundle over Andrea Dovizioso’s slowing tactics. The Suzuki man made a couple of passes on the Italian in an attempt to get away but Dovi was able to cruise back past on the straights and apply the brakes on the laptimes to suit himself.

“Under the helmet I was really angry because I had a good racing pace, like the others.”

Johann Zarco, who set pole in Qatar last year with a Tech3 Yamaha, is having a nightmare with the KTM, saying that his gentle riding style is not getting tyres up to temperature fast enough. The Frenchman had trouble in testing and then lobbed it twice on Saturday. Rookie and Tech3 KTM rider Miguel Oliveira finished the race on 0.815s behind Zarco on the same - give or take - bike…

Instagram star and male fragrance purveyor Andrea Iannone says he is happy with the performance of his Aprilia on used tyres, he just needs to find some pace on new ones as he says it gets a bit nervous.

Share this story: