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MotoGP Tightens Rules On Aerodynamics And Electronics

MotoGP has announced stricter set of rules about the use of aerodynamic fairings for the 2019 season, as well as for the electronic aids of the bikes.

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New regulations for aerodynamic fairing design in MotoGP from 2019

Highlights

  • From 2019, MotoGP teams can have only one approved fairing design
  • Grand Prix Commission clamps down on how IMUs work with spec-ECUs
  • Fairing designs to be more standardised, as well as electronics

For the 2019 motorsport season, MotoGP teams will be allowed only one front fairing design for the whole season, including any aerodynamic appendages, which are approved at the beginning of the season. Since their debut in 2015, the aerodynamic wings, or winglets as they are known, have been the subject of much discussion and deliberation. Although the winglets (first introduced by Ducati) were banned at the end of 2016, the Grand Prix Commission has released new guidelines allowing teams to use the complex front fairings seen this year. But from next year, MotoGP teams will no longer be able to remove or replace parts of the fairing through the season, once a design is approved.

So far, the regulations stated that parts to the fairing could not be added to the construction, but could be removed or replaced. Teams are restricted to two different fairing designs per season - a standard version that has to be homologated prior to the start of the season, and an evolution that can be introduced at any stage later on in the season. This allowed teams to get a complex design approved at the beginning of the season, and then remove parts and modify the fairings according to the conditions of a particular racetrack later on in the season.

A statement released by the Grand Prix Commission after a meeting in Assen said that this practice will be outlawed from 2019. The statement said: "Aero-body regulations have been released by the Technical Director and new aero-body dimension limits and limitations on the combination of different aero-body parts have been introduced. As a result, the present designs will still be allowed, but it won't be possible to remove/swap significant aerodynamic parts."

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(The new regulations about the spec-ECU and IMU will offer a level-playing field among teams)

Also Read: Winglets Banned From 2017 MotoGP

The second area where stricter limits will be imposed for 2019 is electronics, specifically with the introduction of a "unified inertial platform." The Grand Prix Commission states that it plans to create "limitations imposed on the information exchange among the various CAN devices (e.g. the inertial platform) and the ECU."

What this essentially means is how the inertial measurement unit (IMU) of the MotoGP bikes will work going forward. The IMU provides a whole gamut of information about the movement of the motorcycle back to the ECU, and controls how the ECU manages the power output and other electronic riding aids. The new regulations are designed to clamp down on the practice of teams using the IMUs to feed the ECU different data about what the bike is doing and gaining a potential advantage. So far, teams were allowed control over what IMU they can use with the spec-ECU.

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So, expect more traditional fairing designs for the 2019 MotoGP season, as well as the bikes being more real, with limitations set for the kind of stability and performance that can be achieved through electronics.

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