Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Per­haps the most vis­i­ble mod­i­fi­ca­tion to ap­pear at Sepang was the new fair­ing de­sign in­tro­duced to the Mo­vis­tar Yamaha machines fol­low­ing this year’s ban on pro­trud­ing wings.

Now en­cased be­tween a sec­ond skin on the bike, the new aero­dy­namic mod­i­fi­ca­tion doesn’t have the same sur­face area as the old wings, but they are 100% le­gal un­der the new rules. The 2017 rule change was brought in for safety rea­sons – with Pe­drosa de­scrib­ing the old wings de­sign as ‘knives strapped to the side of the bike’.

Valentino Rossi was de­lighted with the de­sign, al­though he ad­mit­ted it was more of an aes­thetic im­prove­ment, de­scrib­ing the ac­tual ef­fec­tive­ness of the new de­sign as mar­ginal.

“They’ve told me that I can’t speak about the new fair­ing – but it’s very beau­ti­ful,” he said. “It doesn’t make a lot of dif­fer­ence, but it’s nicer to look at, and we’ll con­tinue to use it.”

There was no doubt that Yamaha’s new fair­ing de­sign stole the tech show at Sepang, but the early un­veil­ing sur­prised the pad­dock. MCN un­der­stands that the other man­u­fac­tur­ers are all work­ing on aero­dy­namic so­lu­tions to bat­tle the ban on pro­trud­ing wings, but in­stead of re­veal­ing them so early are keep­ing their cards much closer to their chests. And it may not be un­til much closer to race day in Qatar in March that Honda and Du­cati re­veal their true aero­dy­namic hand. Have Yamaha gone off too early?

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