Yamaha was the first team to publicly display and test its alternative to the banned-for-2017 winglets that teams fitted on their fairings in 2016 to create more front grip and braking stability and fewer wheelies.
The team arrived last week at the Sepang test with two smaller fins affixed to the fairing and covered by bodywork. The “internal winglets” are a longtime aerodynamic solution in Formula One car racing, called “ducted vanes” in that sport.
That aero solution is legal, according to MotoGP Technical Director Danny Aldridge, who apparently is the judge and jury for every team’s new fairing designs.
The new rules for 2017 state “bulges” on the fairing are illegal. But Aldridge claims Yamaha’s “internal winglets” are not bulging because the cover features a continuous, smooth, similar radius from top to bottom. The rule makers don’t want Ginsu knife-like pieces of carbon fiber hanging from the sides of a bike.
Aldridge’s blessing of Yamaha’s solution means rival teams probably will unveil very similar appendages between now and the season opener March 26 at Qatar.