No Wings or Bulges - MotoGP Aerodynamic Regulations Published

The aerodynamic rules for the 2017 MotoGP season and beyond have been published. At a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission at Misano, a proposal from Dorna's technical team was accepted banning aerodynamic devices in as general a wording as possible. Wings, bulges, and anything protruding from the front of the fairing is now banned.

The proposal was drawn up by a small group consisting of Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli, Technical Director Danny Aldridge and Race Director Mike Webb. Their main focus was to keep the wording as general as possible, so as to avoid loopholes for engineers to exploit. Technical Director Danny Aldridge will have the final word on any fairing protrusion, precisely to prevent any doubt about workarounds. 

The rules also remove the possibility of using the space at the front of the fairing to create aerodynamic downforce. The front of the fairing may not extend more than 150mm beyond the axle of the front wheel. This should prevent too much experimentation with fairings such as tried by the WCM team at the end of 2000, or extending the lips of air intakes into "beak"-style structures, such as seen on some road bikes.

The official press release is shown below:

FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM CEO), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 9 September at Misano (RSM), made the following decisions:

Technical Regulations

Effective Season 2017

Streamlining and Aerodynamic Devices

It was already announced that aerodynamic wings are banned in all classes from 2017. The wording of the regulation covering this matter was confirmed:

Devices or shapes protruding from the fairing or bodywork and not integrated in the body streamlining (e.g. wings, fins, bulges, etc.) that may provide an aerodynamic effect (e.g. providing downforce, disrupting aerodynamic wake, etc.) are not allowed.

The Technical Director will be the sole judge of whether a device or fairing design falls into the above definition.

Furthermore, to avoid that the front of the fairing is wing-shaped, with unpredictable safety results, the front of the fairing cannot protrude more than 150mm beyond a vertical line drawn through the front wheel spindle. (It should be noted that all fairings in current use already comply with this).

Moto3 Wild Cards

In 2017 all manufacturers in the Moto3 class will supply engines to the contracted riders on a rental basis. Engines will no longer be sold to teams.

The Championship is keen to retain the possibility for wild cards to participate. But to ensure that their engines comply with current regulations it will be a requirement for wild card entries to seek approval from the engine manufacturer and to use the homologated ECU maps.

To permit the possibility of wild card riders using machines from other manufacturers, they may also use engines approved for the FIM CEV Junior World Championship. Such engines must comply with FIM Moto3 World Championship regulations with regards to engine specification and ECU requirements.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on:


Back to top


If I owned a wind tunnel, the first thing I would do is build double skinned fairings / ducktails, as close as possible to the chassis/engine on the inside, and as wide as allowed by physical constraints / rules on the outside.  Between the two skins I would then endlessly experiment with aerofoils within those 'ducts' to maximise downforce.  Not only legal, but you are not giving away your aerodynamic IP to any old trackside photographer.  Just a thought.... unintended consequences indeed.

I was beginning to like the crazy look of the bikes with the wings.  With the possible exception of seamless gearboxes (via audio), it's been the first avenue of technical development made available to the public to comment on for a decade or more.  We can go back to pondering Honda's latest inertial management unit algorithym... yay.


Before today, I was thinking the way to go would be to use the front tip of the fairing but now that avenue seems closed--or very limited.  So, yes, it looks like a very logical direction to explore is placing the wings inside the fairing, that is, making the making the fairings wider, with a double skin, and insert the wings (or air ducts of one type or another) between the two skins.  The problem is that that would make the bike very wide and create a lot of drag. A similar option may be to use the inside of the front area of the fairing, but of course the challenge there will be to direct the air away from the rider's face.  Yet another possibility may be using the floor or the back of the bike ... It will definitely be a fascinating area to follow in the off-season tests and next season.

I think the issue with wings in the GP is that they aren't as much of a massive boost as they are with car racing. I can't see the teams spending millions on aero work or ways to get around the rules, as the effect has been described as very small. Sort of they can see it on the data, and it maybe gains them a small amount of time over a lap, the riders mention a slightly more stable feel, but it wouldn't be like taking the wings off a F1 car and putting them up against a winged car.

So without the stupendously obvious gains, trying to go down the crazy routes of double skin fairings would see the gains probably neutered, either by increased weight, more weight further away from the CoG, more drag, more fragile fairings, etc.

"or extending the lips of air intakes into "beak"-style structures, such as seen on some road bikes."

This says it all really. Let's go down the rabbit hole. I wonder when we will see wings on the back of the bike.

I'm with Breganzane on this one.  Enough said, other than that the wings and strakes et al are so ugly. Rossi was forced to use its advantages but disapproved of the stuff in the sense of the spirit of a race bike. and I agree.

I always have a dig at the intermediate class, M2, and re-iterate my moan! 

Open the class to all manufacturers, twin cylinder 81mm bore. Furthermore, cut MGP to 750cc 81mm bore quatro cylinder bikes. The current 1000cc behemoths are running out of road, track width, run off, safety and opportunity for young racer's and teams in terms of sheer cost.

Back to aerodynamics, glad the ruling only allows the loophole within the ambit of the law to be implemented within the confines of the basic chassis and not externalised.

"Furthermore, cut MGP to 750cc 81mm bore quatro cylinder bikes"

Didn't we leave the 800cc era not so long ago?    Not so popular from what I remember.

One of the problems with going from 990cc to 800cc was that corner speeds increased. Due to the reduced torque, squiting the bike out of corners wasn't an alternative like it was in the 990 era.

Combine the high corner speed with the revvy small power band of the 800 and it was back to the highsider rodeo of the 500cc two-stroke days.

There are good reasons why we left the 800cc formula and went up in volume. Going down to 750cc would most likely be a disaster, IMHO.

I don't recall the manufacturer but Anthony Gobert wore one in World Superbike. The wing didn't provide downforce, it looked like something you'd see in the Tour de France. The wing ran longitudinally along the top of the helmet. No idea if it actually improved drag, but aero appendanges on helmets is not a new concept.

FIM homologation for safety equipment may already ban aero devices on helmets. 

Control tyres, engine restrictions (bore & four cylinder only), no dct or dvt transmissions (hence the ultra expensive seamless gearboxes), control electronics & now a blanket ban on aerodynamic  innovation. We already have Moto2. Why make MotoGP the same?

Grand Prix racing never had a chance of being prototype racing after forced induction was banned in the 1930s.

That's the drum that I have been beating since forever. Over that period, supercharging and turbocharging have become widespread in the auto world and finally a production supercharged motorcycle was released. Thank you Kawasaki. 

Bull-'you know what'. Fine... Many of the top writers(David included I guess) and tonnes of fans wanna see it go.

As for fans.. It's mainly just about the looks. Ugly? I just don't see how. As far as I can see, wings on a ducati gave it a lot of character. Symbolized power over anything. Anyway my oppinion regarding the wings have nothing to do with looks one bit.

It all come down to prototype racing, I think there has never been another innovation that disrupted the entire paddock like aero after seamless gearbox.
Just look at the political side of it, when ducati debuted the wings, every other manufacturers were bashing it saying it's useless and all. And what did they do? Just started copying ducati. And now wings are a mainstay in gp racing. And all of a sudden, wings make differences.

From a point where all top level riders said "they couldn't find any difference" to a point that Dani wouldn't run wings because it made it extremely difficult for him to handle the bike.
What does it all points to is that wings work and it works by a large margin.

And this is the problem I have with idea of cost cutting in prototype racing. Cost cutting measures should be imposed on fields which gives very minimal advantage for a huge investment. Not on a technological aspect like aero which have become such a huge influencial factor in MGP racing today.

We all saw how different bike wheelies at Austria. How much of a difference it made. Ducati had found something so important and something which they could use much better than others and all of them conspired to have it removed.
Prototype racing as it stands is a farce, yes 2 seconds a lap advantage over WSBK is something, but that is like saying my cycle is faster than his. It's a shame to see strakes go away.

I think it's time to consider electronic suspensions. Everybody does that out of tracks and this would be a real and immediate benefit for customers. Maybe based on standard electronics to avoid NASA style solutions.

I've been saying this for years. 

To see the wings are gone next year. The ducati didnt even looks like a bike anymore. Bigger longer and more wings. Bikes are bikes and im happy we wil see bikes how bikes should look like.

Aerodynamic downforce has been one of the major downfalls of automobile racing. They originally made their way into F1 because the organizers surmised that drag would help reduce top speeds. Fateful decision with far reaching consequnces.  

Bikes and cars are much different machines, but no reason to open Pandora's box. Good move to ban aero appendanges, particularyl in a sport where the pilot is exposed.

We have a great group of posts from people thinking along the same lines! I would like to add that I foresee "Ram Air" being introduced into the fairings to circumvent the banning of wings. Allow a significant portion of air to enter the front end but direct it upwards, and exiting out of the fairing the samer way that a bonnet, or hood adds downforce to a car. The wind tunnel tests should prove some benefit. Allow the remaining air to flow thu the sides and exit the rear near the exhaust with another duct to aid in rear downforce. Just my opinion only. 

It was awesome in my opinion. It generated a tire war, a rider war, a techno war et al, unparralled in MGP. It boosted GP forums to boiling point week in and week out.

Right now MGP 1000cc is detente. Dumbed down. I reflect on Misano and the tragic loss of MS58. On an 800cc machine no doubt, and he was a big bloke physically, like Rossi.

The big corporation mantra needs 1000cc behemoths for spectacle and revenue, the sport and the riders and the safety limits per track do not need it. The economics of safety cannot keep pace. Next thing they will run Mugello in reverse, like Misano. 

As an old inspirer of mine in another sport once said....'You slow it all down and you will be where you want to be right on time'. 

Slow the tech up in the interest that the athlete's may speed up.