Tom's Tech Treasures: Analyzing MotoGP Tech Updates At Qatar, Part 1

Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.

New Honda fairing (Crutchlow’s RC213V)
Peter Bom: With all the extra horsepower which Honda has this year, together with a different chassis (to take some of the load from the front tire), it would make sense that there could be another aero update as well. As a side note, Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna has hinted at protesting this particular fairing design.

Ducati GP19 front disc cover
Peter Bom: Always mounted together with the spoiler on the bottom of the swing arm. See below for the full explanation ( subscription required).

Ducati GP19 aerodynamic swing arm spoiler, which other factories have protested

Carbon swingarm on Marc Marquez’s bike, with the cooling duct for the rear caliper

Holeshot device on Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati Desmosedici GP19

New Yamaha YZR-M1 fairing on Maverick Viñales' bike (Valentino Rossi used it in qualifying as well)

New Yamaha YZR-M1 fairing on Maverick Viñales' bike

Aprilia RS-GP exhaust

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... battle is coming as factories accuse eachother of aero-cheating on a regular basis. Very curious to hear how the Ducati case plays out. Fascinating tech, but I dont see it doing anything to help the racing, only adding cost and spreading out the field.

Hopefully the FIM will look to four wheels to gain insight. Over in Formula 1 the teams come up with something clever most years, the FIA let's them have theor moment and then announces around July that they will change the rules for next year speciifically to ban device XYZ. Except the FIA can change the rules unilaterally whenever they want, as I understand it the FIM need to the team on board to make those kinds of changes unless they can argue a safety concern. Interesting times.

This is the first time I've noticed the radial mounted rear caliper, the bolts are parallel to the disc not the axle. Seen here on a Honda. Anyone know when that changed & why. I know it makes it easier to change disc size. Any other reason? Something to do with the carbon swingarm?

Aprilia Akrapovic exhaust looks great.

Dorna and the FIM need to close the door on aero development or lose the level playing field they have worked so hard to create. F1 has demonstarted that aerodynamic advantage, though incremental, is a tremendous ongoing expense. It also is accompanied by constant politics over legality, another drain on team finance. This will quickly seperate the wealthy teams from the pack and will ruin the competitive environment to the detriment of the sport. Here is hoping MotoGP doesn't follow F1 down this rabbit hole!