Winglets are to be made compulsory in MotoGP from 2017, MotoMatters.com can exclusively reveal, using a spec design to be implemented much along the lines of the current unified software introduced this year in the premier class.
The decision was taken in response to concerns over costs spiraling out of control should all of the factories become engaged in a winglet war. The marginal gains to be had from increased spending on CFD computer modeling and wind tunnel work were a red flag for Dorna, who have spent the last seven seasons since the start of the Global Financial Crisis tweaking the rules to reduce costs and raise grid numbers. With the grid now healthy, and set to rise to 24 in 2017, Dorna and the FIM feared all their hard work could be undone, and teams would once again be forced out of racing by rising costs.
Though Ducati was strongly opposed to any form of intervention - which went against an agreement by Dorna not to interfere with the technical regulations for the next five season, the length of the current commercial agreements with the factories - they eventually gave in when the proposal for a spec winglet design by committee was put to them. Under the proposal, leaked to MotoMatters.com, the spec winglet would be designed using input from all of the factories in MotoGP. Those proposals would then be forwarded to a technology partner, who would test and refine them, based on the factories' design parameters.