Ducati’s controversial swingarm winglet has been declared legal by the MotoGP Court of Appeal and Andrea Dovizioso’s Qatar grand prix win will stand.
The factory teams of all other manufacturers except Yamaha protested the result of the first race of the season due to the presence of a winglet hanging off the swingarm of the three GP19s in the field.
With their initial protest rejected and appealed, the Court of Appeal heard the matter last Friday (local time) and has now announced a decision.
A statement issued on behalf of the court states, “The request to declare the Device illegal and ban its use in future races is rejected,” and that, “The provisional race results are confirmed and are declared as final.”
The decision means that Andrea Dovizioso keeps his win and his factory team-mate Danilo Petrucci remains classified in sixth.
Pramac’s Jack Miller, the other rider on a current-model Ducati in the field, was a DNF anyway.
At the heart of the dispute was a question of the legality of the device, which Ducati claimed was to cool the rear tyre and which had been approved by MotoGP technical director Danny Aldridge.
Ducati’s rivals believed that it contravened regulations regarding aerodynamic pieces which are not integrated in the bodywork.
Round 2 of MotoGP starts this Friday (local time) at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
During the MotoGP race at the season opener in Qatar on 10 March 2019, technical protests concerning the use of a device on the Ducati machine were lodged with the FIM MotoGP Stewards by Team Suzuki Ecstar against #43 Jack Miller (Ducati), by Repsol Honda Team against #4 Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), and by Red Bull KTM Factory Team and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini against #9 Danilo Petrucci (Ducati).
The protesting teams considered that the device was primarily an aerodynamic device and therefore not compliant with the MotoGP technical regulations. After a hearing, the four protests were rejected.
The same four teams then lodged appeals against the MotoGP Stewards’ decision to the MotoGP Appeal Stewards and a further hearing was conducted. The MotoGP Appeal Stewards determined that further technical evaluation was required and that this was not possible under the circumstances. They therefore decided to refer the matter to the MotoGP Court of Appeal in accordance with Art. 126.96.36.199 of the applicable Regulations.
Following a hearing in Mies on Friday 22 March, the MotoGP Court of Appeal handed down its decision today 26 March and the parties (the four appellants, Ducati and the FIM) have been duly notified.
On these grounds, the MotoGP Court of Appeal rules that:
- The appeals filed by Team Aprilia, Team Suzuki, Team Honda and Team KTM are admissible.
- The provisional race results are confirmed and are declared as final.
- The request to declare the Device illegal and ban its use in future races is rejected.
An appeal against this decision may be lodged before the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne Switzerland within 5 days pursuant to Article 3.9 of the 2019 FIM World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.