How Danny Aldridge And His Team Inspect The MotoGP Teams' Aero Packages
MotoGP Technical Director Danny Aldridge explains the checks a MotoGP aero package has to go through to be approved for racing.
The influence of aerodynamic parts in MotoGP has been increasing for years. Again and again, the teams in the premier class are testing the limits of the regulations.
In order to keep the hunt for even more downforce within the legal limits, the bikes have to undergo checks by Technical Director Danny Aldridge and his team.
In an interview with SPEEDWEEK.com, Aldridge reports how he and his team make sure that the aero packages of the MotoGP teams comply with the regulations.
Each team is obliged to homologate an aero body consisting of four sections before the start of the season, and one update per rider is allowed over the course of the season.
The aero body consists of the sections “Main Aero Body” and Area A, which basically includes the area around the rear wheel, mainly the so-called “Spoon”.
In addition, there is the area of the front wings and “Others”, which mainly includes the covers of the front fork.
However, Aldridge sees a change in the interpretation of aerodynamics. Above all, the designations used are a sign that the teams are approaching the subject of aerodynamics with more professionalism.
“New terms are now being used for aerodynamics, for example, diffuser, air induct, it’s all about downforce and so on.”
“Aerodynamics has long played the most important role in the development of bikes. Ducati and Aprilia have taken a pioneering role.”
However, what the parts are for is not of Aldridge’s concern. The regulations prescribe a dimensional frame for the aero bodies, anything that fits inside and doesn’t move is allowed, he says.
“We have had a measuring method for a few years, a template made of aluminium, and as long as the fairing fits into our “jig”, everything is fine.”
The bikes are measured in two conditions, normal and under rider load with the ride-height device activated.
“This gives us a maximum and minimum height for each bike,” Aldridge explains.
“When measuring with the ride height device on, we load about 80 kg onto the seat; that’s the approximate weight of a rider with clothing on.”