Honda latest team to try aero winglets in MotoGP testing

Honda became the latest MotoGP team to try aerodynamic winglets on its 2016 bike in Qatar testing on Thursday

Honda latest team to try aero winglets in MotoGP testing

Both Ducati and Yamaha adopted wings on their bikes' fairings during the 2015 season.

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez each tried Honda's version for short runs on the penultimate day of pre-season testing at Losail.

"They certainly change the feeling we have but the first contact went well," said Pedrosa.

"There are some positives and some negative things, but it was only the first prototype and I guess we'll have to change some things to improve the aerodynamics."

Marquez said he had not run the aerodynamic tweak for long enough to make a clear judgement.

"We will have to analyse them well, because we only used them for one four-lap stint, so there will be further research and development," he said.

"It is only the first prototype."

The winglets are designed to reduce front-end lift and wheelies under acceleration.

Ducati team general manager Gigi Dall'Igna predicted during the winter that such aerodynamics would be the next big technical focal point in MotoGP.

SMALL STEPS FORWARD FOR HONDA

Honda has struggled through pre-season testing so far, and Marquez crashed on an early run on Thursday.

He said some progress was made during the night, but admitted there were still clear weak points in Honda's package - including qualifying pace.

"We have taken some steps forward from yesterday," he said.

"We have improved the feeling when cornering - the bike turns in a little more - and that has allowed us to lower our times slightly, but we still have some problems exiting corners.

"The pace we have is good although we are still finding it difficult to get rear grip.

"The laptimes are the same with both with new and used tyres; we could not take advantage of the new rubber and that is something we are working on the most."

Pedrosa, who was two places ahead of Marquez in seventh, was more upbeat.

"We have improved a lot compared to yesterday even if I found it a little hard to get back on the pace at the beginning," he said.

"Later on I was able to do almost a full race simulation and was able to gain experience with the electronics and tyres.

"At the end we tried to improve our feeling, which is not as good as we would like, but we must be positive and improve step by step."

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