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Marquez: MotoGP “going in the opposite way” to F1 with aero war

Marc Marquez has said MotoGP is “going in the opposite way” to Formula 1 in terms of the series’ reliance on aerodynamics, which makes overtaking “more difficult”.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Manufacturers and teams have flirted with aerodynamic wings in MotoGP for decades, but development really began in earnest in 2015 when Ducati introduced winglets to its GP15.

Despite attempts to quell aero development by the organisers since then, it has now become the key battleground in MotoGP, which has led to a negative effect on racing.

MORE: 10 things we learned from the 2023 MotoGP Austrian GP

Aerodynamic fairings, plus the advent of ride height devices, has made it harder for riders to battle each other on track, with last weekend’s Austrian GP producing little action on a track where last-lap battles have been common over the years.

Honda rider Marquez compared MotoGP’s situation to that of F1’s, but noted how the latter has moved away from disruptive aero since its switch to ground effect regulations in 2022.

F1's aero war has also somewhat been contained by the cost cap rules teams must work within during a season.

And while MotoGP’s aero development is likely to be altered in the next major bike regulations in 2027, Marquez believes this is “too late” in terms of the effect it is having on racing now.

“I already said two, three years ago,” Marquez began when asked what he feels about the state of MotoGP right now.

“The people then said ‘no’. Some people are against the aerodynamic things, other people are in favour.

“And then if you say something, people go ‘ah no, it’s because you cannot adapt to these aerodynamics’.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I mean, you can adapt. But in the end, the actual MotoGP depends more about your bike because if you don’t have the aerodynamics, if you don’t have the traction, and many things on the technical side that you depend more on that.

“And then to attack, to overtake riders becomes more and more difficult.

“It becomes like Formula 1, and Formula 1 is going in the opposite way. It looks like [cars] have less downforce, less effect about the aero, and we are going in the opposite way, every time bigger.

“Looks like in 2027 it will change, but it’s too late. Three years like this, the development is going to have more and more downforce.”

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The negative impact on racing has also been contributed to by the new tyre pressure rules, with a minimum front limit of 1.88 bar (27.26psi) causing problems for riders.

The massive amount of turbulence generated by modern MotoGP bikes' aerodynamics increases front tyre pressures quickly, with grip and braking problems occurring for riders when it goes above 2.0 bar (29psi).

Not only has this made overtaking much harder, it has contributed to the increase in aggression seen in races - particularly the sprints - as competitors try to make as much ground as possible to spend as little time in the wake of another motorcycle.

Last weekend's Austrian GP was won by 5.191 seconds, whereas in 2022 the winning margin was 0.492s, while over the last seven years the previous largest winning margin in a dry race at the Red Bull Ring was 1.4s in 2019.

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