MotoGP rider 'uproar' over winglet rules unlikely

Rider "uproar" is unlikely if winglets are banned from MotoGP despite the performance benefits they offer, Tech3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith believes

MotoGP rider 'uproar' over winglet rules unlikely

The proliferation of the aerodynamic devices, introduced by Ducati early last year, has increased and they have dominated discussions during the opening four races of 2016.

Rulings have already been made regarding the use of winglets in Moto2 and Moto3, and the Grand Prix Commission is set to discuss their MotoGP fate again at Le Mans this weekend.

Why MotoGP has to ban winglets

Safety concerns have been raised and calls made to limit them before their development reaches Formula 1 levels, while Andrea Dovizioso feels negative comments have been fuelled by an advantage that Ducati has built.

At Jerez, rider consensus was that winglets helped laptimes by less then one tenth, before Honda introduced a triple-stack version on Marc Marquez's bike during last Monday's test.

Smith suggested riders were "indifferent" on the topic and would simply get on with racing if they were banned.

"No one's really going, 'if you take them off we're going to have an uproar'," he said.

"Everyone's kind of indifferent about it. They don't look that pretty anyway.

"Basically if they say on Saturday that they will be there or won't be there, for me I don't think anyone's going to have an uproar and suddenly go, 'oh this is unfair, my setting's going to change'.

"I honestly think it's just an extra add-on that's not really creating a performance benefit substantial enough."

Smith first flagged winglets as a safety issue with fellow riders last September, with the turbulence they create his biggest concern.

"It's something we can't influence in terms of performance, we can only influence from a safety point of view," Smith said.

"If enough riders complain about buffeting, about these things hitting into riders as well...

"The turbulence [is the bigger concern] because riding at 350 km/h and your bike starts shaking, the [brake] pads go apart.

"You don't have any front brake so that for me is a more dangerous thing than crashing into another rider.

"I believe that they're a soft enough material that they either break off or won't cause any damage to the rider through their leathers.

"But when you're at full stick, sixth gear, and your brake pads go apart because the front end's wobbling about, for me that's a safety issue."

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