At last year’s British Grand Prix, Ducati surprised the paddock with the introduction of what was branded its ‘Stegosaurus’ rear wing, which comprised of several vertical strakes protruding from the back of the seat unit.
The idea of placing a spoiler in that location of the bike was introduced earlier in the year by Aprilia, who tested a wing reminiscent of a car, but shelved that idea as the rest of the grid followed Ducati’s lead through the final races of 2022 and the Valencia post-season test.
Yamaha tried the rear wings in Valencia last November, but were quickly discarded by 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo, with the Japanese marque the only manufacturer not to have any rear aero package on its bike in last month’s Sepang test.
However, for the test this weekend in Portugal, Yamaha has brought two new aero updates to try: a ‘Stegosaurus’ design and a new F1-style concept.
“We have two designs ready to test, but at the moment we haven’t had the chance and we will see if during these two days of testing at Portimao we can do it,” Massimo Meregalli told Autosport on Friday in Portugal.
With the F1-style wing, Yamaha is looking to achieve something different than Ducati’s innovation offer, which is to make the bike turn a bit more rather than improve braking stability.
“We have two parts here to test, but we only have two days of testing, so I don’t know if we’re going to have time. That wing is not part of the package to be homologated, so we can leave it for later,” concedes Meregalli, before acknowledging that the new part “is really different to what has been seen so far” from Yamaha.
Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
For Yamaha right now the tail of the M1 is not its main concern in regards to aero, as it is yet to finalise the front concept it will race with – the first design of which must be homologated prior to the first round of the season.
“During these two days we have to make an important decision with the fairing. After the Sepang test our riders decided to postpone the decision until Portimao,” added Meregalli.
“They have worked a lot in the factory this winter, never in all my years at Yamaha have I seen anything like this, a huge amount of parts to test. We had several fairings, with a different central part, and we must make a decision before the end of the test to be able to homologate it.”
In addition to the aerodynamic part, Yamaha is concerned about…
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