At the beginning of last year, Aprilia surprised with an appendage on the tail of the RS-GP which resembled a car spoiler. After having it tested by tester Lorenzo Savadori, the starting riders, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales, had also put it to the test, but quickly rejected it.
Inspired by this, mid-season Ducati brought revolutionary wings to the Desmosedici tail, but arranged in a rather different way, as if it were a “crest”. Not only were they introduced in the competition, but other manufacturers then copied the solution. All except Aprilia. The Noale-based manufacturer continues to develop its horizontal wing and the appendix has returned to show itself in these days of official tests at Sepang.
Vinales concentrated on testing different aerodynamic configurations on Saturday, and this test is becoming a kind of testing ground in this sense: “It looks like an aerodynamics test. You have to try things, there’s always room for improvement and if it’s something that helps without affecting your riding, it’s ideal. The behavior of the bike with the front wing or the fairing does not change much. But when I tried the rear wing it changed the behavior of the bike a bit and affected the handling. The load on the rear is greater and this, I believe, forces us to change the setting. But we have to do more laps, on the last day I will lap this wing again to see if it’s an advantage or not,” explained Viñales at the end of Day 2.
The differences in the bike’s character and behavior are not only visible in the data, but also perceptible by the rider on the track: “You feel it, if you change the front wings it’s difficult to feel it, you notice that the bike wheelies less, it’s a bit heavier when changing direction. But with the rear wing you feel the difference. You feel it everywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. That’s why I say that on the last day I have to do more laps. Last year I only did three laps with this component, on the second day I did ten, but we need to do more laps to understand it and possibly use a different setting with this wing”, he explained referring to the rear wing.
So far, in the first two days of pre-season testing, Viñales hasn’t faced any race simulations or excessively long runs: “I don’t know if I’ll do race simulations on Sunday, it depends on the program we have and the weather. At the moment it doesn’t look like it will rain , but you never know what can happen here. Let’s hope the weather lets us work. We need to do a race simulation, we’ll see if here or in Portimao, I think I’ll leave it for Portugal (March 11 and 12) and here I’ll try different settings to gather more information”.
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