MotoGP: New Ducati fairing answers underseat box mystery

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The radical new Ducati fairing unveiled at this week’s Qatar test has answered one mystery that’s been plaguing journalists in the paddock since it was first introduced – the contents of the extended box and rerouted exhaust under the seat of Ducati’s latest iteration of the Desmosedici bike.

MCN’s sources have confirmed that the box does, in fact, contain electronics components originally housed under the front fairing of the bike, as we first speculated at when the box appeared during the Qatar test. However, instead of helping to redistribute weight of the bike, it seems that the change in location of the parts was to facilitate the new fairing’s apertures.


The box first appeared during the Sepang test, with speculation to its contents ranging from ultra-advanced anti-wheelie gyroscopes to F1-inspired anti-chatter jounce dampeners. But, with the new fairing showing the final piece of the puzzle, it seems that it’s nothing more than storage space – something at a premium on a MotoGP machine.

The Qatar test finally saw Ducati roll out the radical new aerodynamics package that the team have been hinting at for months since the introduction of a ban on winglets at the end of 2016, with the new look firmly splitting public opinion.

However, while the new look might be controversial, Andrea Dovizioso admitted that the new front fairing makes a positive difference the only place that really counts in racing – to the speed of the bike.

“It was nice to feel the effect again because it’s been very difficult to create similar downforce to last year with the new rules, but our engineers did a great job. The effect is very close to the wings – not the same, but very close.”

It remains to be seen whether the firm will run the new design for the opening race in two weeks’ time.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer