MotoGP: Suzuki boss Brivio says Ducati protest ‘good for the sport’

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Suzuki MotoGP boss Davide Brivio has told MCN exclusively that he hopes that the process of lodging an appeal against Ducati’s new under-bike spoiler after the Qatar Grand Prix will be good for the future of the championship. Joining Aprilia, KTM and Honda in filing a protest only settled in favour of Ducati yesterday by the FIM Court of Appeals, Brivio says that despite being defeated in court he’s happy with the outcome.

“Our idea was to try and clarify some things, because there is something that can be improved in the way we prepare and manage the rules, to remove the problems. Now I think we have to look at that, because this has been a good experience for everyone. We need to sit down now and try and make the rules clearer, easier to control and easier to respect for the future. I hope that it can be a good experience that will improve our championship.”

Coming after Ducati fitted the new part to Andrea Dovizioso’s bike before he snatched a last-corner victory from Marc Marquez at the first race of the year, Brivio told MCN when we bumped into him in Buenos Aires airport en route to this weekend’s Argentine Grand Prix that much of the debate around the spoiler came from what it’s purpose was.

“I think at the end that the situation we ended up in was more of a legal situation about the wording rather than judging the technical part itself. What has happened is that it’s clear that the part generates downforce. That’s been proven by our calculations, from all four manufacturers, and during the hearing even Ducati said that. But according to the regulations it depends on the intention you have, and they said that their intention was to cool the tyre and not to take advantage of the downforce.

“The way the rule is written, the main intention is to cool the tyre and if their intention was to do that and not generate downforce, it doesn’t matter if it does generate downforce or not. You can imagine that when you go to the court of appeals and into the legal field, you go down a different road, and right now we’re still waiting on the motivation for the court’s decision – we only have the decision and my thoughts are based on what we discussed while there.”

However, while the matter might have been settled in court, Brivio believes there will be one further outcome of the decision. Joining his fellow team bosses in launching comprehensive studies into the nature of Ducati’s part (including computational fluid dynamics studies) he says that it won’t be long until the others follow suit.

“I think we’ll try something similar, because due to the hearing everyone was forced to make deep investigations, simulations, calculations into the part – and we all noticed that it could be a nice thing for us to have!”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer