MotoGP: Front ride-height devices banned from 2023
Following a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission it has been determined that use of front ride-height devices will be banned in MotoGP from 2023 onwards.
It’s technology that has been introduced into the championship by Ducati, with the system following in the footsteps of the Italian manufacturer’s original rear holeshot device for race starts, their rear ride-height system, and front holeshot device.
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The introduction of the front ride-height system during pre-season testing allowed Ducat riders to lower their entire bike upon corner exit. However, the other manufacturers within MotoGP were opposed to the system, with safety being one of the key concerns, as well as costs and top speed gains.
Due to electronic suspension adjustment being banned in MotoGP, the ride-height system must be controlled via hydraulics and cables. It adds extra controls to the rider’s handlebars, and gives them even more to think about, and concentrate on, through the corners.
Ride-height systems have also been known to malfunction. Brad Binder’s Indonesian Grand Prix was effectively ruined when his system became problematic early in the race. “Every time I braked it would come up. I’d turn, let go of the brake and it would drop down again. I did the whole race with the ride-height device completely down,” he explained.
The statement from the Grand Prix Commission reads:
“During the meeting of the Commission held in Lusail on 4 March 2022 the Grand Prix Commission delegates were asked to consider two alternative proposals on this matter. Both had the objective of preventing further performance improvements and development cost increases. After consideration of the proposals the following regulation was approved unanimously.
“The use of any device that modifies or adjusts the motorcycle’s front ride height while it is moving is forbidden.
“The decision of the Technical Director will be final when determining what constitutes a front ride height device; devices that only operate one-shot at the race start (“holeshot” devices) are allowed.”
As stated in the statement, rear ride-height devices, as well as both front and rear holeshot systems that are used at the start of the race will remain legal for MotoGP teams to use.