SportMotoGPKTM attacks the rear of aerodynamics

KTM attacks the rear of aerodynamics

After the proliferation among all the front wing bikes introduced by Ducati since 2010, a curious solution has appeared in MotoGP that KTM has decided to test on the two RC16s of the Tech3 satellite team with Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona.

Being an aerodynamic innovation, the Red Bull Ring was a good place to test it because it is a track with a very high average speed and slightly thin air due to the almost 700 meters of altitude, where the aerodynamic efficiency of the bikes becomes important. .

KTM brought Spielberg an interesting tail with a kind of wings that opens a new avenue of research. A solution appeared on the back of the RC16 that could set the standard if it produces the desired results.

The idea, as pointed out by our colleagues at –part of the Motorsport Network group– it is not from the Austrians, as it was previously tested by Ducati in 2018 during testing, but never seen in a Grand Prix weekend.

Instead, KTM has decided to go one step further with what has been dubbed a ‘duckbill’. The aerodynamicists decided on a very simple design, but one that has a positive effect on the handling of the bike.

The main function is undoubtedly to increase the KTM’s downforce under braking, giving the RC16 greater stability when slowing down and minimizing the chance of the rear wheel lifting off the tarmac.

But the images of our photographers allow us to observe another aspect that may be just as important, and that justifies the debut of the idea on a track as fast as Spielberg’s.

The shape of the center section does not go unnoticed, with an arched slot just above the exhaust located under the tail. The passage of air occurs from the upper surface to the lower. So the effect is to suck up the flow left by the rider’s helmet and back when over the fairing at full speed.

In that phase, the profile is essentially neutral, so it does not affect in terms of resistance, but thanks to the blowing, it can be useful to clear the road and increase top speed with an extractor effect in which the Ducati engineers have not yet they had thought. We expect variations of the theme.

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