The Devil is in the detail with Tech3 KTM MotoGP aero fairing

KTM seems to be going all in with the aero devices as it wheeled out an innovative fairing in latest MotoGP test

KTM Tech 3

WITH the latest MotoGP test drawing to a close, we now get the chance to take in some of the weird and not-so-wonderful fairing designs being tested by the manufacturers.

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One team going full bore in the race for MotoGP aero greatness is KTM, and one of the most complex fairing designs we’ve seen so far as debuted on the satellite RC16 campaigned by Tech 3 Racing.

Sampling the fairing was Iker Lecuona, and the first and most obvious difference is the drilled holes running up the leading edge of the fairing. It’s strange to see a fairing drilled in this way, although ‘hole-y’ fairings are nothing new.

In years gone by a Swiss cheese fairing was commonplace at the blustery Philip Island circuit, where crosswinds from the nearby coastal stretch is a persistent problem - something Tech 3 knows only too well. Its former rider Miguel Oliveira was hit by a wall of side-wind so heavy it pushed him onto the grass and into a high-speed crash, forcing him to miss race day.

That said, the chances of this being (entirely) wind-related are unlikely. This has been done for different reasons.

With cooling and crosswinds not as much of a problem at Catalunya  - despite F1 driver Fernando Alonso’s insistence they caused him to crash and injure himself there in 2016 - the small holes are probably more likely there to try and stir up some turbulence around the leading edge of the fairing.

In this way the holes could work like small vortex generators, aiding the airflow around the fairing and therefore the rider.

Other new elements of the fairing are the two small winglets, one in front of Lecuona’s shin and the other lower down on the trailing edge of the bottom fairing.

The objective of these seems clearer. When the aero team designs the bike, they look at the entire machine as one aerofoil. The idea is to create a joined-up airflow from the front to the rear of the bike when the rider is in the most aerodynamic, tucked position.

These new winglets look as though they are there to help maximise the airflow to the rear of the bike, joining it to the front and helping the Tech 3 KTM to slip through the air more efficiently a faster.