Grand Prix Commission announce front ride height devices banned for MotoGP 2023

The decision will become effective from the 2023 season. 

Francesco Bagnaia, 2022 Malaysian MotoGP test.

TODAY, 22 March 2022, the Grand Prix Commission (GPC) has announced that from 2023 front ride height devices will be banned. 

The ban will not affect front holeshot devices, which distinguish from ride height devices in that they are only used at the start of the race, off the line. 

Officially, “The use of any device that modifies or adjusts the motorcycle’s front ride height while it is moving is forbidden,” according to the GPC.

The move comes as fears grow that MotoGP bikes are becoming too fast. Ideally, keeping speeds down would be done without having to interfere too much with the technical regulations regarding engine size, or introducing a maximum power output. This is a good way to achieve this. 

Ducati have been the most aggressive regarding holeshot and ride height devices since they debuted their first holeshot device back in 2019, with the idea being to lower the centre of gravity of the bike in the acceleration off the line by lowering the centre of gravity. 

By the end of 2019, Jack Miller was testing prototypes of the first rear ride height device to be used around the lap, and it was introduced full-time across all Ducati riders for 2020. 

Now, all factories have their own holeshot and ride height devices, but Ducati became the first this year to trial a front ride height device, that being one that drops the ride height at the front of the bike around the lap. Such activation would help to further decrease wheelie on corner exit by further lowering the centre of gravity.

It was not an instant success, though, for Ducati. Having run the front ride height device in Qatar at the 2022 season opener, it was removed from both factory bikes in Indonesia. With development of the device still desired, the Pramac Racing riders - Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin - were left to switch between having and not having the device in Mandalika. However, now that the decision has been made by the GPC to ban such devices from next year, it will be interesting to see whether Ducati feels it is necessary to continue to try to develop the front ride height device. Perhaps they will continue to try for one or two more rounds, but after that, it is likely to become unproductive.