Shake your tail feather | Aprilia debuts tiny rear-wing at Italian MotoGP

First we had front-end winglets and now Aprilia is upping the ante by unveiling a tiny rear wing spoiler on its RS-GP at the Italian MotoGP this weekend

Lorenzo Savadori - Aprilia

The seemingly endless pursuit by manufacturers to extract ever greater performance in MotoGP hit a new innovative peak during free practice for the Italian MotoGP after Aprilia showcased its RS-GP with a quirky little rear-wing.

Appearing on the bike steered by test rider Lorenzo Savadori, making a wildcard appearance for his home MotoGP event at Mugello this weekend, the new aerodynamic device is a modestly-sized winglet, appearing like a shrunken car spoiler unit.

Despite its size, the wing is designed to offer a similar effect to that of devices used in four-wheel motorsport, primarily greater downforce and greater stability under braking.

Though he didn’t try the rear-wing en route to setting the quickest time in free practice on Friday, Aleix Espargaro insists wind tunnel results suggest it does have an effect and isn’t simply a marketing stunt.

“I was not able to try the rear wing, but I saw the data from the wind tunnel and it's interesting,” Espargaro told “It looks like it's just pure marketing, but believe me, it makes a difference.

“Yeah, it reminds you of Formula One, but it gives a lot of weight in some places and now in MotoGP we're talking about details.

“We are lacking a little bit of weight on the rear. This is why I cannot increase the engine brake, so I pushed them to create more load on the rear.

“They're working in different areas to improve this and one [solution] was the aerodynamics.”

In some ways it is perhaps surprising ‘motorcycle spoiler’ hasn’t made an earlier appearance, not least because controversial winglets towards the front of a bike have become the norm, despite criticism they are aesthetically unattractive and have contributed to raising top speeds to limit-pushing levels.

Indeed, Mugello - with its long, slightly downhill home straight - vies with Losail in Qatar as the scene for numerous MotoGP top speed records, though Friday’s quickest rider through the speed trap - Alex Rins on the Suzuki - could only manage a ‘leisurely’ 355.2km/h (220.7mph), down on the all-time benchmark of Johann Zarco’s 362.4km/h (225mph).