MotoGP Argentina 2019

MotoGP Argentina 2019: How spilled secrets and 2018 chaos could make for a thriller in Rio Hondo

Jack Miller’s stunning performance in qualifying here last year saw him claim his first pole position.
Jack Miller’s stunning performance in qualifying here last year saw him claim his first pole position.Source: Supplied

One race down and the second is upon us this weekend in Argentina as the MotoGP circus heads to South America on the back of what was one of the most dramatic races of the season last year.

And we head into this one with no less controversy after Andrea Dovizisio’s first win of the season was only confirmed this week – two weeks after he finishing celebrating it.

That’s because Aprilia, Honda, KTM and Suzuki lodged protests after the race in Qatar against the Ducati riders, Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller. Their grounds for the initial protests were built on where the ‘aero’ devices mounted below the swingarms on their Ducatis during the season curtain-raiser in Qatar.

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Unbelievable duel in Qatar

Unbelievable duel in Qatar

Those protests were dismissed by MotoGP’s stewards only for the four manufacturers to dispute that decision further with the appeals stewards. Confused yet?

The appeals stewards decided they needed more information to make an informed decision so held a hearing where Ducati was made to divulge their private technical information – you can imagine how precious that is – in front of their biggest rivals, the other four manufacturers.

Ducati revealed that in testing at Qatar, the device they use reduced rear tyre temperature by as much as seven degrees and created an extra 300g of downforce from deflecting cooler air onto the rear tyre surface.

Fantastic development, but their big secret is out and all their rivals know about it now!

As a result, the appeals stewards threw out the case, upheld the original decision and placed no penalty on Ducati for their innovation. But the punishment for Ducati came in their own defence as they divulged their key data and placed it in the hands of their competitors for the world championship (which they and Dovizioso currently lead, by the way!)