Table of ContentsToggle
MotoGP Manufacturers Pushing the Limits of Aerodynamics in 2024
In recent years, aerodynamic devices have become increasingly prominent in the world of MotoGP. However, this year, manufacturers have taken their innovations to a whole new level. The Sepang International Circuit has been buzzing with excitement as pictures emerge showcasing the cutting-edge aerodynamic solutions introduced by various teams.
While all five manufacturers have dedicated significant resources towards advancing aerodynamics during the winter break, it is Aprilia that stands out with its radical approach. Marco de Luca, Head of Vehicle at Aprilia Racing and former Ferrari aerodynamicist during their golden era with Michael Schumacher, brings his Formula 1 expertise to revolutionize the team’s performance.
The Introduction of Blown Diffuser Concept in MotoGP
One concept that de Luca had patented back in June now makes its debut on the Aprilia RS-GP – marking a first for MotoGP. The blown diffuser technology was originally pioneered by Red Bull in the early 2010s and involved directing hot exhaust gases over the diffuser to generate additional downforce.
Aprilia has developed its own unique version of this concept which was unveiled during Malaysia’s first pre-season test. This innovation is part of a larger rear end overhaul on their RS-GP bike design.
An Unconventional Rear Design Approach from Aprilia
Initially drawing attention to itself is the upper section of the tail featuring only two lateral profiles and a small cantilevered flap alongside a single wing – distinct from other teams’ triplane layout choices. However, what truly intrigues enthusiasts lies within Aprilla’s cleverly designed lower section of the bike.
Aprilia has ingeniously created a channel in this area that serves as an extractor profile. By placing one of the exhausts inside this tunnel, hot gases are blown to accelerate air flow, thereby enhancing air extraction capabilities.
The two vertical bulkheads positioned on either side of the rear wheel, attached to the rear swingarm, also play a pivotal role in maintaining trail cleanliness and optimizing diffuser efficiency.
A Promising Yet Experimental Development
Naturally, there are still challenges to overcome due to turbulence caused by the rear wheel. Nonetheless, Aprilia is actively exploring different solutions. They have even experimented with off-channel versions of their terminal design during testing sessions.
Copying Aprilia’s double diffuser design will be no easy feat as it demands extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work and wind tunnel testing. However, their groundbreaking innovation could pave the way for a new era in aerodynamic concepts within MotoGP.