DUCATI sporting director Paolo Ciabatti believes protests against his team’s rear winglet used in yesterday’s Qatar Grand Prix were ‘politically motivated’.
Andrea Dovizioso won the race for the Italian manufacturers, ahead of Honda’s Marc Marquez in second and Cal Crutchlow in third.
Four rival factories – Honda, Suzuki, KTM and Aprilia, lodged a protest with the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel against the addition to the Ducati.
The protest was rejected but the four manufacturers have chosen to appeal the decision.
Rumours that the swingarm device is designed to cool the rear tyres of the bike have been denied by Ducati.
And Ciabatti is confident that the decision will be upheld once the swingarm has been re-examined by the authorities.
“We are calm because we know that we have followed the technical regulations,” Ciabatti told Motorsport.com on Sunday night in Qatar.
“There is a circular that was distributed among the teams on March 2, which clearly specified how you could use this type of deflector on the back of the bike.
“If we had considered that this element could pose a risk of punishment, we would not have run with it. But it’s not like that.
“Yamaha already used a very similar deflector last year in Valencia, to direct water away from the wheel.
“Anyway, the classification is provisional until there is a resolution.”
Ducati is confident of the winglet’s legality based on information provided to teams by MotoGP technical director Danny Aldridge in the wake of the final pre-season test.
“I believe that this is more a political question than a sporting one,” added Ciabatti.
“We’ve seen before how some have tried to restrict the aerodynamic technical innovations introduced by Ducati in the championship.
“And we have already said many times that from our point of view that does not do any good to the championship.”
Marquez seemed satisfied that nothing was amiss with his rival’s bike, saying: “Today there was one rider faster than me and it was Dovizioso. So he beat me.”