The swing-arm spoiler took another turn on Saturday, with KTM fitting a carbon-fibre scoop visually similar to that used the day before by Honda, as the companies that had joined the unsuccessful protest against Ducati at Qatar now hastened to copy them.
KTM’s version appeared for the first time for Saturday’s FP4, which started off damp. Competition chief Pit Beirer, questioned by pit-lane reporter Simon Crafar, said it was simply a rain diffuser.
“Since something which creates downforce is not allowed, then it must be a rain deflector,” he said; adding that it would be removed in the dry. True to his word, it was gone for qualifying.
The day before, Marquez had underlined the humour of Honda’s assertion that their device is aimed at improving swing-arm stiffness – breaking into laughter after saying as much, then admitting that in fact there was an aerodynamic benefit, with downforce affecting the braking point.
However he did not use it on Saturday, when he was as dominant as usual at this track.
By Michael Scott