Uproar over MotoGP winglets unlikely, says Smith


Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith believes there is unlikely to be an "uproar" if winglets are banned from MotoGP. 

The development of aerodynamic winglets in premier-class racing has continued to grow, with more and more teams experimenting with different devices. 

However, concerns remain over their safety, with riders and officials worried the sharp edges and sudden aerodynamic changes could cause serious injury. 

Smith believes while the winglets have seen a decrease in lap times, banning them will not have a drastic effect on the paddock.

"No one's really going, 'if you take them off we're going to have an uproar'," the Brit told Autosport. 

"Everyone's kind of indifferent about it. They don't look that pretty anyway.

"Basically if they say on Saturday that they will be there or won't be there, for me I don't think anyone's going to have an uproar and suddenly go, 'oh this is unfair, my setting's going to change'.

"I honestly think it's just an extra add-on that's not really creating a performance benefit substantial enough."

He added: "It's something we can't influence in terms of performance, we can only influence from a safety point of view.

"If enough riders complain about buffeting, about these things hitting into riders as well.

"The turbulence [is the bigger concern] because riding at 350 km/h and your bike starts shaking, the [brake] pads go apart.

"You don't have any front brake so that for me is a more dangerous thing than crashing into another rider.

"I believe that they're a soft enough material that they either break off or won't cause any damage to the rider through their leathers.

"But when you're at full stick, sixth gear, and your brake pads go apart because the front end's wobbling about, for me that's a safety issue."