Suzuki is the third MotoGP manufacturer to present a rear wing variation in Japan. Rins’ feedback on the ‘floppy ears’ is positive.

Rear wings are becoming more and more of a trend in 2022 MotoGP: Aprilia premiered a T-shaped variant on the Friday of practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, then Ducati caused a stir at Silverstone with small rear wings reminiscent of the tail of a stegosaurus. While Aprilia has yet to use them in racing, rear wings have been the order of the day at Ducati ever since. Not only the professionalism of the racer plays a role, but also the design of the car, choosing the best, and online betting on the following races.

In Japan, Suzuki was the third manufacturer to follow suit. The team from nearby Hamamatsu presented its version of the rear wing just in time for the last home Grand Prix before the MotoGP retirement. It was used during the 1st free practice on Alex Rins’ GSX-RR. The design is roughly reminiscent of the ‘floppy ears’ of rabbits.

“I found out yesterday that Suzuki wanted to try these elements with Tsuda [Joan Mir’s replacement, note]. I then told them to give them to me right away, which they didn’t want to do,” reveals Rins, who then negotiated a deal: “If I’m fast in the first few minutes, I get to try them.” 

This succeeded, the Spaniard drove right at the beginning of the 1st Free Practice into the top ranks of the classification and achieved best times several times – although he had to come back to the pits briefly after only one round because a piece of the fairing had come loose in the lower area of his Suzuki. Consequently, Rins got the rear wing variant fitted to his GSX-RR at around session half-time.

“In the braking phase I felt more stability at the rear, I could brake later,” Rins confirmed positive effects. The rear tire would be more pressed to the ground thanks to the wings, resulting in less vibration. “I’m pretty impressed because Suzuki doesn’t usually develop things like this so quickly,” he praises.

But he says it is too early to draw a definitive conclusion on whether the rear wings can help bring Suzuki back to the front of the field in the five remaining races before the MotoGP retirement. “We still need to do comparative testing because the difference is quite big,” Rins said. “Tomorrow, though, we most likely won’t be able to do that because it’s supposed to rain.” 

Leave a comment