According to reports Aprilia was compelled to remove a semi-automatic clutch system it had installed before the Australian MotoGP as a result of a dispute from a rival manufacturer.
At the Malaysian MotoGP on Thursday, Maverick Vinales bemoaned the fact that he was no longer able to take advantage of the most recent starting system that Aprilia had set up.
“That is hurting us. But I can’t say anything more,” the Spaniard limited himself to explaining the challenges he is facing without the system.
His teammate Aleix Espargaro declined to talk about the issue as the Aprilia staff revealed that they have been ‘forbidden’ to talk about the issue
According to Motorsport.com, it can confirmed that Aprilia has been forced to discontinue using the most recent clutch specification integrated into the RS-GP since the Australian MotoGP owing to a grievance from a rival manufacturer.
Following their struggles off the start earlier in the season, Vinales and Espargaro both had better starting performances with the Aprilia thanks to the new clutch system.
Given that the clutch’s operation depends too heavily on the electronic control unit, a number of the sources contacted believe that KTM is the source of the complaint. The clutch in question violates technical regulations, according to KTM.
Since there are some ambiguities in this section of the regulations, the matter is actually currently being reviewed.
The component was initially approved by the technical managers of the championship despite the fact that it required input from the rider and did not operate entirely autonomously.
What’s most remarkable about the case is that KTM had advanced significantly since the start of the season thanks to a new starting system it developed for its RC16. With just a half-second to spare at Mugello, Jack Miller went from fifth on the grid to first.
The KTM RC16 was the best starting bike on the grid thanks to the system that was unveiled in June.
Aprilia developed a clutch that functions just like an automatic despite not being one, in response to riders’ complaints about struggles starting on the grid. This triggered the dispute mentioned earlier that resulted in its removal.
Along with the complaint regarding Aprilia’s clutch, KTM also requested a change to the current regulations from the technical commission in order to get its own clutch homologated, which functions extremely similarly to Aprilia’s clutch system.
KTM chose to temporarily remove the system from its bikes at the most recent race in Thailand in anticipation of a potential change in the rules that would allow them to make use of it once more.
While Aprilia and KTM are unable to use their new clutches, currently holding the fastest and best starting device in the MotoGP grid is Ducati that three years ago began incorporating carbon and electronic assistance into its friction system.