(Reuters) – Andrea Dovizioso will know by the end of the month whether his victory stands from the season-opening MotoGP race in Qatar after four rival teams protested the legality of the Italian’s Ducati.
The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) said in a statement on Wednesday that the MotoGP Court of Appeal would make a ruling before the Argentine Grand Prix on March 31.
The Honda and Suzuki factory teams, along with Aprilia and KTM, protested to Qatar GP stewards about a device on the rear swingarm of the Ducatis ridden by Dovizioso, team mate Danilo Petrucci and Australian Jack Miller.
Petrucci finished sixth for the works Ducati team while Pramac Ducati’s Miller qualified fourth but retired after his bike’s seat came loose.
The bone of contention is a winglet in front of the Ducati’s rear tyre, which the Italian manufacturer says is for cooling purposes but which rivals argue illegally creates aerodynamic downforce.
MotoGP stewards rejected the protest last Sunday but the teams lodged an appeal, which was referred on to the MotoGP court of three judges.
“The result of the Qatar Grand Prix stands, subject to the final decision of the MotoGP Court of Appeal,” said the FIM.
Dovizioso beat Repsol Honda’s reigning world champion Marc Marquez by 0.023 seconds after a wheel-to-wheel duel at the Losail desert circuit in the floodlit night race.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)