MotoGP: Ducati experimenting with holeshot device?

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Ducati technical guru Gigi Dall’Igna has once again left the MotoGP paddock scratching their heads after rolling out mystery new components at the Sepang test for factory trio Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller. Coming in the shape of a large knob clearly designed to be activated by the rider and mounted on the GP19’s triple clamps, it’s started speculation that Dall’Igna has found a way to adapt off road riding’s holeshot device for a road racing bike.

Something first experimented with in track racing by the Honda British Superbike team nearly fifteen years ago, the squad saw promising results despite the added complications that the device brought. Essentially locking the suspension in place on the warm up lap, it gives riders more power by not wasting energy compressing the suspension when they first open the throttle.

And speaking to MCN off the record, one factory engineer who worked with Ryuichi Kiyonari and Michael Rutter when they first tested the bike says that there’s even more benefits than that from a properly set up system.

“Back in 2004, Showa brought one to BSB. You pushed a button on the fork and it locked the inner tube to the outer about 120mm from the top. There’s mixed opinions about whether Ducati are running a similar set up or whether it’s on the rear linkage, but either way the rider controls it from the dash. They’ll apply the brake, drop the suspension and then turn the knob to lock it in place.

“In road racing you see riders really forward on the bike to control wheelies off the line, but the g-force pulls them back when they accelerate and causes it anyway. With a holeshot device you can be dead central and just stay there, instead of getting thrown back when you drop the clutch.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer