Suzuki will not have its own version of the Ducati-pioneered ‘holeshot device’ ready for the start of the MotoGP season in Qatar, says Alex Rins.
Although the Hamamatsu manufacturer is known to be preparing its own version of the device, designed to help improve starts, Rins told Motorsport.com that he and teammate Joan Mir will have to do without when the season gets underway on March 9.
“Initially it was supposed to be ready for this test, but now we know that we won’t be able to count on it even in the first race of the season,” said Rins during pre-season testing in Qatar.
“The engineers are working on it, but we still don’t know when we will be able to test it.”
Rins was among the first to spot that Ducati was using the device when he noticed Jack Miller’s bike squatting exiting corners during last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
While Ducati has already evolved its holeshot device to be useable not just during the start but all throughout the race, other manufacturers are at different stages of development.
Five of the six 2020-spec Yamahas in Qatar were equipped with the device, all four factory bikes and one of the two M1s being used by Petronas SRT rider Fabio Quartararo.
“We are continuing to fine-tune it because the starts have become a vital part of the races, and any help makes a difference,” said Valentino Rossi.
Honda’s Marc Marquez meanwhile was more cryptic, saying: “When one brand finds something new, the others explore its possibilities.
“For example, this starting system is already being used by Yamaha and we are trying it out too, although at the moment it is not working as we would like it to.”
While Ducati, Yamaha and Aprilia all demonstrated their holeshot devices in action during practice starts on the main start/finish straight in Qatar, Marquez notably did not.
Aprilia has been using its own version of the device, which lowers the front of the bike instead of the rear, since last year, while KTM is also expected to introduce it to its bikes soon having already utilised it for some years in motocross.
“The truth is that in MotoGP our starts have always been very good and for the moment we haven’t needed it,” said Pol Espargaro. “But seeing that everyone is starting to use it, we will surely copy it from the motocross and apply it as soon as possible.”