During the recent Sepang tests (which were dominated by the news that Marc Marques could MISS the first two rounds of the year) it emerged that Yamaha will have a new holeshot device available for its riders this year. Yamaha’s been dragging its heels on this tech in comparison to others on the grid, Ducati had the tech last year and Aprilia has been testing its own version, too.
Clearly visible on the side of three of the Yamaha factory machines, the device effectively lowers and stiffens the rear of the bike for the start of the race. This stops the bike squatting under the dump of power off the line, meaning more power can be fed in whilst the bike is still controllable for the rider. A locked-low rear of the bike cuts down on the bike’s tendency to wheelie from the start.
Maverick Vinales, Valentino Rossi and Yamaha test rider Kohta Nozane all tested the tech at Sepang. Fabio Quatararo did not use the holeshot device during his practice starts at Sepang.
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Vinales confirmed the holeshot units on the bikes, joking: “This helps me a lot because I’m short, I’m not tall so at least I can hold the bike better with both feet on the ground!”