According to Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia has been developing its MotoGP holeshot device 'since last year' and the system is now 'very good'.

The RS-GP start device, a motocross-style system on the front forks, only became public knowledge long after Ducati's rear-lowering technology had made the headlines.

The Ducati device was spotted at the Sepang test in January, but Pramac's Jack Miller said he had been running it since Motegi last year.

Aprilia's system then came to light after the summer break in Brno. But rather than being rushed out in response to the Ducati system, it has also undergone lengthy development.

"It's very good," said Espargaro, who took a season-best seventh at Aragon. "Last year we started to work with it and [at first] I said 'what is this?' But step-by-step [the holeshot device] gets better and better and sincerely I cannot start without it!

"Now I feel a big difference. I think we can still improve the way this thing engages the fork, because it's not easy for the rider. I cannot engage it every time I try."

The front fork is locked in a compressed position for the start using "a small lever down by the clutch. Next to the neutral [lever] for the seamless gearbox.

"We have more buttons than a plane now!" Espargaro joked.

With an excess of rear tyre grip, wheelies are the limiting factor in a MotoGP race start.

Holeshot devices work by lowering the centre of gravity and therefore increasing the maximum geometric acceleration possible before a wheelie occurs.

Ducati and Aprilia are thought to be the only MotoGP manufacturers currently using a holeshot device.

 

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