Holeshot 'must be removed' - Marquez, Bagnaia 'for me it’s ok'

MotoGP riders disagree about whether the holeshot device should stay or go during the opening press conference of the year.
Francesco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez, MotoGP race , Aragon MotoGP 12 September 2021
Francesco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez, MotoGP race , Aragon MotoGP 12 September…
© Gold and Goose

Since making its debut during the 2018 MotoGP season, the holeshot device - which soon morphed into a repeatable ride height device - has caused quite the stir. 

A constant tussle between safety vs performance has been the main talking point, and the device - introduced by Ducati, who are so often ahead of the curve when it comes to new innovations - is still causing disagreements as we get set for the 2022 season. 

Ducati’s starts in 2021 were often something resembling a rocket ship, at least when compared against some of its competitors. 

And while it’s no surprise that Lenovo Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia is a fan, others are not so much. 

Unlike the start of last season, every team and rider will have the device at boht the front and rear of their bikes for the beginning of Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix, but when analysing its risk vs reward, here’s what six of the current riders had to say. 

Against ride height device: 

Fabio Quartararo: "For me it’s starting to be too much. For me in 2019 the starting procedure was just you arrive in neutral, press the launch control and go. Now you need to check too many things. At the end you win (more performance), but for me it’s starting to be too much." 

Joan Mir: "I’m with Fabio. For me it’s starting to be too much. 

"Every time we arrive faster into the straight; we will reach 370kmph soon. The layouts are the same and for sure it’s more performance. 

"Also, on the acceleration side it’s more difficult to make a difference. If you use everything then it’s more performance but it’s not the best thing for safety." 

Marc Marquez: "For me it’s something that for the future they must remove. I already said last year when I arrived after my injury. 

"I think all the riders need to go together (safety commission). Manufacturers will always go more, more and more, but now with more stroke on the rear, more speed, more stroke on the front, it’s difficult to engage on the start procedure. 

"For the show we don’t gain anything. Okay it’s prototypes, but for street bikes you don’t need the holeshot. The aerodynamics I agree with because it’s nice and new things, but the holeshot system; always the run-off areas are trying to be increased, you are arriving faster on the brake points and braking later, so for the future there is no sense." 

For ride height device: 

Francesco Bagnaia: “For me I just have to press a button. It’s not a problem!” 

Brad Binder: I think it’s just the reality now. Sure, when you arrive at the grid you have more to do, it’s always important for me not to mess that part up. But the reality is that it’s here to stay and I think every manufacturer needs to make the best of it." 

Maverick Vinales: "Not much to say, but on the acceleration it’s much safer with the holeshot. 

"I remember corners like the last one in Austin you accelerate from zero, the wall is very close, but with the device you are getting much more the (tyre) contact on the ground. 

"But now it’s going too far, there are too many things. But at least the rear for the start and with the acceleration I think it's safer."

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