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Ducati’s hole shot device

There was more news on Ducati’s much-discussed hole shot device, after the Italian team chiefs complained to Dorna about the positioning of the on-bike camera that on Friday clearly showed Dovizioso turning the control on the top triple-clamp before performing a test start.

Today, the camera was aimed higher, showing only the inside of the screen and the rider’s head.

But Dorna’s real response was to wait trackside at the designated test-start site, then focus again on Dovizioso as he repeated the procedure.

They didn’t spot him twiddling the control this time, but they did reveal how the bike was held in a squatting position, with the rear suspension held compressed.

The advantage is that in saving any torque lost or time wasted (no matter how small) in compressing the suspension on take-off.

Dovizioso, Qatar MotoGP 2019

This explains at least a part of the system – also holding the rear low and stable until hitting the brakes for the first corner releases it: a transition that Jack Miller revealed is something you have to get used to.

Miller also revealed, in an interview with Dorna, that he had been using the system since the Japanese GP last year; although Dovizioso apparently had not used it until this race.

It is still not clear whether the system acts on the front suspension. Earlier track systems developed by Showa, like systems used in Motocross, held the front forks compressed to lower the overall CoG, but this doesn’t appear to be the case here.

Miller also tested the curious aero add-ons that Petrucci has been running; Dovi has yet to do so, “because we haven’t had time,” he said.

Dovizioso’s Ducatii, Qatar MotoGP 2019

Ducati were in a querulous mood, and reportedly complained to Race Direction after Marquez’s front-row qualifying lap – which knocked Jack Miller off the front row – had been achieved by him following Danilo Petrucci.

Directly afterwards, he had passed the Italian rider, and then slowed.

Marquez laughed it off. “Welcome to factory team racing,” he said, adding: “I have been followed by many riders in my career.”

Responding to further questions, he admitted that this was not his usual strategy, but he had been happy to follow the Italian. He could probably have achieved a front-row lap time alone, “but with more risk.”