Yamaha holeshot device "super important" for Vinales

Maverick Vinales says the arrival of a holeshot device on Yamaha's MotoGP bike for 2020 is "super important" as he looks to improve his starts, one of his main weaknesses in recent seasons.

Yamaha holeshot device "super important" for Vinales

Vinales often suffered off the line last year, gaining positions on the opening lap only five times in 19 races and losing a cumulative total of 29 places compared to his grid slots.

Victories at Assen and Sepang helped the Spaniard to third in the riders' standings, best of the Yamaha riders, but there were numerous occasions where Vinales' strong pace in the latter part of the race wasn't enough to make up for a bad start.

Yamaha has followed Ducati's lead in adding a holeshot device - which lowers the rear of the bike to allow for a faster launch off the grid - to its 2020-spec M1, and Vinales spent February's pre-season tests in Sepang and Qatar trying the new system.

"I think we've improved a lot because of that and it gives me confidence that we can get off to a good start, so it's a super important development," Vinales told Motorsport.com.

"Last year there were some races where I had a very good pace but I couldn't pass, so it was impossible to do more. That's why we worked hard to improve the start and the first few laps.

"It's clear that our chassis is very good: it's easy to ride and to take to the limit, but we had some weaknesses to work on and I think Yamaha responded in the right way."

Vinales said he was also satisfied with the 2020-spec M1's increase in power, something he feels will help him to move up the order in races.

"This year [during pre-season testing] I tried to get in the wake of several bikes, both Honda and Ducati, and I have to say that now we can stay there," he said. "This is certainly important to try to prepare a good overtake."

Read Also:

Yamaha team manager Massimo Meregalli admitted that the M1's lack of power was often responsible for Vinales and others suffering at the start of races.

But he said that the arrival of the holeshot device has the potential make a big difference to the Iwata marque's fortunes.

"The problem wasn't so much with the riders who didn't perform well at the start, as the bike that lacked power at full throttle," Meregalli explained to Motorsport.com. "Especially on tracks where there are hundreds of metres from the start to the first corner, we were suffering a lot.

"In some situations last year it was difficult for us to even keep in the slipstream, but this year things are different. If you can stay in the slipstream or even manage to gain a little bit, you can even try to overtake on braking.

"From the Sepang test, where we started using the [holeshot] system, we gained tenths, so I am curious to see it in action in the race.

"It is important for us not to lose positions at the start, because if we can put ourselves in the first three positions right away, the complexion of the race changes."

Having run the system in several races towards the end of last season, Ducati has evolved its holeshot device into something that can be used not only at the start but at any time during the race, as seen during Sepang pre-season testing.

Read Also:

Meregalli admitted that Yamaha may eventually be forced into copying its Italian rival should its system prove to give it a competitive edge.

"It's something that can give you an advantage," he said of Ducati's holeshot device. "For the moment, ours is designed to be used only at the beginning [of the race], but if we realise that it will also be necessary to go in that direction, we will do everything to implement it."

shares
comments
Michelin denies new tyre will favour Yamaha, Suzuki

Previous article

Michelin denies new tyre will favour Yamaha, Suzuki

Next article

Finnish GP becomes 11th MotoGP race to be scrapped

Finnish GP becomes 11th MotoGP race to be scrapped
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Maverick Viñales
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Author Jamie Klein
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021