MotoGP's six manufacturers have already started to draw their battle lines in the sand for 2020, with the first three-day test ahead of the new season done and dusted. We saw evolutions and revolutions of motorcycles, each team keen to keep their winter progress tightly under wraps. But the 2020 technical war already looks like it has its focus.
At last year's Sepang test, Ducati's works Desmosedicis were spotted running a switch on the bike's triple clamp. This turned out to be how it activated its latest secret - a holeshot device. However, this was not the device's debut. Jack Miller raced with it on the Primac Ducati from the Japanese Grand Prix in 2018, but it went by unnoticed, which left Ducati to steal a march on everybody.
The idea of the holeshot device is simple: the rider turns the switch while sat on the grid before lights out, which mechanically (as electronically controlled suspension is outlawed) lowers the bike's rear suspension. By lowering the bike's centre of gravity, the front wheel stays on the ground as the clutch is dumped and the rider starts accelerating towards the first corner, leading to - in theory - a better launch as less interference from the electronics occurs. The system disengages when the rider jams on the brakes for the first turn.