MotoGP: Quartararo: Yamaha ride height ‘difficult, not same as Ducati’ | MotoGP

If the Jerez race starts were anything to go by, Yamaha’s holeshot device is already at least as effective as the proven Ducati system.

But Yamaha’s next target will be to match Ducati by evolving the rear-lowering system so it can also be triggered when needed around the rest of a lap.

Those trials continued during Friday practice at Brno, where the Petronas Yamaha of world championship leader Fabio Quartararo was seen squatting on the exit of some corners.

The Frenchman later confirmed he had been operating the system on track, but insisted it’s not yet ready to race.

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“I tried, but honestly it is too difficult. It is not the same system as Ducati,” Quartararo explained. “I tried though. Every time I went out, I said ‘I will try it this lap’.

“But it is so difficult to use it in a perfect moment and to know when you should use. For the moment I only use it for the start.”

By contrast, Danilo Petrucci said that he is using the proven Ducati system “three times per lap” at Brno, compared to twice per lap at Jerez.

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“In this track we use it more because we have more straights and more braking areas and especially there are more acceleration areas,” the Italian explained.

“I think it will be more useful this time, even if we have more activation points in some areas with maximum lean angle. It’s quite difficult to [activate] it in the middle of a corner, but it’s an advantage for us.”

The device is triggered by the rider via a button on the handlebar, pressed as they accelerate out of a corner and onto a sizeable straight: “We hit [the button] when we have a long acceleration. When we are already on the throttle.”

Lowering the rear of the bike, lowers the center of gravity and helps reduce wheelies. A lower bike also means drag is slightly reduced at top speed, while braking stability is improved at the following turn.

“When we brake the bike for sure is lower. There is a lower height. Then we need to brake really hard to disable the system because by the rules we can’t have electronic aids to do this. It’s all mechanical.

“We [can only] use it when there is a big acceleration followed by a big braking area. We cannot use it when we can’t accelerate hard or brake hard.

“We also cannot use it when cornering because lowering the rear of the bike doesn’t help to turn.”

While Yamaha now looks closest to joining Ducati in having a ‘repeatable’ rear ride-height system, Aprilia and most recently Suzuki are known to have raced with a front holeshot device. Honda and KTM are sure to be working on similar systems.

“Our track spotters have been watching carefully a few of the other manufacturers and it’s interesting to see they are bringing a few things here,” Bradley Smith said on Friday at Brno, when asked about the Aprilia ride height system. “We’re working on it.”