Thanks to the new FIM helmet homologation rules now in place, some current MotoGP riders won’t be racing in their usual lids at the Catalan Grand Prix this weekend. According to MCN, this includes Andrea Dovizioso, Pecco Bagnaia, and Aleix Espargaro because the FIM Racing Homologation Programme for helmets (FRHP) has now been in place since June 3, 2019 and their current helmets aren't up to the standard.
It wasn’t as though helmet manufacturers had no warning about the standards change, either. Still, as Ultimate Motorcycling pointed out, as late as January 25, 2019, there were still plenty of active manufacturers that hadn’t passed the tests yet. Thankfully, they got an extension at that time instead of a visit to the naughty manufacturer penalty box (or, you know, an outright ban).
Back in February 2019, the FIM formally announced that its new helmet homologation standards for MotoGP and WSBK would be delayed to give helmet manufacturers a few more months to comply. Instead of enforcing the new rules with the start of the 2019 season, the deadline was moved to June 3, 2019.
As of today, June 14, the FRHP official site lists only Suomy and KYT with a status of “FIM Homologation Pending, but having passed other homologation tests already. The NHK GPR-Tech helmet in sizes S and M is somehow listed as both “FIM homologation pending” and also as a “FIM Racing Homologated Helmet,” so one can only assume an oversight in listing on their part.
Just because one size of one helmet model meets the new FIM standards does not mean that all sizes of that model will necessarily do so. Homologation tests of all types are still pending for the AGV Pista GP RR in all sizes, the Cast CM6 in all sizes, the HJC RPHA 01R in size S, and the LS2 FF323 Arrow in sizes XS and S. It’s worth noting here that the AGV Pista GP R in sizes S and MS, the HJC RPHA 01R in sizes XXS, XS, and M, and the LS2 FF323 Arrow in size M have all been approved and do currently meet FRHPhe-01 standards.
So what will Dovi, Bagnaia, and Aleix Espargaro do for head protection this race weekend? MCN says that their teams have painted Suomy and KYT logos onto Shoei and Shark FRHP-approved lids instead. Is this like the helmet version of slapping Aston Martin logos all over the 2019 Red Bull F1 cars when they’re powered by Honda engines? Maybe just a little bit.