In many ways, MotoGP is where a lot of motorcycling technology we find on our street bikes was born—both in terms of the bikes themselves, as well as innovation in safety gear. It's not really surprising that for MotoGP racing teams, the most valuable asset is in fact the rider. As such, the racing suits we see in the premiere league are by far the best in the world, and feature cutting-edge safety technology.
MotoGP as well as other high-profile racing leagues tend to keep their technology a secret, with only a select handful of developers, testers, and riders knowing full well the extent of the technology they use in their craft. Team Suzuki Ecstar, however, has given us a sneak peek on the racing gear used by its racers. In the IGTV video below, Joan Mir and Alex Rins give us a walkthrough on their racing attire, highlighting key elements that make MotoGP as safe as it can be for the riders.
It's interesting to note that one of the most overlooked elements of riding gear is the first to be addressed by Joan Mir: fit. He explains that a racing suit must neither be too tight nor too loose. It should fit such that the suit doesn't move around when worn, but not be too tight such that it restricts your range of motion, and more importantly, blood flow. I've lost count of the times when I've seen riders, be it on the street or the track, sporting poorly fitting gear. This, of course, poses a safety risk, as it drastically reduces the protective qualities of said gear.
The racers continue elaborating on their gear, with Mir pointing out the level of sophistication when it comes to protection for the lower extremities. Understandably so, as the legs are among the most prone to injury in the event of a crash. While they don't explicitly mention the brand names of the suits in the video, Joan Mir's Dainese racing suit makes use of Kevlar and carbon-fiber-weaved fabrics to provide maximum abrasion and penetration resistance, as well as lower leg protection that goes over the boot, as opposed to beneath it.
They also talk about the airbag which is integrated into the racing suit. Designed to provide protection to the shoulders, chest, and vulnerable areas such as the neck and collar bone, the airbag works with a GPS system that is able to detect a crash in a matter of milliseconds. The airbag system is active and ready to deploy once the rider buttons up the suit prior to heading out to the race track. All these innovations, in one way or another, are already available in riding gear for the street. With innovation geared towards safety continuously developing, chances are we're going to see new and exciting tech in future seasons of racing.