After studying photos of the 2014 MotoGP testing, it looks as though Alpinestars has been trying out some new safety technologies. An eagle-eyed photographer (who shall remain nameless) spied some changes to the leather suits which suggest an all new airbag system incorporating extended protection for the upper body.
Additional stretch paneling was used to house the original shoulder airbag. Now, as you can see from the photo, further stretch panels have been utilised starting under the arm, down the side (covering ribs) and running all the way down to the upper leg, which suggest hip protection too. Dani, or any other Alpinetstars rider, hasn’t mysteriously beefed up over winter, requiring a stretchier suit.
Are we one step closer to complete top-to-toe protection?
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Yes, the current Techair system is pricey but there’s no price for saving bones, limbs and championship points. It’s already proven to be a hugely successful safety asset with Astars athletes.