Motorsports has always been one of the most dangerous sports in the world. There had been many deaths on tracks in the past. But with the advancement in technology, safety standards have increased tremendously when compared to the earlier days. Even the machines now are much safer than ever. As it’s said, there’s always a room for improvement, Dorna and FIM have together established that airbag suits must be mandatory for MotoGP riders, starting from this season (2018).
What does it say?
We welcome and appreciate the new rule. It will apply to all GP riders – Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP. It is also applicable to replacement riders who participate for more than two rounds. However, it stands invalid for wildcard riders.
There are many conditions that the airbag system must fulfil to be used in a racing suit. For example, the airbag should cover and protect the collarbone and shoulder. The backbone protection is left as optional. But if a manufacturer opts to provide it, it should cover the entire spine.
Other rules include that the airbag should be a part of the racing suit and not require any modification to the motorcycles. It also has other specifications to meet like battery type, electronics, deployment times, accidental deployment, and deflation times.
We’ve witnessed riders with airbag suits crashing and surviving with much fewer effects. It is indeed a big step in the safety of the riders. At present, there are two big names that provide such products – Alpinestars and Dainese. But we’re expecting to see more manufacturers entering into this segment sooner or later.