The MotoGP 2018 season will see all permanent riders wearing an airbag racing suit if they wish to compete in the race categories.
All racing suits must be fitted with an airbag system that will provide protection for the shoulders and collarbone.
This is a good move considering the manufacturers will invest more on airbag system which in turn will be made more available for consumers.
A very interesting update has just been confirmed by the folks over at MotoGP where beginning of the 2018 season, all riders must wear a racing suit equipped with airbag systems. The rule applies to each and every rider across all three categories (MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3) except for wildcard riders.
This is an indeed a welcomed turn of events and very much expected to come sooner than later. The only racing suit manufacturers that are heavily invested in airbag technology are Alpinestars and Dainese. Other brands such as Furygan, RS Taichi and others will have to get with the programme if they wish to continue racing in the highest level of two-wheeled motorsports.
According to rules, the airbag-equipped racing suits must be worn in every session by every permanent rider and must be functional or activated upon entering the circuit. While wildcard riders are exempted from this ruling, replacement riders are also in the same category but only for the first two rounds. These replacement riders are then subjected to the same ruling upon entering their third round in competition.
As for the airbag system, Dorna clearly states that is should protect at least the shoulders and collarbone. Anything beyond that (which includes a part of full back) is entirely optional. However, if a certain manufacturer does choose to offer the back protection, it must then cover the whole spine. Slight minor variations are allowed to of course accommodate the different types and sizes of riders.
When it is all said and done, this is actually a good move for the world of motorsports as they are promoting higher levels of protection while lowering the risks of major injuries such as broken collarbones. It will also be good for consumers as more manufacturers will offer their airbag systems rather than just the two main brands which most of us would agree is a bit pricey for our budget.