The man inches away from taking his second World Superbike Championship has spoken to MCN about how putting all his faith in Alpinestars Tech-Air system when racing has improved his pace.
Speaking at a demonstration of the innovative high-performance protective gear, 29-year-old Rea said: "The first thing I thought when I tried the suit on was that I didn’t really notice the airbag system. I was more concerned that the system was secured correctly."
Confidence is crucial for a man who reaches over 200mph in his day job and Jonathan admits he can push harder to be even more competitive when wearing Tech-Air as he is less concerned about potential injuries should the worst happen. In fact, he confesses he now wouldn’t race without it.
"I can’t imagine riding without it, it has become a routine to check the three lights on my arm are on that signify the airbag is armed. We’re riding at the maximum level and racing for me at the highest level is about confidence.
"If you don’t have confidence you can’t push faster. You come in on timesheets and you need that extra second so you have to go faster. Knowing I am protected by the airbag systems mean I have one less thing to worry about."
And this confidence comes from Jonathan testing the suit in the only way – through a massive crash than slammed his left shoulder into the ground at over 80mph! After this serious fall during race one at the Lausitzring last month, the Kawasaki Racing Team member walked away unscathed due to Alpinestars’ latest technology.
"Normally after a small crash I wake up and feel some pain in my neck. Two races ago I had quite a serious crash, the next day I woke up feeling completely fine," said Jonathan. "I then went out and won the next race. So Tech Air has to be part of my routine. I have to check that I’m wearing it and it’s just natural now to have it."
Tech-Air is available for track and street use, each with separate components to cater for the specific riding style. For more info check out the details here: www.alpinestars.com/tech-air
And here's a little airbag inflation video from Alpinestars at Intermot International Motorcycle Show...