MotoGP: Top riders forced to use rival helmet brands

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First practice for this weekend’s Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona has seen a number of high-profile MotoGP riders lining up without their usual helmets, after a number of brands failed to meet the FIM’s new homologation rules in time.

Sumoy riders Andrea Dovizioso and Pecco Bagnaia and KYT racer Aleix Espargaro are the biggest names affected, with the trio running Shoei and Shark lids with their own designs and Suomy and KYT logos painted on.

However, when MCN asked Dovizioso about the change, the Italian downplayed the temporary switch, telling us: “It’s been no problems at all – I have a good manager and we managed the situation in the correct way!”

The FIM announced their new homologation standards nearly a year ago, with rules originally set to come into force at the start of the season but subsequently delayed until last week. The new tests replace a mixed bag of previous national standards and combine the best of the other tests into one new safer overall standard.

The manufacturers have been required to submit ten helmets in each size that are used by their riders for independent testing at the Impact Laboratory of the Aragon Institute of Engineering Research, University of Zaragoza. The tests comprise of a series of destructive linear, oblique and penetration tests designed to ensure that they’re as safe as possible, after which brands are permitted to add a QR code label to the lining that can be scanned to confirm they have passed.

AGV, Airoh, Arai, Bell, HJC, Kabuto, LS2, MT, NHK, X-lite/Nolan, Skorpion, Shark and Shoei have all passed homologation testing so far, with Suomy and KYT still to accredit any helmets for this weekend’s race.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer