DAVIDE TROLLI: THE RACE SUIT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RIDER AND MACHINE

09.08.2018

The race suits worn by the riders aren’t just any old suits – they have been specially developed with one goal: to help the rider go as fast as possible. Ixon’s Davide Trolli tells us how this works.

 

 

 

DAVIDE TROLLI: THE RACE SUIT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RIDER AND MACHINE

The race suit is very important to the riders. What makes it so important?

 

The suit is extremely important because it’s the link between the rider and the bike. It’s completely connected from the seat to the handlebar. The knees are also important because they give the rider so much feedback on what the bike is doing. That’s why the design of the knee slider is crucial, because it has to be produced from the right material. We also need to strike the balance between comfort and support, which is why all our suits are made from kangaroo leather.

 

What are the biggest challenges when you’re designing a suit?

 

Aerodynamics are a big challenge. Bike manufacturers spend millions on the aerodynamics for their machines. If you have a suit that isn’t aerodynamic or is flapping away in the wind, you’ll have a problem when you get up to speeds of 300km/h. That’s why every suit is tailor made, and for every suit we try to limit the number of creases. When you look at our suits, you’ll also notice that all the sponsor logos are printed onto the suit so that there are no protruding edges or stitching.

 

 

 

DAVIDE TROLLI: THE RACE SUIT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RIDER AND MACHINE

What kind of safety features do the suits have?

 

The airbag is the main feature. It’s a system that’s built into the Moto GP suits. The airbag relies on a sensor that is as big as your phone. It’s basically a piece of hardware that is filled with accelerometers and gyroscopes, connected to software that runs an algorithm containing all the data from the rider’s previous season. So if there is an incident, it will calculate whether or not to deploy the airbag. The air bag instantly fills the suit with air, turning the rider into the human equivalent of the Michelin man.

 

Which services do you offer during a race weekend? Can you repair damaged suits?

 

During race weekends we can make small adjustments to suits, and we have professional drying systems to dry the suits. For instance, if a rider is recovering from an injury and his arm is still a bit swollen, we can make some adjustments to the suit so he’ll be more comfortable. But once a suit has been involved in a crash, it’s ready for the museum and can’t be repaired. That would also be irresponsible for safety reasons.

 

 

 

DAVIDE TROLLI: THE RACE SUIT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RIDER AND MACHINE

How much of all this is available to the end consumer?

 

Like everything in Moto GP, the suits are purpose-built prototypes and are not for sale, but a lot of technology from these suits is being carried over into the market. For instance, later this year we will be launching a wearable airbag for our clients using the technology from the Moto GP suits. In the end, our clients are our number one priority, and the Moto GP is a giant testing and development programme.

 

 

 

DAVIDE TROLLI: THE RACE SUIT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RIDER AND MACHINE

Pictures : Frederik Herregods

 

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