Years of dedicated airbag research and development bring an important result to Donington this weekend, where Dainese racers will use the D-air Racing system in heavyweight class competition.
After the general fitting tests were completed, Valentino Rossi also decided to wear the suit with a D-air during Saturday’s race in Donington Park. The champ from Tavullia has been following the development of the project closely for some time now, and in the last year has worked constantly with the D-Tec (Dainese Technology Center) technicians to acquire the data required for its perfection.
Jorge Lorenzo was the first Moto GP Dainese racer that used the suit with the D-air Racing system at last week’s Grand Prix race on the Sachsenring after taking an ugly spill in Laguna Seca: “I’m very proud to participate in the D-air Racing system development project,” he said. “I believe this to be an extremely important innovation. After my falls in Laguna Seca, I no longer had any doubt that it was time to start wearing this new suit, which certainly offers more safety than the standard suit. Dainese has taken big steps forward in its perfection of the system, and we racers can make a further contribution in the creation of the prototype: we can’t stop now! Like any innovation, it takes a little time to get used to wearing the new suit, but I feel much safer with the system on and that’s the most important thing. I’d like to thank the entire Dainese team for all the precious work they’ve done to make motorcycle riding safer.”
Also Marco Simoncelli and Thomas Luthi and Michi Ranseder will use the D-air Racing system constantly during the weekend’s racing in 250 and 125 cc competition respectively.
Ever since November 2007, when the D-air Racing airbag worn by Marco Simoncelli opened for the first time during competition in the season’s final Grand Prix race in Valencia, together with its project partners, D-Tec has constantly pursued the objective of perfecting the system through important modifications that improve performance and the wearer’s comfort. With contributions from Dainese racers, the 2008 season provided a continuous and indispensable data acquisition process that led to equally constant and important refinement of the D-air Racing electronic system that has resulted in the current 2009 version.
The system was also improved in regard to comfort and the greater integration of the system into the suit.
The volume of the sack was reduced, the protective areas were redistributed, and the system’s inflation pressure was increased. When opened, the areas protected are primarily the shoulders and the collar bones; furthermore, the airbag sack creates a surface for the resting and support of the helmet that limits the movement of the neck. The airbag deflates all by itself and the suit returns to its original form.
The new device is housed completely inside the suit and therefore does not require removal after opening because it is the suit itself that expands to permit the raising of the sack.
Also total weight has been further reduced by around 20%.
User interface represented by a three-colour l.e.d. positioned on the suit’s upper right arm was introduced in order to improve system feasibility and simplified control.
Along parallel lines with design and development of the D-air Racing system, D-Tec registered a series of patents, particular regarding the electronic opening system, the air bag sack, and the ways that the system is integrated into the suit.
These patents assume fundamental importance for the protection of the know-how and innovation rendered possible by the substantial investments made by Dainese in the continuous implementation of the protective efficacy of its products and the motorcycle rider’s safety as a result.