The final laps of the Catalan GP last weekend left us with the surprising image of Fabio Quartararo riding his bike with his leather suit open at the chest. The wardrobe malfunction suffered by the Yamaha pilot, never seen before at a MotoGP World Championship, left members of the paddock, spectators and television viewers, flabbergasted.
Quartararo, winner in Doha, Jerez & IMugello has committed a very serious break of dress regulations and one that endangers both himself and his rivals. At that speed, ‘El Diablo’s suit could, in fact, have acted as a sort of parachute pulling him off his bike.
But that was not all, the leader of the standings also happened to lose something even more crucial for his safety. As he raced on with his leather suit unfastened, his chest protector dropped. Racing bare-chested could have terrible consequences, from severe skin burns to traumatic injuries.
The controversy was rife regarding what had actually happened and, as it was to be expected, suit manufacturer Alpinestars initiated an investigation at the racetrack itself. The firm supplying these highly technical garments is rightfully concerned with how the incident could tarnish its image, and so they wasted no time to try and shed some light on what might have happened.
The investigation has concluded that nothing failed in Quartararo’s suit. After the initial evaluation of the garment, the famous brand ensured that all zippers and other fastening accessories were in optimal working condition. Alpinestars released its findings to the public just 48 hours after the conclusion of the Catalonia GP.
“Following Sunday’s MotoGP race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Alpinestars’ Racing Development team commenced an investigation into the integrity of Fabio Quartararo’s racing suit. Upon initial analysis post-race in the Alpinestars Racing Development truck located in the MotoGP paddock, the team found the suit to be in normal working order with all zippers and fasteners fully functioning”.
“Furthermore, all the suit’s componentry, including the Tech-Air® Airbag System, was intact and fully functioning. This is only a first assessment, to be further investigated once the suit is in the Alpinestars laboratory at Alpinestars headquarters, conducting all testing and analysis to understand more about the cause of what happened during the race. The Tech-Air® Airbag System did not deploy during the race, it functioned as expected as there was not a crash situation”.
Alpinestars initial conclusion, however, only adds to the reigning confusion. In response to the sanction received after the race for having his leathers unfastened, Quartararo published a cheeky photo of himself this past Monday on social networks. In the image, which reads: “Luckily they didn’t see me driving today”, you can see the pilot on board his Yamaha wearing only a swimsuit. In the end, the Frenchman acknowledges that they should have given him a black flag.
Fortunately, the mishap only cost him the victory and a few points in the standings but his behaviour, only one week after Mugello’s tragedy, was reckless, to say the least.
Images of Fabio Quartararo: MotoGP.