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GP Week : Issue 113
ALL three Repsol Honda factory- team riders are now using the latest Alpinestars air-bag leathers, joining several others including Rossi and Lorenzo who use a similar Dainese system. The Alpinestars Tech Air electronic airbag is similar in principle but different in detail from the earlier Dainese system, and was launched in April last year. One special feature is a patented ‘dual-charge’ system, allowing riders to remount after a crash and continue. Intended ultimately for road use, the system is triggered by a complex set of algorithms monitoring the riders’ movements, and inflates its pair of bags in less than 45 milliseconds. Pedrosa will surely contemplate how things might have been different, had he not broken his collar-bone when his Honda’s throttle stuck open at Motegi last year ... the after-effects still blight his fitness. The system’s twin air bags are designed to protect the neck and shoulders, and might have made a big difference. Observers will recall that when Lorenzo’s system inflated after he fell at Brno in 2009, it would not deflate again, and he had to walk off all puffed up even with his leathers unzipped. Moto GP news >> Honda riders join the ‘puffer’ club LYING second by only nine points in spite of injury problems, and with recovery from surgery going well, Dani Pedrosa needs to wait until he gets back on his Repsol Honda at Estoril before he can be sure whether he is at full strength. A trapped artery was finally pinpointed as the cause of numbness and weakness in his left arm, spoiling his speed at Qatar and Jerez, and surgery to relieve the pressure and remove the plate from his collar-bone came straight after the Spanish race. Writing in his blog, he said: “ The truth is it went well, and ... the recovery goes as well as it possibly can. I had a routine medical check and it seems things are going well, although we have to be cautious until I get back on the bike in Portugal.” In spite of his problems Pedrosa finished on the rostrum at both races, and is only nine points behind championship leader Lorenzo. “Looking at what has happened so far we arrive in Portugal with 36 points and nine behind the leader, and that's taking into consideration the fact I was injured ... we have a very positive balance with which to face the championship, which has only just begun,” he wrote. Pedrosa’s title hopes renewed 15