May 12, 2021

Alpinestars Releases Data from Loris Baz’s 180 mph Crash at Sepang Says Tech-Air race suit recorded a max energy impact of 29.9 g.

Loris Baz MotoGP rider headshotLoris Baz credits his Alpinestars gear for enabling him to return to testing following his massive crash during MotoGP pre-season testing at Sepang. He’d finish the test 17th fastest.

Nine seconds may not seem like a lot of time, but according to Alpinestars that’s roughly how long it took for Loris Baz’s day to go from good to bad, when at the first pre-season MotoGP test of 2016 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, his rear tire failed and sent him sliding feet first down the long front straight. Now, with the help of data pulled from Baz’s Tech-Air race suit, Alpinestars has gone on to detail exactly what happened in those nine seconds; in the end confirming that, yes, the crash was about as wild as the videos made it seem.

Just exactly how intense was the crash though? Incredibly so, suggests the data, which confirms that Baz was running a staggering 180 mph when he first lost control of his Desmosedici GP14.2. He held on for another two seconds, but was eventually launched from the bike and landed on the ground 60 milliseconds later, with the highest energy impact recorded at 29.9 g on his left shoulder. The French rider then slid for a total of 6.6 seconds, Alpinestars says, adding that, “Despite the speed and level of impact force associated with the crash, Loris was able to walk away and resume testing.”

Alpinestars Loris Baz Crash Data chartFollowing Loris Baz’s 180-mph crash at Sepang, Alpinestars went through the data pulled from his Tech-Air race suit and put this chart together, which details exactly what happened from the moment Baz lost control, to when he stopped sliding. Notice that the airbag system deployed right as Baz was launched from the bike.

While not the data the Avintia Racing team or Baz planned on leaving Sepang with, the information culled from Baz’s unique off is interesting nonetheless, if not potentially key to Alpinestars’ long-term development of its Tech-Air suit. I doubt the resulting chart will do little more for Baz than reaffirm any soreness he feels, but for Alpinestars, the data that goes along with it could potentially contribute to an even better understanding of the widely varying dynamic of motorcycle crashes. And really, it’ll be interesting to see if and how the company can use that information (and information like it from other crashes) to further advance the Tech-Air product that’ll wind up in the hands of track riders like you or I.

Of course, only time will tell if those nine seconds of Baz’s “testing” program do or do not in fact contribute to the continued evolution of Alpinestars’ airbag technology. We’ll be excited to find out, but in the meantime, we’re going to go back and watch that video just one more time. Nine seconds just isn’t long enough for what happened to really sink in.

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