How Dainese modified its equipment to work with Rossi's injury

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When Valentino Rossi takes to the starting grid of Sunday’s German Grand
Prix, he’ll be doing so with partially healed fractures to both the
tibia and fibula in his right leg. Here’s how Dainese modified his boots
and leathers to accommodate the bandages and protect the leg from
further injury

As you can see by the riding shots in the gallery above, the injury and the modified safety gear are barely limiting Rossi’s riding ability. In fact, at the Sachsenring practice today he was 7th fastest, just behind his teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

Most of Rossi’s Dainese D-Air suit will be unmodified with the exception of the legs. Thinner carbon/kevlar armor has been fitted in place of the usual plastic items in the shins and a similar piece has been fitted to the rear of the leg to better protect the fibula.  Rossi dictated that this modification was made to both legs of the suit to increase overall protection from injury. The circumference of the legs has been increased to fit the new protection and the bandages over the injury (there’s no word on whether this is a hard cast or soft Ace-style bandages/braces).

The size of the right boot cuff has been increased as well, while an additional opening has been added to ease fitment.

Hopefully this will be enough not only to enable Rossi to ride his M1 unencumbered, but also to add protection against further injury should he suffer another crash. Remember, Rossi isn’t just racing with a broken leg, he’s also got torn ligaments in his shoulder from a dirt bike accident.

  • pdub (yes I’m a geek w/ a subscription) has video of his bare leg after riding (down girls! not sexy). Looks like whatever he’s got going on to cast or brace his leg is removable. The guy’s also been doing time in a hyperbaric chamber for treatment. He’s probably got unobtanium technology in his leg as well as his bike.

  • the_doctor

    God, that is serious. It must be nice to ask a company to design a special product for your ouchie.

    • Khal Harris

      Dainese make millions out of Rossi riding for them. They’d make him a suit in gold leaf if he but mentioned it in passing. But he won’t. Lorenzo’s got one on order…

  • Chris Y.

    So is Dainese going to make some of the extra safety modifications permanent, after Rossi heals? Or would these modifications get in the way and make things cumbersome for a rider who has full use of his/her legs?

    • kat

      the biggest issue i see with adding carbon/kevlar hard protection on the back of the legs for production is that now you’re really limiting the size of what someone’s calf can be. i think that it would have to be custom shaped based on the rider’s leg it’s for. otherwise, if it’s too narrow or small for someone who’s a bicyclist and has big calves, there would be issues with the protection digging into the rider’s calves, which would make it REALLY uncomfortable. not to mention cost prohibitive, as well. most people i know like to have the back of the leg stretchy and breathable so it doesn’t bind up, especially on an off the rack suit…

      • Odie

        I think what will happen is they will come up with a solution like Sidi did. I am a cyclist (a track racer to boot) and I totally have issues with non adjustable boots in the calf region. My first set of boots sucked really bad, but I have a set of Vertigo’s and they have an adjustable calf area. Totally better. They will come up with something, I am sure. In fact I look forward to another bout of riding gear improvement.

  • Wolfy

    @ the_doctor

    Yes it is noce to get Dainese to design things like this for you but there again thats what happens when you are not only a major shareholder in a company but a senior director as well. Yes Rossi is a major shareholder and Director of Dainese so these things tend to have perks

    • Chris Favro

      Could you explain where you got your info from, or “just someone said”?
      First of all it is a fact that Rossi is NOT a director at Dainese. Doesn’t sit on any board, doesn’t appear in any company meeting, reports, listing, marketing meetings, sales meetings, board meetings. Nada. He was made an Honorary President of AGV 2 years ago.

      A shareholder?? One of those beautiful rumors, helps the legend :)

  • Case

    Am I the only one that thinks it’s a bad idea to ride with a not-fully-healed leg? I know he wants to do right by his sponsors and tell Lorenzo to suck it but is it worth it? It seems that the risk is severe and the rewards, meh. Maybe I overestimate the risk.

    • Jp

      And that’s why you’ll never race in MotoGP :). I’m sure there are other details I’m forgetting…