Valentino Rossi’s AGV Pista GP Helmet Crash Analysis
During the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix at Motorland Aragon, Moviestar Yamaha MotoGP pilot Valentino Rossi suffered a high-side crash at a fast section ahead of turn seven.
The 35-year-old Italian and his bike tumbled and flipped repeatedly across the gravel run-out area in close proximity to each other, with Rossi stopping just short of the retaining wall.
Rossi lay motionless for a time, reportedly having briefly lost consciousness, but regained consciousness even as he was taken from the course area by safety personnel.
After an evaluation, the nine-time World Champion emerged from the medical center and went on to participate in other event activities, though he did not rejoin the race. Fully recovered, he subsequently rode to a third place finish at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi.
In that lurid Aragon crash, Rossi’s head was protected by an AGV Pista GP helmet – the type he has worn all season. As is standard procedure for all AGV-sponsored racers, the Italian-based helmet manufacturer completes post-crash analysis of the helmet at its Group Research & Development Department.
The results were just released by AGV, and are eye-opening in terms of how much punishment a helmet may have to absorb in such a crash. The key finding was that no critical structural failures to the helmet occurred despite evidence of multiple impacts with the ground surfaces and Rossi’s bike.
The analysis found that the first impact in the crash was with the ground as he landed after the high-side. That impact was to the left rear section of the helmet, resulting in the spoiler breaking away as it is designed to do.
As Rossi and his YZR-M1 Yamaha tumbled across the run-out area, his head was struck on the right side by the structural components on the rear of the M1 (swingarm and/or brake disc/caliper). Rubber residue from an impact with the tire was on the right side of the helmet outer shell and visor.
The tire still spinning at high speed tore away the right side of the visor and broke the metal visor hinge mechanism on that side. The visor was also damaged on the left side near the hinge, but did not break away.
This was facilitated by the racing kit comprised of an additional metal screw which fastens the visor to the hinge mechanism used on all AGV competition helmets. The kit is available as an accessory for use on other AGV helmets as well.
The pictures above illustrate the crash analysis.
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