Lorenzo Switches Helmet Brands, Signs Three-Year Contract With Shark

Jorge Lorenzo's helmet issues through the 2015 season have finally caused him to switch brands. The Spaniard today announced he has signed a contract for the next three seasons with the French helmet maker Shark. Shark have a long history in MotoGP and World Superbikes, having supplied many top riders such as Olivier Jacque, Carl Fogarty, Randy De Puniet, and Troy Corser. They currently support Aleix Espargaro, Johann Zarco, the Lowes twins Alex and Sam, Tom Sykes, Sylvain Guintoli, Scott Redding and Miguel Oliveira, among others. As such, Shark is an established name in motorcycle racing and a known quantity.

Lorenzo had the chance to extend his contract with HJC, the Korean helmet manufacturer he had been with for the past three years. But Lorenzo suffered a number of issues with his HJC during the 2015 season which caused him to reconsider. At Qatar, he dropped from the leading group after a helmet liner came loose and obscured his vision. At Silverstone, he failed to fit the breath deflector, and suffered severe fogging during a very wet race. This was not the first time he had suffered fogging in the wet, though the issue was made much worse through his own decision not to use the breath deflector. 

In the press release issued, Jorge Lorenzo thanked HJC, and in particular, the Hong family, for their support over the past three years. He said that he had been attracted by the path set out by Shark for the next three years, and to be involved in a new project. The full text (in Spanish) of the press release pronouncements by Lorenzo and Shark CEO Patrick Francois is available on the Motociclismo website, with an English version on the Crash.net website.

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Comments

I'm amazed no racers use fogcity visor inserts, I've never managed to steam a visor up since I started using them!
Indispensable really!

Shark make nice helmets. My current and previous helmets are Sharks from being an Arai and Shoei user before that. I'm sure Lorenzo's first priority is having a supplier with a quality and support program to suit him. It's also likely he gets some amusement and satisfaction from the brand's name.

I have had the pleasure of using Sylvain Guintoli's actual RSR2 helmet that I bought off him at Phillip Island a few years ago. Out of all the helmets I have owned over the years, the race spec Shark helmets do not fog. Something to do with the slightly thicker visor plastic and a coating they use. Every other helmet I have owned has fogged easily, the Shark... never.

JL would have at least ticked that issue off his list......

As per above, perhaps the guys in MotoGP need to pay attention to what is available in the marketplace for anti-fog...

Pinlock
Foggy / Respro guards

Both work, have used both, and I'm never going to buy a helmet without Pinlock again.

Personally if I was racing in the rain in the world champsionship, I'd consider using BOTH of the above, even though my experience on riding on the street for hours at a time in the wet have resulted in both being fog-free.

I think it's more to do with the fact that if a rider was seen to be using additional products to make their helmet effective, it suggests to potential buyers that their helmets are prone to fogging.

Given that Shoei give you a FREE PINLOCK with their helmets, I'm not sure that's the reason...

... I can't, hence my post being amazed that they do not.

Or the Respro neoprene breath guard. I think the two I bought were like $15 each. They [b]are[/b] used by several riders in road-racing in the UK/Ireland if I am not mistaken.

They eliminate fog entirely and do not even need any special pinlock compatible visor like the pinlocks do.

But hey, I'm willing to bet I spend a lot more time riding in the rain than Rossi, Lorenzo, et al.

I do just find it amazing though that Lorenzo is blaming more than one worse than expected result on visor fog, which could have been totally eliminated for under $15 in parts. If he let the company put a sticker on his bike, I'm sure he'd even get them for free.

This is what I'm talking about with the Respro breath mask...

http://respro.com/store/product/foggy-mask

(disclosure: I am not a vendor, I'm just a happy repeat customer)

I would love to hear HJC's version of what went wrong in 2015. Unless something was actually broken on the helmet I'd be looking fairly and squarely at "operator error".

"The lining came loose".......why? Unless the clip or whatevet HJC use broke during the race (highly unlikely) that is just a failure to check your gear not a problem with the helmet.

Not wearing the breath guard was another mistake that should not happen at anything more than club level.

... he didn't use the "breath guard" that came with the helmet because like most of them, they're garbage. In fact the Shoei one is worse than garbage, because it touches my nose and annoys me. Shoei is not exclusive in this, and I'm a long time Shoei helmet user because overall I think they're great and fit me well; but the breath guards are generally universally useless and just don't stop fog.

Pinlocks (which at least Shoei include with their current helmets for free) and other aftermarket solutions do a far, far better job. It's crazy that no riders seem to use them.

I've found the same with my Shoei's - the breath guard actually makes the fogging worse and somehow directs my breath into my eyes (wtf??).
BUT!
These guys are not commuting to work, going for a weekend ride, doing club racing or even pottering about winning National championships. They are racing in the world championship and even if the helmets start life the same as what mere mortals can buy (are they??) then the multi-million dollar contracts should include support to perfectly tailor the helmet to the rider.
Both his helmet malfunctions can be put down to a failure to prepare the helmet on the day - assembly error in Qatar, and no properly designed and tested anti-fog system (however that may be achieved) in Silverstone.
Even though I expected problems when he changed to HJC, I feel they have ended up with bad PR when it wasn't necessarily their fault.

I think the word issues, should actually be issue.. as Jorge himself choose not to use the insert to prevent the fogging...

Also, as a hockey goalie who wore a clear shield.. dish soap works perfectly fine to prevent fogging.. Goalies arent moving around much, so there is not much airflow through the mask.. this is something that we figure out very quickly. Too technical for a multi million dollar rider and race team I suppose...

Whether the move was initiated by Lorenzo or by Shark, it is marketing genius and/or serendipity. I can see Jorge doing the shark fin gesture on a number of occasions this year.

Nothing against HJC, but this seems like a great move.

As far as Pinlock use goes, I was lucky enough to be in Shoei's production factory in Tokyo directly following the Japanese GP last year. There, we got to see MM93's new X-Spirit3 (pre-production, the one he wore in FP1 Aragon for press shots). I was surprised to see that even with a dark visor setup, he had a Pinlock inside that...so given HJC also have a direct tie-in to Pinlock, I would suggest it's just JL99 having some (personal?) issue with Pinlocks. Something going wrong in the past perhaps, or just an irrational fear of something 'different'?

... so Marc IS using pinlocks?

I was skeptical until I tried one. Within a day of use I was totally sold.

They simply just work, that's all there is to it. 100% crystal clear visor if they are fitted properly.

Fit it and forget.