With MotoGP said to be considering the mandatory use of airbags in racing leathers from 2012, the Repsol Honda press office has sent a well-timed description of the Alpinestars system used by its MotoGP riders Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso...

"Rider safety is of paramount importance and all three Repsol Honda Riders are equipped with state-of-the-art technology in the form of Alpinestars Tech Air electronic airbag system.

"This entirely wireless active safety technology is completely self contained within the rider's race suits, relying on no external sources of information or system management.

"The system microprocessor is constantly monitoring the riders' movements when they are aboard the Honda RC212V and this determines whether to launch the airbags which are housed within in the rider's leather suit so that he has virtually instantaneous and highly effective upper body protection before hitting the ground, in the unfortunate event of an accident.

"The Alpinestars system offers a trigger to full airbag inflation time of less than 45 milliseconds, using a nitrogen based gas mix.

"The inflated airbags give in excess of 5 seconds full protection before the system begins to deflate and uniquely, should the rider re-mount the bike and continue riding, the system re-arms offering the rider a second inflation charge and the same level of protection a second time.

"Active safety is the future for rider protection, on track and on the street and the Repsol Honda riders are leading the way with Alpinestars pioneering Tech Air system."

Dainese also has an airbag system available for its MotoGP riders, which it calls 'D-air'.