Jorge Lorenzo has signed a three-year deal with Shark Helmets and splits with long-term supporter HJC.
The reigning MotoGP world champion had used HJC race helmets for the past three campaigns and will switch to French manufacturer Shark and use the Race-R Pro helmet.
The change comes after Lorenzo suffered two high-profile incidents with his race helmets in 2015, when the foam lining came loose and covered his eyes in Qatar and also missed out at Silverstone due to a foggy visor.
The three-time MotoGP title winner is likely to keep the same design he has used in recent seasons and will make his debut outing with Shark helmets at the first preseason test in Sepang on the 1-3 February.
“I am very proud to be tackling the forthcoming seasons with such a prestigious brand as Shark, which has a long history in MotoGP," Lorenzo said. "For me, this represents a most exciting challenge and I am quite sure that, together, we will form a great team. I really hope that I can reward all this confidence they have placed in me with some major successes.”
Patrick Francois, Chairman of Shark, says he's thrilled to secure a deal with the reigning MotoGP champion and is hoping to work with Lorenzo to improve its own products.
“We are very proud of the trust that Jorge Lorenzo has placed in our brand and in our helmets by joining the Shark Racing Team for the forthcoming seasons of MotoGP," Francois said. "Having the chance to work with such a high-level experienced rider is a real opportunity for our brand, as his skills will enable us to push back the technical boundaries of our products.
"Jorge is aware that thanks to our leading position in the market for motorcycle equipment, we will be applying all our knowhow and expertise to every race in order to support him and fulfil all his expectations. We are certain that the quality of our products will meet with his full satisfaction and that this partnership will lead us all onward to resounding victories during the seasons to come.”
The Spaniard is also yet to confirm whether he will take up the #1 plate as reigning champion or retain the #99. In 2011 after his maiden MotoGP world championship Lorenzo opted for the number one plate but after his second title triumph chose to retain his iconic #99 in 2013.