Yamaha Asking Helmet Manufacturer HJC to Build a Smaller Chin Bar for Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo on his 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 1 photo
Yamaha Racing Team is once more tormenting helmet manufacturer HJC to revise the design of Jorge Lorenzo’s lid. This time, HJC must find a way to reduce the dimensions of Lorenzo’s helmet chin bar by some 5mm (1/5 inch). Yamaha has determined that the present design of the bike and helmet does not allow the Mallorcan rider to tuck in behind his bubble low enough and is trying to fix this situation in an effort to achieve the best aerodynamics possible.
According to sportrider, Yamaha is also testing the aerodynamics of the bike during the first IRTA test of the year, a thing which also happened at Sepang last week. Yamaha says that Lorenzo could have an extra advantage if he could hide better behind the windshield of his 2015 YZR-M1. However, Yamaha has nothing up their sleeve to throw in this game, the same sources report, quoting Iwata officials.

Yamaha MotoGP boss Kouichi Tsuji says that there is no way the team can alter the bike to gain these 5 millimeters. The ECU supplied by Dorna is on top of the fuel tank, and the unit is bulkier than what the team used, and no relocation or other trick would do. Therefore, asking HJC to come up with a helmet sporting a chin bar 5mm smaller is the only viable solution is the best aerodynamics is to be achieved.

Helmets are being tweaked as well, even though not as much as the bikes

If you thought that the bikes are the only things which receive immense amounts of tweaking and development, think again. In the past it was also Lorenzo who had issues with the spoiler installed in the back of his helmet. On longer straight lines where the bikes were getting closer to the top speed, the spoiler caused buffeting and excessive strain on his neck, causing performance to drop.

Even though it seems like few millimeters are not that much of an issue, like at 350 km/h (~220 mph) has different rules. And in that ultra-fast universe several millimeters and the tiny difference they make can also make the difference between winning a race, or possibly a championship.

As the second Sepang test is drawing nearer, it looks like the end of the month could bring more news in this high-tech field. Will HJC be able to come up with a new helmet for Lorenzo by then? Stay tuned to find out more. Find out more on how the 2015 Yamaha MotoGP bikes look like.
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