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Lorenzo and Hayden Switch Leathers

The politics of the paddock can be interesting . . . and strange.  Nicky Hayden and Jorge Lorenzo have been extremely loyal to their gear manufacturers.  Hayden won his 2006 MotoGP championship wearing Alpinestars, and has worn them since.  Lorenzo has worn Dainese apparel since his days on 250s. 

It appears that, for the 2011 season, Hayden will go to Dainese, while Lorenzo will switch to Alpinestars.  Why?  Almost certainly the reason is Valentino Rossi. 

Rossi is a very close friend of Lino Dainese, founder of the brand, and Rossi is also a part owner of the Dainese brand.  The European press suggests that Lorenzo, who will no longer be a teammate of Rossi, does not want to risk Rossi having a hand in the selection of his equipment for 2011.  Dainese had supplied not only leathers to Lorenzo, but boots and gloves, as well.  Hayden becomes Rossi’s teammate for 2011, of course, and undoubtedly received some assistance, and even encouragement, from Rossi in negotiating his Dainese deal.


  1. Fast One says:

    Rossi is still the doctor and Hayden is now his nurse.

  2. Gary says:

    I’m still waiting to see if Ben Spies will drop HJC Helmets after his face shield malfunction/design cost him a podium finish. He should at least insist they change the position of the locking mechanisim. So every little thing does matter.

  3. DaytonaJames says:

    Typical scraping of the bottom of the off-season story barrel. You have to know this stuff is going on all the time. The journalists just normally have much meatier stuff to write about while the season is underway. Not to worry fans… March 20 at Losail is fast approaching. Yaayyy.

  4. JB says:

    Money talks, and the importance has not dimished from the old days. These same issues were going on then too. It’s just that our multimedia world reaches to far more people.

    I have never worn Dainese. My experience with Alpinestars is that you have to buy their top=of-the-line items to get good gear. Their low and mid level gear is very dissapointing.

  5. brinskee says:

    Guys, you have to realize it’s always been like this. We just happen to know more know because of the transparency our modern way of sharing information brings. It’s not like racers in the 80’s didn’t argue and bicker about petty things. We’re just more exposed to it. I think it’s fascinating and gives our racing heroes a backstory when we choose who to cheer for, and who is a villain.

    • LarryC says:

      Not only has it been this way, it’s no big deal. Athletes negotiate for endorsements all time. Why should racers be different? Be glad there’s enough money in the sport that mfr’s actually want (and can afford) to buy sponsorship. It’s taken long enough for these guys to actually be able to earn a living, don’t begrudge the riders for negotiating endorsements that are to their financial advantage. The benefit runs both ways.

      I agree with Stinky, our products have never been better. Sheesh, I remember roadracing back in the day with skin tight leathers and zero padding, yikes! If these guys are willing to trust their bodies to either of the mfr’s equipment, they must both be pretty damn good. It ain’t quite ALL about money.

  6. Jose Barreira says:

    Hey, this use to be about motorcycles and racing! Right?

  7. MullinsS says:

    It’s sadly humorous when, during the post-race interviews, the riders position their helmets for maximum decal exposure. Why not just put up a billboard and get it over with.

    • Calvin and Hobbes says:

      this shameless display is even worse in supercross

    • b says:

      Of all the advertising that I hate and block in this world, this is probably the tamest version. I’m entirely fine with whatever advertising they want to plaster everywhere since they’re supporting a very entertaining and fun sport that wouldn’t exist without the sponsors.

  8. Calvin and Hobbes says:

    i yearn for the days of old when this used to be about motorcycles….

    • Stinky says:

      I yearn for the days when racing was free and you fell and were crippled and died. Racing has improved the gear I wear that is ventilated, padded in the right spots, and lets me move on and off the bike. Dainese has been Ducati for quite awhile. Harley racers used to be Bates. Nicky won’t make wear switch from Vanson, and I really don’t care what brand they wear, but, they will be crash testing some gear that will benefit me in the long run

  9. 39 y.o says:

    Again these pre-season chess moves just mesmerizes me. Also reminds me in this sport, just like any other sport that is diluted by money to be an entertainment spectacle, the word LOYALTY does not exist. I am so old fashioned.

  10. John says:

    Sounds like Rossi already wears the pants in the new family.

  11. brinskee says:

    Well Hayden is certainly coming out ahead in this switchup.

  12. b says:

    Wardrobe malfunctions certainly aren’t unheard of in MotoGP, but deliberate ones are an angle I never would have thought of.

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