Safety in style – MotoGP face masks reviewed

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Marc Marquez

A fortnight after Formula One made a successful return to racing, their two-wheeled counterparts in MotoGP took to the tarmac once again in Spain.

With protection against COVID-19 of paramount importance, the selection of F1 face masks used by the teams showed that precautions could be taken while looking stylish and incorporating their well-established branding.

Not wishing to be outdone, the riders and teams of MotoGP have stepped up and have been seen sporting a range of branded face masks at Jerez for the first race of the season.

However, the main difference between the two forms of elite motorsport is that the MotoGP face masks seem to more customised to the branding of the rider, as opposed to the teams as they are in F1.

Once again, we decided to take a look at the various face mask designs that were on show.

Monster Energy Yamaha

Valentino Rossi

It’s fair to say that the Doctor’s best days on the track are behind him. At the age of 41, the last of his 9 championships came 11 years ago and he hasn’t crossed the finish line in first place since Assen in 2017.

However, despite this comparative lack of success, Rossi is still as popular as ever and has arguably the most recognisable branding in motorsport. Given the bright colours that are normally associated with the Italian and his unique crash helmet and merchandising styles, it’s therefore surprising that his face mask his quite understated. It’s all black with a subtle VR46 on the lower right cheek as photographed here (middle).

Maverick Viñales

Rossi’s Yamaha teammate is out-performing him on what he can do on two wheels, but now he’s also outdoing him on what he wraps around his two ears! Viñales mask carriers the Monster energy drink logo on the right cheek and his number 12 on the opposite side.

 

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Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez seems to have opted for a plain black mask, much like the Mercedes F1 team. While Mercedes changed their livery to all black in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, there hasn’t been any suggestion that this is the reason for Marquez’s choice.

Alex Marquez

Marc’s younger brother Alex came into the team ahead of this season, fresh from winning Moto2 last year. While his time in the works team looks to be a short one, that hasn’t stopped him from outperforming his sibling in the face mask stakes!

This stylish mask includes a blue design on a black background with his number 73 on the right cheek. In the battle of the Marquez brothers, Alex takes this one.

Ducati

There are many similarities between Ducati and Ferrari. Both are quintessentially Italian, something that Ducati carry into their choice of riders with Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci. Another thing they have in common is the striking use of the colour red.

The riders are pictured here wearing their Ducati face masks, both of which include their number on their left check and the Ducati Corse wording on the right. They have also featured the Ducati Course logo in the middle of the mask over the mouth to round off what is a fantastic design.

 

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Suzuki Ecstar

If there’s one video that shows that MotoGP riders are prioritising personal branding over the team identity, it’s this one from Suzuki Ecstar. Alex Rins and Joan Mir, both wearing their own face mask designs, present Team Manager Davide Brivio with a birthday cake in his blue Suzuki branded mask.

Team orders are often a talking point in motorsport, but it’s very clear that there aren’t any when it comes to face masks in the Suzuki garage!

 

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Petronas Yamaha

Pole position man Fabio Quartararo had been photographed earlier in the week wearing a black Juventus face mask, showing the Frenchman’s support for the Italian football giants.

However, come the race weekend he was instead wearing the team’s branded mask with the Petronas Yamaha logo on the lower left cheek.

 

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Pramac Ducati

The other Ducati team on the grid have kept the classic red colour but kept their design far more simple than the works team. Modelled here by Jack Miller, the mask has a simple Pramac logo on the upper left cheek.

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