In the world of professional sports, nothing is a given and everything must be earned. This is particularly true in the world of competitive motorsports where a dominant performance is considered rare due to variables ranging from mental conditioning, bike set-up, tire management and a myriad of other factors. Now with all eyes on Austin Texas, as the third race weekend of the MotoGP season begins, two dominant personalities in the world of motorcycle racing will be feted over the course of the weekend.
There is, of course, Marc Marquez, who as the sport’s reigning champion at only 25 years old is the 6th most winning rider in history and looking for his 6th straight win at the Circuit of the Americas. As long-term technical partner of the Spaniard, another name that is most familiar to Grand Prix fans and motorcycle enthusiasts; a company whose name and logo dominates race tracks across the globe will also have a significant influence on events at this year’s US MotoGP of the Americas.
Alpinestars, a brand founded on the philosophy of “race on Sunday, innovate on Monday” will also hold court in Austin over the MotoGP weekend celebrating 55 years of innovation, focus, commitment, design and a winning tradition that is very much part of motorsports.
“It is phenomenal to watch athletes at the top of MotoGP ride at the level that the sport is today. Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso and all other current top riders really raise the performance level of such a demanding sport” states Alpinestars President Gabriel Mazzarolo, “It is these type of athletes that we live and share goals with, who truly represent our personality as a brand and as a company pushing the limits of performance and safety in motorcycling.”
As a tribute to the company’s passion for motorcycling and to celebrate 55 years of innovation, manufacturing and product design, Alpinestars worked with Michael Woolaway, the friendly high profile custom builder and designer who heads up Woolies Workshop in Venice, California.
Woolie’s challenge was to communicate the heritage of the brand, its rightful place in history, connecting the beginning of the OSCAR by Alpinestars legendary charisma to today’s forefront of technology and style.
“Alpinestars has covered my body and protected me for all the years I have raced. I have watched it go from its start in boot manufacturing in motocross, to leather race suits, to the mind-boggling innovation baked into the Tech-Air suit they recently brought to the US market. So, after talking with Gabriele at Laguna Seca two years ago, I found a new 1974 Ducati 750 Sport build race engine still in a crate. This motor was built to period race spec and would be the perfect Italian heart of the bike, but the bike also had to have current race spec components to tell the whole “new and old” story of this brand with styling from 1960’s Italian GP and a bit of more modern Ducati GP. Legendary frame builder Jeff Cole and I collaborated on the frame, and Jeff agreed to build the central section for this project”.
There are references to Alpinestars’ history throughout the bike, like the thumb rear brake as a special nod to Mick Doohan and the style of the seat that recalls Nicky Hayden’s Ducati, both riders very significant to Alpinestars history and close to Gabriele.
“Very importantly, I wanted the bike to remind people of Alpinestars Italian roots and heritage in racing, so it needed to look and sound like a real race bike, which it does!”
True to the collaborative team spirit of motorsports, contributing manufacturers helped fuel the design and specifications of the build. Akrapovic made the MotoGP-level exhaust system. Another MotoGP linked partner was Michelin who came on board to supply their tire technology and a number of other special and highly skilled collaborators participated to the project.