How riding styles have changed
Ventilation of the leathers has also improved drastically. Though the holes themselves were bigger in 2002, at 1.2 mm each compared to 1 mm now, back then they only made four perforations per square centimeter. Nowadays that number is bumped up to nine perforations per square centimeter of ventilated leather—an increase of 56% over the old suit. Not to mention, Zonta’s leathers have twice as much breathable mesh stretch as Jarno’s. It's clear breathability has become a much bigger priority over the years, especially considering that even the leather accordion stretch panels on Zonta’s shoulders, shoulder blades, and above the knees are ventilated as well. Only the accordion stretch at the lower back is not, but it does give Zonta a mobility enhancing bit of stretch, a luxury Jarno had to go without.
Zonta had already noticed the difference and explains: “Of course, riding styles have changed since then, a lot of the time because of developments with the bike, but you can only adapt the way you ride if your leathers allow you to. But I’ve never thought ‘I can’t hang off the left side of the bike enough’ because of my suit. In a way having stretch is comfortable, but nowadays you simply couldn’t ride without it.” Jarno chips in with a grin: “Kids these days, getting their elbow down… In my day, if you were getting your elbow down, it meant you were about to go down altogether!”