Aside from simply buying a shirt or cap of your favourite rider at a MotoGP circuit to show your support, there are quite a few MotoGP fans who take it one step further, collecting original memorabilia of the racing stars. From helmets and leathers to boots, gloves and kneesliders, anything a rider uses during a race weekend is a potential collector’s item.
One of those avid collectors is Briton Steve Squires who got in contact with us before he travelled to the Portuguese Grand Prix last weekend to get Álvaro’s race-worn helmet and leathers signed by the man himself, further increasing their collector’s value.
Both items are from 2010, Álvaro’s first season in the MotoGP class, specifically from his very first MotoGP race at Qatar. A slightly over-motivated Álvaro had three crashes that weekend which sent sparks flying into the floodlit night of Losail. Two very similar crashes in qualifying and the race, sliding out in the last corner before the finish line, as well as a highsider in the warmup took their toll on Álvaro’s race equipment. You can clearly see the scuff marks on the right side on the back of his leathers as well as on the right arm, where he was sliding on the tarmac.
The helmet is also a very rare item since Álvaro changed his helmet brand from Suomy to Shoei for the third round at Le Mans and this is one of the few Suomy versions that were made for him, with the design – created by team partner Troy Lee Designs – slightly different from the Shoei version he wore for the rest of the season.
Meeting up with Álvaro at Estoril was made a little easier for Steve by Bati’s leathers sponsor Rev’it! who kindly helped out getting the memorabilia signed and also featured it on their Facebook page. Unsurprisingly, Steve confirmed Álvaro to be “a really nice guy” who was happy to sign both leathers and helmet for him and pose for a photo in the Gresini hospitality.
But aside from the Álvaro memorabilia, true to a collector’s calling, Steve has amassed a lot more items over the years. His collection contains leathers from legendary riders such as Troy Bayliss and Wayne Rainey as well as from the late Daijiro Kato. Added to that are various helmets from Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Max Biaggi, Sete Gibernau and more; gloves from Cal Crutchlow, Randy De Puniet and Manuel Poggiali as well as several different boots from riders like Marco Simoncelli, Toni Elias and Carlos Checa. In short: It’s already a very big collection, but Steve’s not done yet.
As Steve confesses, “collecting memorabilia is an addictive hobby” and just like every other collector he’s always looking to expand his collection. Getting the love for motorcycle racing passed on from his dad when he was still a kid, he started out as an autograph chaser, enjoying the personal encounters with his racing heroes.
His way to a serious memorabilia collection began with a race-worn Norick Abe helmet from 2000 which lead to a sizeable selection of race helmets until the 2006 championship-winning leathers of Superbike legend Troy Bayliss opened the door to various other collectable items.
Among his favourite items Steve counts the aforementioned leathers from Wayne Rainey, stemming from his title-winning year 1990, as well as the 2010 race-worn helmet of MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, one of three Lorenzo helmets Steve owns.
If you want to get in touch with Steve to chat about collecting MotoGP memorabilia or possibly have some items he might be interested in, you can check out his website motogpmemorabilia.co.uk where you can also find a lot more rare and original items on display.
Photos: Steve Squires / Screenshot Qatar Qualifying 2010