Valentino Rossi’s best MotoGP helmet designs

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With 432 Sunday Grand Prix starts in Valencia, 115 victories – including 89 in MotoGP – 199 podiums and nine world titles including seven in the premier class, Rossi has captivated the hearts of millions of motorsport fans for more than two decades.

In addition to his track achievements, Rossi’s character shone and was a major driving force in the growth of motorcycle racing in the 21st century.

A part of this character has shone in his many helmet designs over the years.

Ahead of Rossi’s last MotoGP outing, the Autosport team chose what they consider to be their best helmet designs over the years.

Valentino Rossi, Yamah Factory Racing

Photo from: Bridgestone Corporation

I wish you were here – Misano 2013

Lewis Duncan: MotoGP’s subsequent returns to Misano following the death of Marco Simoncelli have always been a poignant moment for Valentino Rossi. And for the 2013 San Marino GP, he unveiled a touching tribute to his dear and late friend.

Remembering Simoncelli while listening to Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, Rossi wore a helmet with artwork from Pink Floyd’s 1975 album and lyrics to the song. This is perhaps Rossi’s most heartfelt tribute helmet design.

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha team

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha team

Photo By: Martin Heath / Motorsport Images

Donkey – Misano 2009

LD: Rossi’s return to his home race at Misano always came with a special helmet design. At the previous Indianapolis Grand Prix in 2009, Rossi crashed with a comfortable lead.

When he arrived in Misano, Rossi unveiled a helmet design with Shrek’s donkey on it – and his traditional “The Doctor” replaced with “The Donkey” on the back – in a personal attempt to make it himself. an “ass” in America. He duly repaired this wrong by winning in front of his home crowd this weekend.

For all of the fragile egos involved in sports, it was his own ability to make fun of himself that made him truly unique in the world of sports.

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha team

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha team

Photo from: Motorsport Images

Time to wake up – Misano 2010

LD: The 2010 season was tough for Rossi, with a broken leg at Mugello ruling him out of four races and dashing his title hopes.

Now faced with questions as to whether his time had passed without winning since the first round, Rossi returned to Misano with the clock helmet designed by Aldo Drudi. It was partly a joke, a blow to Rossi’s poor timing, but also contained a deeper message: it was time to wake up and start winning again.

He would step onto the podium that weekend and end up winning again in Malaysia later that year.

Valentino Rossi with a special helmet

Valentino Rossi with a special helmet

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

All Heart – Misano 2007

The German Gracia Casanova: Rossi realized that his greatest strength came from the large number of fans he brought to the races and in 2007 he wanted to pay tribute to his fans with the “all heart” helmet, symbolizing his love for the fans. .

The design might not be the most spectacular, but it was the first helmet Valentino threw to his fans in the stands, something he had never done before and never repeated. that this year in Misano with a design repeating the heart in the center of the helmet.

Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team and Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team are led by Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team and Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team are led by Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

Photo By: Martin Heath / Motorsport Images

Face of Speed ​​- Mugello 2008

GGC: Of all the helmets designed by Aldo Drudi for Rossi, the one that caused the biggest surprise when he unveiled it on Friday morning in the pit lane was without a doubt the one with his speed face.

Rossi explained that Drudi asked him to fake the expression on his face as he hit 340 km / h at the San Donato braking point, the most impressive point on the track for runners. It is without a doubt the most spectacular and memorable design.

Haydn Cobb: Not many people could get away with putting their own face on their helmets, but for his home race in 2008, that’s exactly when Valentino Rossi did it.

Rossi’s helmet designer Aldo Drudi asked what face he made behind the visor as he raced the iconic Mugello circuit and his reaction became the design.

This takes on added significance as it was Rossi’s helmet for his last Italian GP victory – not that he or his fans would have known at the time.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Little Nemo – Misano 2015

GGC: The design of the 2015 Misano helmet was the most prescient of Rossi’s career, entering this race leading the world championship with 12 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.

The helmet represented the iconic image from the movie Nemo, where the “bad” shark Bruce was chasing the little fish, which represented Rossi being chased by Lorenzo. Eventually, the story ended badly for Nemo-Rossi, who was swallowed by the shark Lorenzo.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Viagra pill – Misano 2020
CH: Perhaps Rossi’s most cheeky helmet, the Italian sported a Viagra-themed design for the 2020 San Marino GP.

The top of the helmet had one of the small blue pills with “VR46” printed on it and on the back, one of the pills was emptied from a four pack.

Rossi said it was a way to give him more energy after turning 41, but less than 12 months later the Italian announced he was expecting his first child with partner Francesca Sofia Novello, this who proved that the pill may work as expected.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Back to Misano – Misano 2018

Oriol Puigdemont: Considering Back to the Future is one of my favorite movie series of all time, the fact that Valentino Rossi – the most influential rider in MotoGP World Championship history – does not matter. inspired for decorating one of his helmets was inevitably going to be one of my favorites.

The Doctor, who had missed the race in front of his home crowd the year before when he broke his leg in a training incident, disguised himself as Marty McFly and Silvano Galbusera, then his technical director, in Doc Emett Brown.

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha team

Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha team

Photo By: Martin Heath / Motorsport Images

Helmet of the five continents – 2008-2010

LD: Although Rossi is known for his unique helmet designs, one of his most striking covers was the main one he used from 2008 until the end of his final season of his first stint with Yamaha in 2010.

Used in its last two winning years in 2008 and 2009, the stunning five-continent design signified the five continents MotoGP raced on at the time while also incorporating Rossi’s iconic sun and moon imagery.

Designed by Aldo Drudi, it remains a fan favorite to this day.

Valentino Rossi, Repsol Honda

Valentino Rossi, Repsol Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Tribute to Peace / Barry Sheene – 2003 Preseason Trials

LD: While most of Rossi’s helmet designs have been tinged with humor, he unveiled a much more down-to-earth design for preseason testing in 2003.

Showcasing all the colors of the rainbow and with “Peace” written in Italian, the Rossi helmet expressed its opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by American and British forces.

The helmet also bears the number seven of two-time 500cc world champion Barry Sheene, who tragically died of cancer in early 2003.

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