After proving his talent at the 125cc and 250cc levels, Valentino Rossi took the leap into the 500cc MotoGP Championship in 2000 and started racing for the Nastro Azzurro works supported Honda team. Rossi had just won the 250cc World Championship in the previous year after spending 2 seasons in the 250cc class.
It was his move to this team that saw Rossi pair up with Jeremy Burgess, the chief mechanic that would prove to be a vital ingredient in Valentino Rossi’s future success. Rossi’s debut season at 500cc started poorly and he crashed out of the first two races, however, he adapted quickly and scored his first podium in April in Spain, and then went on to take his first 500cc victory at Donington Park in the rain.
More podium finishes at the next three races had him challenging Kenny Roberts for the series lead but a crash at Valencia ended his title hopes. Rossi took his second 500cc victory in Brazil towards the end of the season and this was enough to secure him second place in the Championship. Overall Valentino Rossi took two race wins out of 16 and took 8 podium places – Rossi finished the 2000 MotoGP season in 2nd position with 209 points.
Valentino’s helmet design remains pretty much unchanged for his jump into the premier class, and he raced with the popular Sun and moon design created by Aldo Drudi – which was pretty much the same design that he had been racing with since 1996 when he first entered the 125cc class.
2000 Valentino Rossi Helmets
Carrying his design over from his Championship winning 205cc season, Rossi brought his Sun and Moon design to the 500cc class, taking second place in the Championship and collecting 2 race wins in Britain and Brazil along the way.