In 2001, Valentino Rossi was riding the Honda NSR500 (which was replaced with the RC211V in 2002) and used it to claim his first world title in the premier class taking 11 wins and 13 podiums from the 16 races that took place.Valentino Rossi’s dominance in 2001 was so complete, he became the third rider in history to take more than 10 wins in a Grand Prix season. Despite this dominance, Rossi faced stiff competition from Max Biaggi who showed a fierce competitive spirit often finishing in second place to Rossi, with both Italians having many tense battles on the track together. Loris Capirossi was also a strong rival that ended up finishing the season in third position.
Throughout 2001 Valentino raced with a variation on his Sun and Moon helmet design. Up to 2001 Rossi had been racing with his cartoon Sun and Moon motifs on either side of his helmet, but in 2001 Aldo Drudi redesigned the helmet and positioned the Sun at the front, with its eyes staring ahead above the visor, and the Moon was positioned at the rear.
2001 was also the first season where Valentino came out with qa few special editions and custom designs, most notably at Mugello, Brazil, and Sepang (all variations on his primary helmet design).
2001 Valentino Rossi Helmets
In 2001 Rossi maintained a fairly consistent helmet design. The official Rossi helmet for 2001 was based around his usual Sun and Moon design, but saw the Sun move to the front of the helmet, and the Moon to the rear. This was a popular helmet with the fans with many replicas and models produced.
The 500cc race at Mugello was red flagged due to severe rain and Rossi failed to finish the race after crashing twice. Rossi brought the only colour to a grey weekend with a Hawaiian designed bike and helmet combination.
Valentino Rossi had claimed the world championship prior to the final two rounds in Sepang and Rio, and celebrated with a beautiful helmet design that was another adaptation of his 2001 Sun and Moon design. Rossi won both races in Malaysia and Brazil.