Location: Grand Prix of Australia, Phillip Island
Date: Sunday, October 17th, 2004
Race position: 1st
On the penultimate round of the 2004 MotoGP season at Phillip Island in Australia, Rossi only needed a 2nd place finish to seal his first world championship with Yamaha (in his first season with them).
After an intense rivarly throughout the 2004 MotoGP season, the pressure was on Sete Gibernau, who was closest to Rossi in terms of points, making it a must-win race for him. Gibernau started from Pole position, but it was Capirossi who snatched the lead when the race started. Gibernau fought back and eventually took the lead, whilst Rossi was content to sit back and start trailing him. Rossi waited until lap 22 to make his move and took the lead, where he remained to take the race victory, and his 6th World Championship – his first with Yamaha.
Valentino Rossi said:
“Today was a fantastic finish to a fantastic championship. This track is great and today there was a hard battle up until the last lap. In some parts I was faster than Gibernau and some other places slower. I was sure of my feeling on the bike though. I made a bit of a bad start but wanted to stick with Sete. I managed to pass him early on in the race but he came back, and then at the end it became a great battle again. The last lap was a lot of fun for everybody watching it. I want to say thanks to everyone who has worked so hard, to Yamaha and all my team. It was fantastic, thank you. I think this year has been my best championship winning year.”
To celebrate this victory, which many had said would be impossible in his first season at Yamaha, Rossi had a special helmet design prepared for him to wear.
On the cool-down lap Valentino stopped to change into a specially designed helmet to celebrate his achievement. The helmet design was simple – it was plain white, and had the words ‘Che Spettacolo‘ written in bold black lettering around the helmet and featured the number ’46’ on the top. ‘Che Spettacolo’ means ‘The Special One’ in Italian. This is probably Valentino’s most minimal helmet design ever!
Check out the video highlights of the 2004 Phillip Island MotoGP where Rossi clinched the title and donned the Che Spettacolo helmet:
Image Gallery of the Valentino Rossi ‘Che Spettacolo’ Helmet: