The 2006 MotoGP season kicked off with winter testing at Sepang in Malaysia, ad Valentino Rossi came to the track with a new helmet design for the testing sessions.
Designed by Aldo Drudi, this testing helmet featured a huge number ’46’ in yellow that wrapped around the front and sides of the helmet. The top of the helmet was plain black, but featured 7 bullet holes that ran down from the top to the back. Each of the seven bullet holes represented Rossi’s number of World Titles.
A simple yet striking helmet design, it is a real shame that this helmet design was only used for testing as it would have looked great on track for race days.
Testing went well for Valentino and the factory Yamaha team and they dominated the opening day of test logging the fastest overall times.
Valentino Rossi (2’02.14, 74 Laps):
“It’s always a little difficult to start again after the holidays, and I am never sure if I will be able to ride well straight away! Today however everything has felt good right from the start and I am already quite fast. The new M1 is a good bike, I like it and I can see that Yamaha has worked very hard over the winter. We had a few problems with it today; some chattering, but in reality it is good for this stage of the year. We still have a lot of work to do on it of course. The new bike is not so different from the 2005 bike, but still we have to understand completely its character and I have to get more confidence in it, then we can begin to make the modifications needed in order to improve it. Today has just been about understanding the bike, tomorrow we will concentrate more on tyres with Michelin.”
Image Gallery of Valentino Rossi “7 Shots” Testing Helmet (Sepang 2006):