Location: Grand Prix of Holland – A-Style Dutch TT, Assen
Date: Sunday, June 30th, 2007
Race position: 1st
Assen has always been a track that Valentino Rossi has enjoyed racing on, and Valentino claimed his third win of the MotoGP season at Assen in 2007 after starting 11th on the grid. It was one of Rossi’s most memorable races, packed with action and overtaking.
Despite starting from way down the grid, Rossi soon cut through the field and started battling with Hopkins, Perdosa, and Hayden, before closing down on Casey Stoner (who took a seemingly unassailable lead from the start). Rossi was consistently putting in fastest lap after fastest lap and closed down Stoner with 3 laps to go, and outbraked him on the chicane to storm off and take the victory and his 61st career win.
Valentino had a special livery and helmet for the Assen MotoGP – and it is probably one of the more unusual Rossi helmet designs from his career. The livery and helmet designs that Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards wore at the Assen MotoGP in 2007 was inspired by Fiat’s famous ‘500′ car, and it was designed to advertise and celebrate the forthcoming re-launch of the iconic car on 4th July (a few days after the Assen MotoGP), exactly 50 years after it was first launched in 1957.
Aldo Drudi stepped in to design the helmets, which were the final part of the whole design that was unveiled on race day (during qualifying and practice sessions only the bike livery was made visible). The design of Rossi’s helmet was a tribute to the art and the icons of the time – namely Elvis Presley and Rita Pavone.
Aldo Drudi placed a vinyl record on the top of Rossi’s helmet, and a graphic on the back that pictured Valentino with a guitar and a 1950’s haircut that had text that read: “Valentino and the Chihuahua’s, Live at Assen” (see the image gallery for a close up shot of this). The bike livery also included the Italian national colours painted across the front of Rossi’s Yamaha M1.
Valentino Rossi on the Assen Livery:
“I really like my new livery, it’s fun and different and the colours especially are something you don’t usually see on the racetrack! The Fiat 500 is a famous Italian icon so it’s good to be able to celebrate the new version of the car in this way.”
Valentino’s team-mate Colin Edwards also had the same livery and a helmet that pictured him as a 50’s pop-icon.
Colin Edwards on the Assen Livery:
“The livery’s pretty cool, it’s fun to have something different and I’ve had some good comments from the rest of the riders. I’m not sure I could handle the pink every week but as a one-off special it’s great!”
Image Gallery of the Valentino Rossi Assen Helmet 2007:
Valentino Rossi on the 2007 Assen MotoGP race:
“This was an incredible race. I think maybe one of the top five of my career! Clearly starting from 11th is quite lucky for us because I’ve won a few times from that position, including last year at Sachsenring. Last night I didn’t sleep so well and I couldn’t have imagined that the race could turn out like this, in fact I was really a little bit worried after the qualifying and didn’t know what to expect today!”
“Once I got going though I saw that I had a great pace and so I just rode as hard as I could to get past everyone because I knew then that I could come back to Casey. When I finally got there I was quite tired, as were my tires, plus he was riding very well and it was hard to overtake him, but my M1 worked brilliantly today and in the last few laps I was able to go past and win. I have to say a big thank you to Michelin and to my team, because today our package was brilliant and I was able to ride at the maximum. I’m so happy to win here in Assen, it’s a special place for me and this is a great emotion! It was nice to have a special livery here as well, in the past I haven’t been so lucky with new liveries but hopefully today has turned that around! Congratulations to Yamaha for 150 wins, I am glad that we could celebrate like this!”