Location: Japanese Grand Prix, Motegi
Date: Sunday 28 September 2008
Race position: 1st
This is the helmet design that Valentino Rossi used to celebrate his 8th World Championship title, which he secured in 2008.
By the time that round 15 of the 2008 MotoGP season was upon us, Valentino Rossi found himself only needing a third place finish to win the world championship. Jorge Lorenzo has managed to secure pole position, but at the start of the race it was Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa that looked to be the two strongest riders who would be battling for first place. Rossi managed to dispatch Lorenzo and made his way up second place after taking advantage of some strong moves that Stoner and Pedrosa were putting on each other. Just after the half-way point in the race Rossi dipped under Stoner in a classic ‘foot off the peg’ move for a left handed corner and took the lead, and from there on Rossi managed to maintain the lead and pull enough of a gap to secure the race victory and the world championship.
“For sure it is a great achievement, maybe at the level of 2004 when I first won the title with Yamaha. The battle was very hard and the season was very long, so I´m very happy. We worked very hard with Yamaha and with all the team to be able to put in good speed at every track, under every condition. The race today was a great battle, like it has been all season with Stoner and Pedrosa.”
The Valentino Rossi Celebr-8 Helmet:
To celebrate his 8th World Championship Valentino changed into a new T-shirt and helmet straight after the race.
Rossi was given a t-shirt that had a clock on the front with the time set to 8 o’clock and a slogan that said “Scusate il ritardo” (translates as: Sorry for the Delay). The shirt also featured a cartoon image of Rossi cooking his world championship victory with the names of his team as the ingredients.
Rossi had worn the 5 Continents helmet for the actual race, but celebrated his victory by changing into a new helmet for the post-race lap. Rossi rode around the track to a position where a desk had been placed and sat down opposite a man in a suit and received a new commemorative helmet and proceeded to sign it as if it were a contract. He then put the helmet on and rode around to enjoy the celebrations.
The helmet has since been called ‘Celebr-8’ in reference to Rossi’s 8 World Championship titles. It is also referred to as “Celebrotto” – which is the Italian way of combining the words “Celebrate” and “Eight” – “Otto” being Italian for 8.
The Celebr-8 helmet design is all black with a chequered flag stripe that runs from the front to the back. The number 46 is positioned on the side of the helmet, and a number 8 is placed on the top of the helmet above the visor. The sun and moon motifs are side by side at the back of the helmet. The AGV Celebr-8 helmet was also worn at all the testing sessions that took place for preparation for the 2009 MotoGP season. In Sepang in February 2009 Rossi wore a variation of the AGV Celebr-8 helmet which featured a bright yellow background in place of the black (see image gallery for photos).
The Celebr-8 helmet was released by AGV as a replica as a Limited Edition in the GP-Tech range.