Location: Mugello, Italy
Date: Sunday May 31, 2008
Race position: 1st
Valentino Rossi ‘My Face’ helmet from Mugello 2008:
This is the now infamous helmet that Valentino Rossi wore for the Mugello round of the 2008 MotoGP season.
Until Misano became a MotoGP circuit in 2007, Mugello was basically the ‘home race’ for Valentino Rossi and it always attracts thousands of rabid MotoGP fans and the circuit pulses with an electric atmosphere.
Every year Valentino has a special helmet designed for the Mugello race (past helmets have included the ‘Heart‘ design in 2007, and the beautiful ‘Milo Manara‘ design in 2006), but for 2008 he pulled out all the stops and wore arguably his most famous Aldo Drudi designed helmet to date – the ‘Double Take’ or ‘My Face’ helmet.
Rossi´s Aldo Drudi designed AGV helmet featured a picture of his own face, displaying a highly excited or shocked expression, which Rossi hoped would give fans a sense of how it feels to ride the Yamaha M1 around the undulating Mugello circuit at speeds in excess of 320 kh/h. Rossi also wanted to give the fans a sense of what it felt like braking a MotoGP bike at the end of Mugello’s long, 330km/h front straight.
Rossi’s face is positioned on the top of the helmet above the visor, so when he put his head down, the face came into full view. Talking about how the idea for the helmet came about, Rossi said:
“I have to be honest about my helmet, it was Aldo Drudi’s idea this time but I think it’s one of the best ever! It’s not a drawing, it’s a real picture of my face at the braking at the end of the straight here and I think it’s very funny!”
Watch the video of Valentino Rossi revealing his Mugello MotoGP helmet for 2008:
Rossi went on to win the race at Mugello making it a record of 7 consecutive wins. Talking after the race, Rossi said:
“After winning the championship, winning at Mugello is the next best thing for me and once again today it was like a dream. There is no way to describe the feeling I have standing on the podium in front of all of my fans here and I am so happy that I could win once again today. To win for the seventh time running at my home track is amazing but I felt quite a lot of pressure about this, so it’s a relief as well because I didn’t want to disappoint everyone! It’s been a hard weekend for everyone because of the bad weather and the lack of dry track time, but my crew have done a fantastic job with the bike and my M1 was wonderful today. Once I got to the front I was able to make a gap from the others but towards the end it was unbelievably hot and it became quite hard to ride. I wanted to ease off a bit but Casey was pushing hard behind so I had to keep going. Thanks to all of my team, to the engineers and of course to Bridgestone! I’m really glad that I’ve been the one to give them their first win at this track and they did a great job today because my tire worked virtually the same from start to finish. It’s been a fantastic day, it’s always one of the best moments of the year for me and now we’ve made a bit more of the gap at the top of the championship so things couldn’t be better. Honestly after this weekend I think I would like to go to bed for five days but now we have to go straight to Barcelona! My face now is a bit more tired than the one on the helmet.”
Image gallery of the Valentino Rossi ‘My Face’ Helmet:
Where to buy it:
This helmet was hugely popular among fans and AGV have made replicas available over the years. It was first released in strictly limited edition numbers in the GP-Tech range, but it has more recently been made available in more affordable AGV K3 range. See more here. and here.
Your other option for picking up this Valentino Rossi helmet is to check as they usually have various ‘My Face’ helmets available in Limited Editions and open editions, and sometimes even signed ones.