Location: Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya
Date: Sunday, June 08, 2008
Race position: 3rd
The Spanish MotoGP at Catalunya in 2008 saw Valentino Rossi race with a one-off livery and helmet design that was inspired by his well-documented love of football.
Valentino had used football as an influence in the past for a helmet design – in 2003 Rossi raced at Mugello with a special helmet that was influenced by the Italian football team, but wasn’t nearly as full-on as what he had in store for fans at the 2008 Spanish MotoGP.
Rossi had changed his bike and helmet design on race day, to celebrate the start of the UEFA European Championship at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya. His Yamaha M1 was painted to make it look like it was wearing one of the football shirts of the Italian national team, the ‘Azzurri’, commemorating the Italian World Cup-winning national side who were about to begin contesting the UEFA European Championship the day following the Spanish MotoGP.
But it didn’t stop with the bike, Rossi’s leathers were given a similar treatment in order to make them look more like the Italian football kit – they even had pink arms and legs to make it look more like Rossi was wearing football shorts and T-shirt.
To top it all off Valentino’s helmet was designed by Aldo Drudi to look like a football, complete with black and white panels all over it.
Valentino Rossi talks about the football helmet for the Spanish GP:
“Fiat wanted to do something special for the Italian national team, before their game against Holland. I think that the bike looks really good. As for the livery…it’s the idea of Fiat and so we decided to make the leathers to go with the bike to make me look like a football player! I think it’s quite funny and it’s just to say `in bocca al lupo’ to the Italian team for the European Championships. The European Championship starts on Saturday but Italy plays on Monday. I like the bike; it is blue like the Italian jersey. It is quite good.”
Images of Valentino Rossi’s Catalunya football helmet 2008: