Location: Misano, San Marino
Date: Sunday September 4th, 2011
Race Position: 7th
With his ongoing struggles trying to be competitive on the Ducati, Valentino Rossi arrived at Misano, his second home race of the season, with a helmet that really reflected his state of mind. This unique helmet design was laced with dark humor and it was a creative way for Valentino to get a message across to his fans.
Rossi’s Misano helmet was bright yellow, and featured a thought bubble coming from under the visor filled with cartoon style expletives and curses. The various expletives reflected Rossi’s frustration with the Ducati, and his ongoing battle with the bike during his debut season on it.
Writing on Twitter, Rossi’s mechanic Alex Briggs said of the new helmet: “[The] basic translation in english would be WTF!”
The race didn’t make things any better either – Rossi started from the 4th row and suffered gearbox issues during the race that saw him run wide on numerous occasions. Rossi had to push hard for his 7th place finish.
Valentino Rossi on the race:
“When I run off the track it is because I always have a problem with the gearbox and it is like in Indianapolis it remains in neutral. For this reason now we have to understand what happens tomorrow because for sure if I make one mistake like this in the race I’ll lose a lot. We have a problem because our new generation gearbox is still not ready and sometimes it has a problem and remains in neutral. This is one thing to work on for next year. The engine braking is so important but you don’t understand immediately you’re in neutral. There is no way to stop the bike without the gears.”
Valentino Rossi on the Misano helmet:
“It’s what I think when I ride. It is just for make a laugh. When you read the comics and one is very angry you have all the bad things like the bomb or the gun like this, it’s try to understand without say exactly what you think, try to explain without saying exactly the word because a helmet with the word ‘fuck’ is not very polite!”
Whether or not you believe Valentino’s description of the reason behind the helmet design is up to your own discretion, but many fans felt the helmet was more of a reflection of what was going through Rossi’s mind during his time at Ducati.
Image gallery of Valentino Rossi’s WTF helmet from Misano 2011:
Where can I buy it?:
This was a hugely popular helmet and AGV made it available firstly as a limited edition in there GP-Tech range, and then also it was released in the bestselling AGV K3 SV range. Check it out here