The 2012 MotoGP season saw Valentino Rossi begin his second season racing for Ducati. His first season had been so frustrating that there were rumours that Rossi wanted to get out of his contract with Ducati a year early….but when the season began he was still a factory Ducati rider.
The majority of the season was basically a three-way battle between the leading riders of Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, and Casey Stoner, with Rossi often fighting it out in the lower top 10. Valentino finished the season in 6th position overall and only claimed two podium finishes through the the season.
The 2012 MotoGP season also saw some great one-off helmet designs from Valentino, that were mostly tailored as a commentary on the ups and downs of his time at Ducati, designs that documented the highs and the lows.
On the 10 August 2012, it was announced, to no real surprise, that Valentino was leaving Ducati and that he would be returning to the factory Yamaha team to once again partner with Jorge Lorenzo (although Vale would be the number 2 rider in the team this time). Rossi’s first outing back on the Yamaha took place during the first test sessions that were held on 13–14 November 2012 immediately after the Valencia MotoGP, the final race of the season. To mark his return to Yamaha, Rossi had a new helmet design created for the test sessions that were held at the end of 2012, to pay tribute to Yamaha and how he felt about returning to the factory.
Check out the various helmet designs that Valentino Rossi wore throughout his 2012 MotoGP season:
2012 Valentino Rossi Helmets:
At the first official MotoGP test of 2012, Valentino Rossi revealed a new AGV helmet design that he wore during the first day of the test.
The helmet was mostly free from graphics (aside from some minor motifs and the number ’46’), and had a slick and aggressive shape. This black carbon-fibre lid was used for part of the first day, before Rossi switched back to his Marco Simoncelli Tribute Helmet for the rest of the test.
The Elements helmet design that incorporated the four elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, as inspiration for the design, was Valentino’s primary helmet design during the 2012 MotoGP season.
Valentino Rossi stated that he would wear the Marco Simoncelli tribute helmet for the 2012 MotoGP pre-season tests.
Valentino Rossi and Aldo Drudi originally created this tribute to Marco Simoncelli for the closing race of the 2011 MotoGP season. The design blended Simoncelli’s helmet graphics with Valentino Rossi’s graphics.
For the 2012 Italian MotoGP at Mugello Valentino came out with a very Italian helmet that featured Gianni Morandi, a famous Italian singer and all round cult-figure, and his catchphrase “Restiamo uniti” which can be translated as “Lets Stick Together” which many fans thought contained a message.
Probably one of Valentino’s most flamboyant Mugello helmet designs ever.
For the 2012 Misano MotoGP Valentino produced a special helmet design to poke fun at his struggles with the Ducati. Rossi was portrayed as a beaten up boxer collapsing on the ropes, while asking ‘How am I doing?’
This is another fan-favorite.
At the end of the 2012 MotoGP season, Valentino Rossi moved back to the factory Yamaha team, where he would once again be team-mates with Jorge Lorenzo. His first laps back on the Yamaha M1 took place directly after the last race of the season at Valencia. Poor weather cut proceedings short, but Valentino had a special helmet designed to show exactly how he was feeling about his return to Yamaha.
The helmet was a simple design and featured a the Japanese symbol for ‘Kendo’ on the rear, which was used to show the intense emotion Rossi felt about returning to Yamaha.