The 2013 MotoGP season was significant for Valentino in a number of ways – for one, it saw Rossi return to his beloved Yamaha team after spending pretty much two years in the mid-pack wilderness with Ducati, and secondly it saw the arrival of Marc Marquez to the premier class, a rider whose relationship with Rossi would become very complicated in the seasons to come.
Despite being back at Yamaha, the pressure on Rossi remained high – fans and journalists all wanted to see if Valentino could regain his past glory, or had his age started to catch up with him, and had his motivation and talent been blunted after two frustrating season at Ducati?
Rossi answered his critics quickly by finishing in second place in the opening race of the season at Qatar, but he struggled to keep up fully with the top 3 riders of Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Marquez in the rounds to come. Valentino poked fun at the time gap he had to the top three riders as part of his Mugello helmet design that year.
Despite his performance not being quite what he had hoped, Valentino still managed to take his first race victory since 2010 with a win at Assen, and he finished in 4th place overall in the standings for the season, taking six podiums.
The season belong to Marc Marquez who won six races and claimed nine other podium positions to become the youngest ever premier class winner, beating Freddie Spencer’s record that had stood since 1983.
Throughout the season Valentino produced some great special one-off helmet designs, including the Turtle for Mugello and an stunning, and touching tribute to Marco Simoncelli based on the Pink Floyd song ‘Wish You Were Here‘.
Check out all Valentino Rossi’s helmet designs from the 2013 MotoGP season below:
2012 Valentino Rossi Helmets:
Valentino Rossi had a special helmet created to mark his return to Yamaha and it became known as the Kendo design due to the Japanese symbol for Kendo on the rear of the helmet.
The helmet started out in a grey and black colour for the initial winter tests, but as the season drew closer it got an updated blue and yellow design which was seen at the Jerez test sessions.
When Valentino Rossi returned to Yamaha he also updated the design for his primary race helmet. Rossi had been using the Elements design during his previous two years at Ducati, but the new SoleLuna helmet was a beautiful and colourful new Aldo Drudi design utilising Valentino’s ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’ motifs to stunning effect.
Valentino Rossi revealed a new design at Mugello called The Turtle, or Tartaruga – it was created as a tribute to one of his earliest racing mascots, and also served as a self-mocking reference to the fact that he was struggling to be as fast as the leading three riders of Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Marquez.
For the 2013 Italian MotoGP at Misano, Valentino came out with a beautiful tribute to the late Marco Simoncelli with a helmet design based on the song “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.
This is one of Valentino’s most personal and subdued helmet designs that he has ever produced, and it became an instant fan favorite.