Location: Misano, Italy
Date: 11th September 2016
Race position: 2nd
It’s Misano, so you know what that means – it’s time for another special Valentino Rossi helmet design.
The Misano MotoGP is a special event for Valentino Rossi as the circuit is only a handful of miles from his home-town of Tavullia, making this about as close to a ‘home race’ as it’s possible for Rossi. When MotoGP returned to Misano in 2008, Rossi had a special helmet design made that paid tribute to his home town, and every year since he has raced with a custom helmet design to mark the event.
In 2016 Valentino came up with a design that was inspired by his favorite film, ‘The Blues Brothers’, in order to pay tribute to Misano. The helmet was designed by long-term Rossi collaborator Aldo Drudi and the graphics showed Valentino Rossi and his best friend Alessio Salucci, aka ‘Uccio’, re-enacting the iconic look of the original film.
The top of the helmet is dominated by a photograph of Rossi and Uccio dressed as Jake Blues and Elwood Blues, the ‘Blues Brothers’ from the film who were originally played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Uccio is also pictured with a tattoo across the knuckles of this hand that reads ‘Uccio‘ – in the original film the characters have their names tattooed on their knuckles
The top of the helmet also features the phrase ‘Sweet Home Misano‘ in large letters. This is a play on words that adds a Misano-themed twist the Blues Brothers song ‘Sweet Home Chicago’, which Belushi and Akroyd sing in the film. Rossi tweeted out a link to the song from the film on the day that the helmet was revealed:
— Valentino Rossi (@ValeYellow46) September 10, 2016
The rear of the helmet features a cartoon of Rossi’s bulldogs Cesare and Cecilia and his cat Rossano who are also dressed in the Blues Brothers signature style of Wayfarer sunglasses and fedora hats.
The sides of the helmet feature the iconic police car, the ‘Bluesmobile’, that was featured heavily in the movie.
Here is a 360 degree look at the helmet that AGV put up on instagram, check it out below:
Rossi and Uccio revealed the helmet while dressed in fedoras and sunglasses at the start of Free Practice 3.
You can see more images of Valentino Rossi’s Misano MotoGP helmet below.
Image gallery of Valentino Rossi’s ‘Blues Brothers’ / ‘Sweet Home Misano’ helmet:
Valentino Rossi qualified in 2nd place on the grid and a front row start was essential for The Doctor in order to stand a chance of winning at Misano, a track that doens’t have many overtaking options.
During the race Rossi took an early lead after a strong overtaking manoeuvre on his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and then proceeded to lead for most of the race. Lorenzo and Marquez struggled to match Rossi’s pace, but a late charge from Dani Pedorsa in the second half of the race saw him overtake Rossi and claim the victory, leaving Valentino to settle for second place.
Despite being frustrated at not being able to win at Misano, Rossi managed to close the points gap to Marc Marquez at the top of the standings.
Valentino Rossi said:
“It’s still too big, 43 points with five races to go, it’s a big gap, but it’s always a great feeling arriving in front of Marquez because he is very strong, very fast and to beat him in the race means you did a great race. I’m happy about my second part of the season until now; unfortunately I don’t win but we have to keep going like this to the end.
“It was a good weekend and we worked well on the bike and we were able to improve. We did the right tyre choice for the race. It was a good start and I tried to overtake Lorenzo, to go in front. After, I pushed at the maximum and I understand that for sure it was not easy as always. I have the pace to stay there but not to go away. It was very difficult, very demanding physically and when you are in front it is always more difficult. I was able to ride well and do 1’32.2 when I was alone in front, which was a very good pace. I saw that I can stay more or less with a one second advantage and control this pace. Lap by lap I was always more positive for the end,”
“After a while Pedrosa was faster and I tried to resist, but he arrived with me with seven laps to go, which is still a long way. I lost a bit of time when he overtook me and I tried to make another lap behind him at the maximum, but after it was not my pace – he was too strong, he was too fast.”
“Anyway, if I’m not in Misano, I’m for sure very happy, but today it was more important than other times to arrive first, but I wasn’t able at the end but it was a great race and a very good weekend.
“This weekend is always very demanding, very difficult and we need to organise everything better than in another place because everything becomes more difficult. But everything is repaid from the lap you do from the pit to the grid before the race and you see all the people around – it’s a fantastic feeling that it also difficult to explain.”
AGV are releasing the ‘Sweet Home Misano’ / ‘Blues Brothers’ helmet as a limited edition on their Pista G R range, buy it here