Valentino Rossi returned to Yamaha for the 2013 season after a couple of tough seasons at Ducati. Rossi’s first outing on the Yamaha M1 came in 2012 after the final race of the 2012 season, but he didn’t get much of a chance to push the limits due to wet weather.
At the start of 2013, further test sessions were held at Sepang, The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, and then the final test sessions took place at Jerez. During all these test sessions Valentino Rossi wore his ‘Kendo‘ design on track – a grey and black helmet with the Japanese symbol for Kendo on the rear.
As the start of the season drew closer, and the 2013 Yamaha M1 got more of its final livery and colour scheme defined, Rossi also updated his Kendo design to match. The graphics stayed the same, but the colour scheme was updated – the helmet was now a blue and white colour, with a yellow 46 at the front and yellow Sun and Moon logos on the sides. The Kendo symbol remained on the rear, but it was white as opposed to the previous grey colour that was used for the other test sessions.
The symbol for ‘Kendo’ was used as a tribute to how Valentino felt after returning to the factory Yamaha team. In Japan, Kendo is a term that is used to express great emotion, and a way to convey very intense feelings about something – it was used here as an expression of how Valentino felt being back at Yamaha, arguably his spiritual home. Rossi first came across the concept of Kendo from Masao Furusawa, the chief of engineering at Yamaha, when he first joined the factory in 2004, and the symblo seen at the rear of Valentino’s Kendo helmet was designed by Furusawa’s wife.
This is one of our favorite Valentino Rossi winter test helmets – usually the helmet designs that Rossi uses for winter test sessions are usually kinetic graphics loaded with fun and humor, but this one has a really nice clean but striking look to it.
Image gallery of the Valentino Rossi 2013 winter test (Kendo) helmet:
Where can I buy it?:
This unusual Valentino Rossi helmet has been made available as a race replica by AGV, and you can take a look at it on our product page. It’s a beautiful design and one that will appeal to race fans that are looking for something bold and striking without the cartoon elements that sometimes feature on The Doctor’s winter test helmet. See it here.