Date: Sunday, 2nd June 2013
Race Position: DNF
For many years Mugello was a racetrack where Valentino Rossi could do no wrong, and he won 7 consecutive races at Mugello between 2002 and 2008. Fortune shone down on him at Mugello like the Italian sun shines down on the rabid fans that gather there to watch the racing. All that changed in 2009 when Casey Stoner took victory there for Ducati, and then things got worse in 2010 when Valentino broke his leg in a warm up session.
After his move to Ducati for the 2011 and 2012 MotoGP seasons Valentino was still unable to match his past form at Mugello as he struggled with the Ducati Desmosedici; so with his return to Yamaha in 2013 expectation was high among Italian fans who all hoped to see The Doctor back on top. However, racing is a fickle business and the Gods of Mugello had other plans for Valentino.
Rossi qualified in 7th position, and despite his decent enough start his race only lasted three corners when Alvaro Bautista collided with him and both riders were sent off track and into the barriers at Poggio Secco.
Jorge Lorenzo went on to win the race, with Dani Pedrosa taking second and Cal Crutchlow taking third.
Valentino Rossi’s 2013 Mugello helmet:
Despite the unexpected DNF result for Rossi, there is one thing about Mugello that is always consistent and predictable – and that is Valentino Rossi will have a new helmet design. In 2013 Valentino had a ‘turtle, or ‘tartaruga’ helmet design specially created for the race – that had a cartoon turtle sat on the top of the helmet, with his eyes gazing forwards above the visor.
This wasn’t just a random and fun helmet design, Valentino actually has a long history using a ‘turtle’ as a mascot – in fact the turtle was arguably his first mascot or signature motif that pre-dates the number 46 or the ‘Sun and Moon’, images that are usually associated with Valentino’s helmet designs.
When Valentino was racing MiniMotos as a child, he begged his mother to buy him a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that had suction cups so he could stick it to his helmet as a mascot when he raced.
Watch video footage of Valentino Rossi in MiniMoto wearing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stuck to his helmet:
The turtle became important to Valentino and he also got the turtle tattooed on his hip, and a cartoon turtle with number 46 on the shell has also been used as a logo on various Rossi merchandise over the years.
The helmet also contained another meaning. Since his return to Yamaha in 2013 Valentino had struggled to keep pace with the top three riders (Lorenzo, Marquez, and Pedrosa) and the turtle was an acknowledgement that he was currently too slow. In addition to this, the helmet featured a group of stick figures running around the base of the helmet. A yellow stick figure (representing Valentino) can be seen trying to keep up with a blue, a red, and an orange stick figure – who all represent Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Marquez.
Image gallery of Valentino Rossi’s Mugello Turtle helmet:
Watch Valentino Rossi reveal his ‘Tartaruga’ helmet for the first time, with Aldo Drudi, the man who painted the turtle design:
This is another great Mugello helmet from Valentino that was a fun design that also carried a message.
Where can I buy it?:
This was another very popular Valentino Rossi helmet design and AGV have made the turtle helmet available as a limited edition in their Corsa range (see product page) and also in the bestselling, and much more affordable AGV K3 SV range (see product page).