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Valentino Rossi wearing the special edition Mugello Helmet on Saturday

2018 #mylid: Rossi issues patriotic rallying cry with Mugello special

Jun 032018

A small annual ritual of the MotoGP year and a tradition in place for almost two decades took on a little extra significance in the roasting sunshine of Mugello for the Gran Premio D’Italia. Valentino Rossi unveiled his special helmet design for his home round – a ballistic combo of colour based on the Italian Tricolor – and then blazed to the fastest ever lap of the sensationally quick layout picturesquely submerged into the Tuscan topography.

The Mugello lid has been home to turtles, footballers, animals, pastas, singers, a shrieking face photo (to emulate the mock-expression the riders have at the end of the main straight where braking takes place from 350kmph) and a spin on Mugello/Gelato. For 2018 the MotoGP icon adopted a more celebratory theme with friend and designer Aldo Drudi; the man behind all of Rossi’s lids since the mid 1990s and his first years in Grand Prix.

“The new mood around Valentino when it comes to design is to use something simple,” the artist says. “To start 2018 we used only blue and yellow with the sun and moon displayed in a clear way on the shell. So now we have taken the same design and worked on the cut of the colours and on the Italian flag because it is Mugello, the Italian GP and because Saturday is a special holiday for the Italian public. There is a lot of meaning.”


“Many times in the past we have made funny helmets talking about Valentino but this was about his support of Italy and the support he gets back and Pole Position was a first good step on Saturday!”

“It is a tribute to Italy,” Rossi confirmed while sitting in the central chair of the press conference after notching his first Pole Position since 2016. “Before Mugello we always try to decide on and understand the helmet and I said this year I wanted one with the Italian flag. I really like my design and how we tried to put it on the helmet.”

Rossi could not have given the lid a better baptism. “To come back to the front row with Pole Position and at Mugello is something special,” he said. #46 then cruised around to wave to the thousands and thousands of yellow-tinted fans around the steep Mugello hillsides. “I did the cool-down lap very slowly; I wanted to enjoy the moment because I don't know how many Poles I can do in [the rest] of my career, especially at Mugello! It is a great feeling even if you do have to think the main job is tomorrow on raceday.”


Now into his 40th year Rossi somehow drew the energy to set a new lap record; his form was as bright as his lid and the Mugello magic shows no sign of slowing, or going. “We’ve made almost 70 helmets through his career,” Drudi says. “I’m not sure how many especially for Mugello but I know it is almost 70 in total because we made a big show and exhibition in a museum in Milano. I hope we will still have a lot to do because he is still f**king fast”