This past weekend’s Gran Premio d’Italia TIM was a special one for Valentino Rossi. Not only did the Italian MotoGP at Mugello mean the Movistar Yamaha rider would be contesting his home race, it also marked the nine-time World Champion’s 300th Grand Prix. Rossi celebrated the epic event by finishing on the podium with a bit of extra flair and style.
To help commemorate the landmark event, Rossi’s helmet sponsor AGV created a special lid dedicated to “Di Vale” pasta, a play on words tying Rossi’s nickname to an actual Italian brand of noodle. The helmet’s graphics incorporate pieces of rigatoni and were designed to highlight the fact that although Rossi is participating in his 20th year of racing, the Italian rider is still competitive and is “never overcooked.”
"Pasta is an Italian icon,” said Rossi. “And this was a way to respond to those who gave me up for being 'overcooked,' because I'm not yet!"
The helmet’s graphics also depict shafts of wheat and the Casanova and Savelli corners – Mugello’s infamous right-left combination – where Rossi has been known to overtake his rivals. Finally, gracing the rear of the helmet are Rossi’s beloved bulldogs, Caesar and Cecilia, eating from a bowl of pasta. According to AGV, the cooking time for “Di Vale" pasta is “strictly 46 minutes,” to coincide with Rossi’s signature number plate.
At the Italian MotoGP, Rossi overcame a fourth-row start and began battling for a podium position by the second lap. Shortly thereafter, he moved into third and finished on the podium in front of the cheering Italian crowd. Rossi was joined on the podium by Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo in second and race winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).
“Today was a great day for all the people and for MotoGP,” said Rossi after the race. “The podium in Mugello is always fantastic, it's the most special moment of the season, it’s like a great concert. It's a great party for MotoGP and motorcycling because the passion in Italy is amazing. This is my 300th GP, so I’m in the middle of my career, another 300 before the end.”
After the Italian MotoGP, Rossi sits second in the championship standings, 53 points behind leader Marquez.Tags: AGV, Di Vale, Italy, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, motogp, Motorsports, Movistar Yamaha, Mugello, Repsol Honda, Valentino Rossi