Valentino Rossi is some of the finest motorcycle racers the world has ever seen. He entered the official Grand Prix racing in 1996. Today, even after two decades, he’s still racing and giving neck-to-neck competition to other racers. During all these years, Rossi never changed his helmet brand. He wore an AGV helmet in his GP debut in 1996 and even in the last 2017 MotoGP season. To celebrate this strong bond AGV has launched a new Pista GP-R Helmet, specially dedicated to Rossi.
The motive behind launching this new helmet isn’t just because of the bond between AGV and Rossi, but also the fact that Rossi has successfully completed 20 years in this amazing sport! It was way back in 1996 when Rossi made his debut in GP racing at the 1996 Malaysian GP at Sepang. It was the 125cc class and he grasped the 6th position in his first race. In 1997, with 11 victories out of 15 races – a record still unbeaten in the smaller class – another 2 podium finishes and 4 pole positions, Rossi became World Champion for the first time. And so began the journey of one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, with no less than 9 titles under his belt.
In his first race, Valentino Rossi had used an AGV X-Vent helmet. It had the famous “Soleluna” (“Sun-and-Moon”) motif, a feature that was bound to become a staple of Rossi’s helmets throughout his whole career. It had a big red sun on a yellow background on the right side and a yellow crescent moon on a starry black background on the left side, both of which with captivating cartoon faces. The young Rossi chose this split design to reflect the two different sides of his personality, but there are other nice touches which made it simply unique such as his trademark number 46 placed in the middle, right above the visor, a cartoon condom on the top and the words “Go Rossifumi!” in Japanese, “Rossifumi” being one of his early nicknames inspired by childhood hero Norifumi Abe.
The new AGV Pista GP-R is reminiscent of the AGV X-Vent that Rossi used for his first race. It’s the most protective helmet ever to be developed. Thanks to the introduction of Race 3 Max Pinlock, a Class 1 Optic visor with 100% Max Vision Pinlock (120), and the patented Visor Lock System (VLS) fastening, the full carbon AGV Pista GP R helmet offers an unbeatable field of vision. The new wind-tunnel-tested “Biplano” spoiler, guarantees optimum aerodynamic performance, while comfort levels benefit from a patented interior structure and an Integrated Ventilation System (IVS). The Pista GP R is the first helmet to offer a hydration system, composed of a series of ducts and a valve located on the inside of the chin piece.
The new helmet is going to be a limited edition model and only 2500 units will be made. It will be available for purchase starting in Feb 2018. It’s going to have the same graphics as Valentino’s helmet, with the exception of other sponsors’ logos and the visor components and accessories.