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 2008 motogp class

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Posts : 466
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 36
Location : Antrim

PostSubject: 2008 motogp class   Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:31 am

The 2008 MotoGP season saw Valentino Rossi claim his 8th World Championship after losing out to Nicky Hayden when Rossi crashed out in the final round in 2006, and seeing Casey Stoner dominate the 2007 season. 2008 arguably saw Valentino Rossi in his finest racing form to date, which culminated in a thrilling mid-season clash with Casey Stoner at Laguna Seca.

The 2008 MotoGP season was also notable for some of the most memorable Rossi helmet designs, in particular the ‘my face’ or ‘double take’ design worn in Mugello. Rossi’s partnership with AGV helmets also developed deeper links and Lino Dainese, the founder and current president of Dainese S.p.a., appointed Valentino Rossi as Honorary President of AGV, the historic Italian crash helmet manufacturing firm that Dainese acquired in 2007.

Location: Jerez, MotoGP Test

Date: Sunday, February 17, 2008

Test position: 8th

Valentino Rossi received a special 29th birthday present during testing at Jerez in Spain in February 2008 when he was handed a celebratory helmet. The Jerez test was also significant as it marked Rossi’s first test of the season on Bridgestone tyres, after switching from Michelin.

Legendary helmet designer Aldo Drudi, who has been responsible for many of Valentino Rossi’s most unique colour schemes and distinctive helmet designs, created a special lid for the Italian to run on the first day of the 2008 official MotoGP test. Created to look like a birthday cake complete with icing and candles, it has the words ‘Happy Birthday Vale’ written across the top of the helmet. Valentino claimed to have come up with the idea for this type of helmet design the year before:
Valentino Rossi:

“It’s good to be here on my birthday because I love to ride my bike and I had fun today. I had a special helmet with the design of a birthday cake on it, so this was my way to celebrate today! It was my idea because last year for my birthday I was in Sepang testing. After my birthday I said I want a helmet with a cake on it, so I had to wait for one year. We tried with the real one but it was difficult for the aerodynamics, “laughed Rossi.

Groups of fans gathered for the testing sessions at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit and were heard singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Rossi.

Location: Mugello, Italy

Date: Sunday May 31, 2008

Race position: 1st

AGV GP-Tech Rossi Double Take helmet (My Face) Mugello 2008

This is the now infamous helmet that Valentino Rossi wore for the Mugello round of the 2008 MotoGP season. Until Misano became a MotoGP circuit in 2007, Mugello was the ‘home race’ for Valentino Rossi and it always attracts thousands of rabid MotoGP fans and pulses with an electric atmosphere. Every year Rossi has a special helmet designed for the Mugello race (past helmets have included the ‘heart’ design in 2007, and the ‘homage’ design in 2006), but for 2008 he pulled out all the stops and wore arguably his most famous Aldo Drudi designed helmet to date – the AGV GP-Tech ‘Double Take’ or ‘My Face’ helmet.

Rossi´s Aldo Drudi-designed AGV helmet features a picture of his own face, displaying a highly excited or shocked expression, which Rossi believes will give fans a sense of how it feels to ride the Yamaha M1 around the undulating Mugello circuit at speeds in excess of 320 kh/h. Rossi’s face is on the top, so when he puts his head down, the face comes into full view. Rossi said: “It’s not a drawing, it’s a real picture of my face at the braking at the end of the straight here and I think it’s very funny!”

Rossi won the race at Mugello making it a record of 7 consecutive wins. Talking after the race, Rossi said:

“After winning the championship, winning at Mugello is the next best thing for me and once again today it was like a dream. There is no way to describe the feeling I have standing on the podium in front of all of my fans here and I am so happy that I could win once again today. To win for the seventh time running at my home track is amazing but I felt quite a lot of pressure about this, so it’s a relief as well because I didn’t want to disappoint everyone! It’s been a hard weekend for everyone because of the bad weather and the lack of dry track time, but my crew have done a fantastic job with the bike and my M1 was wonderful today. Once I got to the front I was able to make a gap from the others but towards the end it was unbelievably hot and it became quite hard to ride. I wanted to ease off a bit but Casey was pushing hard behind so I had to keep going. Thanks to all of my team, to the engineers and of course to Bridgestone! I’m really glad that I’ve been the one to give them their first win at this track and they did a great job today because my tire worked virtually the same from start to finish. It’s been a fantastic day, it’s always one of the best moments of the year for me and now we’ve made a bit more of the gap at the top of the championship so things couldn’t be better. Honestly after this weekend I think I would like to go to bed for five days but now we have to go straight to Barcelona! My face now is a bit more tired than the one on the helmet.”

Location: Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya

Date: Sunday, June 08, 2008

Race position: 3rd

Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya

Valentino Rossi ran a special livery for his Yamaha M1, to celebrate the start of the UEFA European Championship at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya. Rossi´s Yamaha was decked out with a specially painted in the style of the shirts of the Italian national team, the ‘Azzurri’, commemorating the Italian World Cup-winning national side who were about to begin contesting the UEFA European Championship the day following the Catalunya MotoGP. Rossi’s leathers were given a similar treatment with his AGV helmet sporting a design that was created to make his helmet look like a football.

Valentino Rossi:

“Fiat wanted to do something special for the Italian national team, before their game against Holland. I think that the bike looks really good. As for the livery…it’s the idea of Fiat and so we decided to make the leathers to go with the bike to make me look like a football player! I think it’s quite funny and it’s just to say `in bocca al lupo’ to the Italian team for the European Championships.”

AGV GP Tech Rossi Helmet 5 Continents

The AGV GP Tech Rossi Helmet 5 Continents helmet was the primary lid of choice for Rossi throughout the 2008 MotoGP season, and has been carried over to the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the primary race helmet. Its a fantastic and colourful design by Aldo Drudi.

The design is an evolution of Rossi’s trademark sun and moon themes (said to represent the two sides of Rossi’s personality), and both feature feature heavily, and return to their original positions: the sun ahead, the moon behind. Each of the rays of light coming from the sun, have been individually designed to represent one of the five continents that MotoGP races take place in. Each ray depicts images associated with the continent that they are representing: Oceania is the same design that was used on the Dreamtime helmet in Philip Island in 2007 for the Winter Test and features icons of Aborigines feet to represent Australasia. Asia depicts a dragon, Africa depicts tribal art, Europe has a famous sketch from Leonardo da Vinci, and finally, Indian artwork represents the Americas.

Location: Misano, San Marino & Riviera di Rimini

Date: Sunday, August 31st 2008

Race position: 1st

AGV GP-Tech Misano 2008

With Misano being introduced to the MotoGP calender in 2007, and only being a few kilometers from Rossi’s home town of Tavullia the event is officially Rossi’s ‘home race’. Fans come out in their thousands, and Rossi’s official fanclub make the 15km march on race day from Tavullia all the way to the track waving flags, banners and singing. It’s not just Rossi that gets the attention, as Ducati have a huge following and history in the region and command a spectators grandstand all to themselves.

Rossi wore a specially designed AGV GP-Tech helmet for the occasion that had a number of meanings. The helmet depicted a cartoon house that was supposed to represent his home – the number 46 hangs above the door, and Rossi’s late bulldog, Guido can be seen lying in his kennel outside in the garden. This represented the fact that Rossi was at his home race, but was also rumoured to be a reference to the fact that Rossi had also recently returned to live in Italy after clearning up a tax dispute with the Italian authorities. Previoulsy to 2008 Rossi had benn living in London.

Aside from being Rossi’s true home race, it turned out to be special for other reasons on the day as Rossi claimed his 68th premier-class victory that put him equal on grand prix wins with his great countryman Giacomo Agostini.

Rossi said:

“Today is a truly fantastic day and I can’t believe that I have matched Agostini’s record! He was one of my heroes so it’s quite incredible to have made it to 68 wins. This was quite a difficult weekend for us from the start and there has been the added pressure of a home race, which makes it harder to concentrate because there is so much distraction! Mugello has always been ‘my’ track, even though it’s further away from Tavullia, but here, after the bad time last year, we haven’t found it so easy. Once again today however my team gave me a very competitive bike and I felt very confident. I got a good start but then Dani came past me very fast and I then lost a lot of time getting past him and had to take some big risks – I had a big slide! Once I was past him I could see Casey, although I have to admit that today I wasn’t as confident as I was in Brno that I could win. Anyway I kept pushing because it’s not in my nature to ride for second place and I think it still could have been a battle; I was very fast once I found my rhythm. Then I saw Casey slide out. I’m sorry for him once again but this is very good for our championship so I am happy for our team.”

AGV Rossi GP-Tech Dreamtime helmet

Valentino Rossi first started using the AGV GP-Tech Dreamtime helmet during the Winter Test session in Australia in 2007, but it was also used in his 2008 MotoGP campaign, although nowhere near as much as the AGV GP-Tech 5 Continents design.

The helmet design takes its inspiration from ancient Aboriginal art, and it takes the best features rom the previous race helmets (Ti-Tech, GP-Pro) and from the AGV racetrack experience and matches lightness, ventilation and comfort with an extremely innovative and aggressive design.

The Dreamtime is the Aboriginal understanding of the world, of it’s creation, and it’s great stories. According to their belief it is the beginning of knowledge, from which came the laws of existence. All forms of life – Human, Animal, Bird and Fish are part of one vast unchanging network of relationships which can be traced to the great spirit ancestors of the Dreamtime. The term ‘Dreamtime’ also ‘Dream Time’ is described as the ‘time before time’ or ‘time of creation’ according to the Indigenous Australia Aboriginal people. It is a mythological period of time during which the natural world and universe was shaped by the action of mythical beings. Some of the beings took the form of ‘totemic’ animals or human forms, changing and forming the world around us. It is these mythic beings that are credited with having established social order and its ‘laws’. These ancestral beings often lacked strict morals, having all the habits that are good and bad in humans.

The helmet design is split into two distinct halves, with one side depicting the sun and the other side depicting the moon (permanent themes on Rossi’s helmet designs), with both consistently designed in the style of traditional aboriginal art. The centre of the helmet features a trail of bare footprints that travel from the back to the front. The number 46 features at the front under the visor and the back of the helmet features a picture of a turtle, also designed in the style of Aboriginal Dreamtime art. See the galley for more images.

Location: Japanese Grand Prix, Motegi

Date: Sunday 28 September 2008

Race position: 1st

By the time that round 15 of the 2008 MotoGP season was upon us, Valentino Rossi found himself only needing a third place finish to win the world championship. Jorge Lorenzo has managed to secure pole position, but at the start of the race it was Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa that looked to be the two strongest riders who would be battling for first place. Rossi managed to dispatch Lorenzo and made his way up second place after taking advantage of some strong moves that Stoner and Pedrosa were putting on each other. Just after the half-way point in the race Rossi dipped under Stoner in a classic ‘foot off the peg’ move for a left handed corner and took the lead, and from there on Rossi managed to maintain the lead and pull enough of a gap to secure the race victory and the world championship.

Rossi said:

“For sure it is a great achievement, maybe at the level of 2004 when I first won the title with Yamaha. The battle was very hard and the season was very long, so I´m very happy. We worked very hard with Yamaha and with all the team to be able to put in good speed at every track, under every condition. The race today was a great battle, like it has been all season with Stoner and Pedrosa.”
The AGV Celebr-8 Helmet:

Rossi was given a t-shirt that had a clock on the front with the time set to 8 o’clock and a slogan that said “Scusate il ritardo” (translates as: Sorry for the Delay). The shirt also featured a cartoon image of Rossi cooking his world championship victory with the names of his team as the ingridients.

Rossi had worn the 5 Continents helmet for the actual race, but celebrated his victory by changing into a new helmet for the after-race post lap. Rossi rode around the track to a position where a desk had been placed and sat down opposite a man in a suit and received a new commemorative helmet and proceeded to sign it as if it were a contract. He then put the helmet on and rode around to the celebrations.

The helmet has since been called ‘Celebr-8′ in reference to Rossi’s 8 World Championship titles. It is also referred to as “Celebrotto” – which is the Italian way of combining the words “Celebrate” and “Eight” - ”Otto” being Italian for 8.

The Celebr-8 helmet design is all black with a chequered flag stripe that runs from the front to the back. The number 46 is positioned on the side fo the helmet, and a number 8 is placed on the top of the helmet above the visor. The sun and moon motifs are side by side at the back of the helmet. The AGV Celebr-8 helmet has also been worn at all the testing sessions that Rossi has been involved in for preperation for the 2009 season. In Sepang in February 2009 Rossi wore a variation of the AGV Celebr-8 helmet which featured a bright yellow background in place of the black
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