A Motegi gas mask for Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi is known for his Drudi designed helmets. Always bright, often humorous and very noticeable on the grid, his new helmet paint schemes often mark significant moments in his career. Rossi is refusing to race at Motegi next month because of measurable levels of radiation, but if he did decide to join the competition, Good Spark Garage has a new helmet ready just for him.

In 2009, Rossi raced at Misano wearing a donkey-themed helmet bearing “The Donkey” where “The Doctor” would usually be found. When he crashed at Indy the race prior, he knew he’d made a stupid mistake. “I have the donkey on it because in Italy, if you make a stupid mistake we say that you are a donkey. As soon as I hit the ground at Indianapolis I thought what a donkey I was. Later I thought that would make a good helmet design for my home race. So, I may have lost 25 points but I solved the problem of the helmet design for Misano! I think it’s very funny.”

Good Spark Garage’s Motegi helmet design uses colors inspired by Rossi’s 2011 Sun & Moon helmet. The design features a gas mask, helpful to ward off evil radiation, complete with Monster and AGV logos, and “Maschera di motegi” which means “Motegi Mask.

At first glance you might call him out for being a pussy for refusing to race, but risking your life racing motorcycles is one thing, exposing yourself to a possibly radioactive environment is another. There are also more than a few conflicting opinions regarding just how much radiation riders will be exposed to. Will it be no different than normal background radiation or will it be enough to cause serious health problems? As one of the world’s leading professional athletes, Rossi’s body and health are things he can’t afford to compromise. Personally, we wouldn’t be scared, but then we don’t earn $35 million a year due to our physical ability.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    My favorite Rossi helmet is the picture of his face. As a helmet design it’s not great, but video of him riding with it is hilarious–it totally works when he’s head-down through a turn.

  • ktaisa

    that is awesome

    if he skips that race he will miss out on what, 4, maybe 6 points?

    • Myles


    • Kirill

      Probably between 10 and 7 based on his finishes this year

  • Gene

    Considering they’re there a whole weekend, yeah, they’re a bunch of pussies. And that goes double for Stoner pulling the “pregnant wife” card. What a wanker.

    I hope they get dinged financially somehow for not racing, or get assessed penalty points by the FIM.

    • Myles

      I think it’s dumb to not race.

      I think it’s dumb to penalize them any more than missing the potential points from the race.

      Personally, I kind of hope Stoner doesn’t race and Lorenzo does – making the final part of the season more competitive.

    • Plotts

      The race is about 90 miles from the site of the Nuclear reactors? Pussies? Really?

      I wouldn’t set foot near that track for the next 20 years.

      • aristurtle

        Yeah, really. People live 30 miles away. This is like not going to the Nuerburgring because of Chernobyl.

        But hey, Rossi is working for Ducati now, not Yamaha, meaning (a) he probably won’t get fired for this stunt, and (b) he’s losing by enough points that it doesn’t matter a whole lot.

        • Patrick

          people living there which is an unbelievably sad fact by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that rossi and all the rest need to expose themselves to nuclear contamination. I certainly understand his point. Qick fact on the side: the Ring is approximately 1200 miles from Chernobyl, so not quite the same.

          • aristurtle

            He’s going to get a bigger dose from the pornoscanner at the airport than he’ll get at the track all weekend.

            If I were in charge of Honda or Yamaha, I would immediately fire any driver on my team who didn’t show up for the race. Right then, mid-season and everything. If the Japanese MotoGP race gets screwed up, it’s basically going to be the end of the sport. Remember when the F1 USGP at Indianapolis turned into a dud because of shitty tires? And it killed off whatever was left of F1′s support in the States?

            It’s like that but worse, because every MotoGP-class manufacturer aside from Ducati is Japanese. Most of them are already aching for an excuse to stop spending money on it anyway.

            • Patrick

              agreed – you got a point there.

        • adrenalnjunky

          Chernobyl is about 1600 miles from the ‘Ring, and the Chernobyl disaster happened 25 years ago. @ Chernobyl, you had one reactor that caused a level 7 event. Reactor #4 has been sealed, and was sufficiently contained to allow the plant to continue operation up to 2000.

          The Japan Fukushima plant happened less than 6 months ago, and had 3 reactors meltdown, each creating Level 7 radiation events. One other reactor was damaged creating a Level 3 radiation event. As stated – the plant is only about 100 miles from Motegi. It is also unclear if the reactors are properly contained yet.

          So yeah, your analogy sucks.

      • Joe

        I would go to Motegi just to watch the race if I could afford it. People fear what they don’t understand. Knowledge is the cure.

  • JonB

    Neat website.

    • Sean Smith

      I love the photography and colors.

      • Artful

        I like turtles.

  • Kyle

    haha, thats awesome. I’d buy it if it was for sale.

  • Joe

    We are all exposed to radiation every day. From the sun, from florescent lighting, microwave ovens, cell phones, etc. etc. etc.

    They ARE a bunch of pussies.

    • Turf

      Phoning to inquire why your Enzyte hasn’t arrived on your iphone and being near-ish to a fucking nuclear meltdown are slightly different on the ‘shit that I should worry about -o- meter’

      • Joe

        I spent a few years living on a nuclear submarine. I think I know a little about radiation.

        Have a look at this. http://xkcd.com/radiation/

      • Joe

        The Motegi radiation dose would fall into the blue section at about three quarters of the dose received on a flight from New York to LA. Only a true pussy would be scared of that.

  • Thom

    At least there’s ONE rider in MotoGP thats putting the well being of himself and his fellow human beings above commercial and championship interests .

    Fact is the situation in Japan is NOT safe and the Government there IS NOT revealing all the facts for anyone to make a sane and rational decision .

    So Three Cheers to Rossi !

    And _ _ _ _ _ _ _ to all his detractors .

    • Rick

      Is what you say all factual??? I inquire, because my hyperbole detector began clicking wildly after reading that.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    He should race.

    Being exposed to the radiation, he could get some super powers, like winning motorcycle races.

  • doublet

    So, what does a gas mask have to do with radiation? Like those masks they had in “K19 Widowmaker” that did nothing?

    Should have designed a full radiation suit a la The Docter… you know, for radiation. Like the have in any movie where people are actually prepared for radiation.

  • Rick

    The FIM’s World Trials Championship IS happening this weekend, in the hillsides at Twin Ring Motegi. Several European riders stayed home but most are competing in Japan. Twelve-time World Champ Doug Lampkin is in attendance, even though an injured ankle prevents his riding. Instead of staying in the UK with a note from his doctor he’s at Motegi to help support the Gas-Gas squad.

  • always_go_big

    Science has shown that he infact rides fast enough to out run radiation, so it would only be the time off the bike that he would be exposed, making it far less of a risk than he first imagined.