Rossi hasn’t released an official statement saying whether or not he’ll be racing at Motegi, but his Misano helmet tells us a lot about what’s on his mind. The infographic in the speech bubble shows a cartoon skull and cross-bones, starburst, lightening, tornado, thunder-cloud, bomb and finally, !?!. A radioactive drop-shadow sets the context.
What does it mean? Danger and confusion with radioactive over-tones clearly point to the continuing controversy surrounding the race at Motegi. In our article about Good Spark Garage’s Motegi mask, commenters argued over whether or not Motegi is dangerous. Facts say that the nuclear plant, located approximately 100 miles from the racetrack, suffered three level 7 meltdowns and one level 3 meltdown to its reactors. There are critics who claim that Rossi will get a bigger dose of radiation in the process of commercial flight than he would competing at the track, but at this point no one is really sure.
The design also likely reflects Rossi’s frustration with this season’s poor performance too. Alex Briggs tweeted that a rough translation for the design would be “WTF?”
Rossi won’t be winning a championship either way, so his decision will have little effect on MotoGP season results, but it may influence other riders as well. The lurid yellow and green that are normal colors for Rossi take on an entirely new meaning as he shares his inner, unstated mindset yet again. This, and the rider’s other helmets, are an excellent illustration of the power of art. He’s unable or unwilling to express himself in words, but Valentino’s thoughts are conveyed loud and clear on his helmet every other weekend during the summer.