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San Marino GP

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At Misano this morning, Valentino Rossi debuted another of his famous helmet designs for his home crowd. Adorned with a painted clock on the top of helmet, Rossi will use a different helmet for each session during the San Marino GP. The time on the clock is set to five minutes before the session’s start, and labeled with “wake up and get going,” which for Rossi is both a literal and figurative reminder.

Critical of his results lately, Rossi is acknowledging that he needs to start turning around his season at Misano, and once again ride at the front of the pack. Hopefully these helmets (last year Rossi was the donkey) will be a reminder to the Italian rider, who has struggled since returning from a compound fracture to his leg.

UPDATE #1: Well, Dorna got their mitts on YouTube and the video is gone. Sorry Folks.
UPDATE #2: Ok, found a new video from a different angle that shows more of the aftermath.

The life expectancy of this video, isnt’ foreseen to be very long, but we thought we’d bring it to you because it sets up some of the best quotes you’ll find in MotoGP racing. Both by the Uber-Italian commentators, and from the rider involved.

Americans Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards may not be podium regulars, but they certainly bring the down-to-Earth, good old boy, tell it how you see it mentality to an otherwise very rigid sport, and the events of the San Marino GP are certainly a shining example of those character traits.

MotoGP is at Misano, Italy today for the San Marino GP, where Jorge Lorenzo is looking to close in on his points deficit to leader Valentino Rossi. The week at San Marino has been a busy one, seeing the formal singing of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to another year with Honda Racing. We also saw the announcement that Ben Spies would remain in WSBK for 2010, and that Colin Edwards will more than likely remain at Tech3 Yamaha. Then of course, there is the race itself.

With Championship points on the line, all eyes were on Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. But, wedged in-between the Fiat-Yamaha pair on the starting grid was Dani Pedrosa, who could showed at the Indianapolis GP that he is more than capable of throwing a wrench in Lorenzo’s bid to claw points away from Rossi.

Valentino Rossi is sporting another of his special helmets this weekend, for his home race at Misano. Designed by the Italian’s favorite designer, Aldo Drudi, Rossi’s new lid sports a large picture of a donkey’s face, and the words “The Donkey” written where normally it would say “The Doctor”. The helmet also features Rossi’s dogs wearing donkey ears, completing the donkey motif.

With San Marino officially the third smallest country by territory size, the San Marino GP does not actually take place within the soverign’s borders. Instead, MotoGP action comes to you this weekend from the coastal Italian track of Misano, where a slew of MotoGP riders are looking for redemption from their performances at Indianapolis.

The track temperatures have been scortching hot all week, and even with a coastal breeze blowing through the course today, the ambient temperature was still over 98° F. With only 25 points now separating Jorge Lorenzo from Valentino Rossi, all eyes are on the Fiat-Yamaha pair to see who will take the MotoGP Championship.