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Maurizio Vitali, the former 125cc rider now sizing up helmets for a Champion

Maurizio Vitali, the former 125cc rider now sizing up helmets for a Champion

Maurizio Vitali, perhaps best remembered for his 125cc battles against the legendary Angel Nieto back in the 80s, is one of the lesser known contributors to the success of Valentino Rossi this season. The Italian now works for helmet manufacturers AGV, charged with protecting some of the most valuable heads in Grand Prix racing. Rossi´s is perhaps the best known and biggest selling skid lid of them all, and Vitali invited to have a closer look.

´Valentino carries three helmets to all the Grands Prix, but I have had two more sent over for the flyaway trips,´ said Vitali. ´We may see a new design this weekend in Malaysia now that he has become World Champion, but I cannot reveal any details of what that may be. He is a size 55, but the inside of the helmet is personalised. We measured up the lid perfectly for the shape of his face, with extra inner padding around the temples and jaws.´

´The current designs for our helmets are done by Aldo Drudi, who a lot of the riders like. Possibly his most famous motorcycling client up to now was Kevin Schwantz, and those helmets still sell to this day. We provide lids for Rossi, Garry McCoy, Manuel Poggiali, Pablo Nieto, Alessandro Branetti and Lorenzo Lanzi. Obviously the most publicity for AGV now comes through Valentino, but Garry McCoy´s spectacular riding style means that he is also very popular. Of course, Poggiali is a very exciting young rider and his has a very nice helmet, so I´m sure he will be come more and more of a pull for customers over the next few years.´

500cc, 2001

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