Morbidelli opens up on Spike Lee-inspired Misano helmet message

Franco Morbidelli says he wanted to tackle racism with his Spike Lee-inspired MotoGP San Marino Grand Prix helmet design as it is “important to remember we are all the same”.

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
1/8

Photo by: Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
2/8

Photo by: Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
3/8

Photo by: Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
4/8

Photo by: Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT new helmet
5/8

Photo by: Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
6/8

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
7/8

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
8/8

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Racism and diversity have been topics at the forefront in sport in 2020 in light of the Black Lives Matter protests which erupted following the murder by police of George Floyd in America in May.

Formula 1 set up its ‘We Race As One’ initiative to tackle the issue, while Mercedes changed to a black livery to show its support for the message – with Lewis Hamilton the most vocal voice in motorsport pushing for change. MotoGP has been conspicuous in its lack of similar messaging this year.

Read Also:

As is traditional for Italian riders at their home events, Morbidelli was one of several to debut a special helmet design on Saturday which featured himself depicted as a character from the Spike Lee award-winning film Do the Right Thing – a movie that tackles racial tensions and violence in America.

Morbidelli – whose father is Italian and mother is Brazilian – also has the phrase ‘equality’ printed in numerous languages on the back of his helmet.

Explaining his new helmet design, he said: “When I decided to make the special helmet for this event, I wanted to deal with a big matter and a big topic, which is racism. But I wanted to also hug the whole 2020 year, because this 2020 started in a really bad way and many, many not likeable things happened in the world in 2020.

“We are trying to put up a show for the audience and we are trying to make the audience feel good. So, I wanted to treat the topic with some lightness, not being heavy.

“And there is a Spike Lee movie that treats this matter in a great, it’s called Do the Right Thing. There is the character that at one point in the movie just says ‘stop all the BS’, stop hating each other, and he calls it ‘time out’. So I wanted to put myself in his clothes and stamp myself on the helmet.

“And also, I wanted to send an equality message [on the back] in different languages because I think it’s one of the most important things to remember. I think it’s important to remember that we are all the same. The coronavirus reminded us this in a bad way, but we need to remember it also for the good days. So, I think it was the best message to send and in the lightest way possible.”

Morbidelli will start Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix from second on the grid between poleman Maverick Vinales and SRT team-mate Fabio Quartararo. 

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

Misano poleman Vinales ‘doesn’t care’ about race result
Previous article

Misano poleman Vinales ‘doesn’t care’ about race result

Next article

Will introducing radios change the ‘DNA’ of MotoGP?

Will introducing radios change the ‘DNA’ of MotoGP?
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve Prime

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021