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Rossi: Better or worse with special livery?

8 October 2009

Valentino Rossi's latest ride in a special livery ended with a fourth place finish in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.

Since joining the premier-class in 2000 Rossi has raced with a special livery on his motorcycle eight times - twice with Honda, and then six times with Yamaha - and achieved the following race results:

2001 Italian GP (Mugello) - Hawaiian livery - DNF
2003 Valencian GP (Valencia) - Austin Powers livery - 1st
2005 US GP (Laguna Seca) - Yamaha 50th anniversary (yellow/black) - 3rd
2005 Valencian GP (Valencia) - Yamaha 50th anniversary (white/red) - 3rd
2007 Dutch TT (Assen) - Fiat 500 - 1st
2007 Australian GP (Phillip Island) - Fiat Abarth - 3rd
2008 Catalan GP (Catalunya) - Italian World Cup colours - 2nd
2009 Portuguese GP (Estoril) - Fiat Punto Evo - 4th
Total: 8 (races) 2 (wins) 6 (podiums)

That means Rossi has a special livery win rate of 25% and podium rate of 75%.

So has Rossi done better or worse when racing in special colours?

Taking those eight events out of his premier-class career, Rossi's win rate in normal colours is almost double at 48%, although his podium rate is a near identical 76 %.

With team-mate Jorge Lorenzo now within 18 points of Rossi, it might be best for the Italian to stick with normal colours until the title is decided.

After crashing out at Mugello 2001, a superstitious Rossi has avoided using a special livery for his home round since, opting instead for a special helmet design.

See below for a picture of each of the special liveries – which do you think is best?


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