Alvaro Bautista has revealed a special helmet design which he will wear for the rest of this weekend's United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. The one-off design, produced by Troy Lee Designs, sees Bautista show his support for the people of Japan following the tragedy there earlier this year.
The paint-scheme has been created by Japanese designer Maki Ushiroyama and features the flags of all 14 nations hosting a Grand Prix on the MotoGP calendar, with pride of place going to the Japanese 'NisshÅki' or 'Hinomaru' – as it is more commonly known – on the top of the helmet.
The colours of all nations is to represent the global support for Japan following the tragedy in March and an added message in Japanese translates as 'Ganbare Nippon', which literally means 'Cheer up Japan, do your best and don’t give up!'
Bautista will also use the helmet during the Indianapolis Grand Prix next month after which the helmet will be auctioned to raise funds in support of a Japanese charity. The full details of the auction will be released after that race.
Maki Ushiroyama, Creative Director of Troy Lee Designs, has spoken of his pride at the finished design and is elated with the response it has received.
“As a Japanese person, and because we have many Japanese staff at Troy Lee, it was a great honour to do this design for Ãlvaro to wear at Laguna in support of Japan. I really wanted to help my homeland and this is a great way to do it. I wanted to create something very cool that Ãlvaro would like and also very tasteful to support all the people that were affected by this tragedy. I think we have succeeded in that because Ãlvaro loves the design and I'm really pleased his reaction has been so positive! The graphic shows that all the 14 countries visited by MotoGP are supporting Japan, and I guess I can call the big red circle on top the heart of Japan!”
“On one side is the American flag to represent the heart of Troy Lee Designs, the Laguna Seca Circuit and US Suzuki. On the front is the Spanish flag for Ãlvaro’s heart and along the back the UK flag is there to represent the crew's heart. Along with the team, TLD looks forward to auctioning this absolutely one-off helmet and aiding a charity back in Japan to help the people that need it most.”