It’s well known that Valentino Rossi does not offer up his own riding gear often or very easily. When one has reached near Beatle-level mainstream popularity every facet of his life can be commercialized or simply sold outright. For a while there was a eBay store featuring items from Valentino’s garbage can. As is his right, by the time 2002 rolled around, Rossi had stopped giving away gear, and learned to spot female fans who were looking like they wanted to tear out a handful of his hair.
Thus it says a great deal that when Rossi learned that champion dirt track racer Brad Baker was seriously injured in a race crash at the X-Games last summer, Rossi offered to help.
Being seriously injured and needing long-term rehabilitation can drive an American into bankruptcy. Bills pile up like waves from just the out of pocket aspect of needing specialized transportation, lodging for family while you’re hospitalized and having family members stop working so they can help with care of an injured rider.
Rossi was good enough to give Baker one of his race lids with the understanding it would be sold to help Baker with his medical care. $10,000 is a big dose of help, of which Baker is very grateful.