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.
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.