Who is the most popular MotoGP racer – the most popularmotorcycle racer in the world? Valentino Rossi.
Rider: Valentino Rossi
Nickname: The Doctor, Rossifumi, Valentinik, King of Mugello
Born: February 16, 1979 in Urbino, Italy Nationality: Italian
Team: Yamaha Factory Racing
Machine:Yamaha YZR-M1 (#46)
Valentino Rossi is a legend in Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Fans around the globe cheer for the charismatic Italian and he responds with flamboyant post-race celebrations and a riding style that always attracts attention. The Doctor became a Champion of all three GP series, 125, 250, as well as the final year of classic 500cc racing. Rossi joined Mike Hailwood and Phil Read as the only men to have accomplished this task.
Valentino has been going by the motto of “one year to learn, one year to win” throughout his GP career. Rossi began racing GP in the 125 class in 1996. The following year he became the youngest ever GP champion at age 16, winning 11 rounds along the way. He was moved up to the 250 class in 1998 where he finished second with five wins. In 1999 he once again become a champion (the youngest 250 champ to date), dominating the series with nine victories. Next up: 500GP aboard the venerable Honda NSR. In 2000 young Rossi finished behind Kenny Roberts Jr. and returned in 2001 with a mission: to become a 500 GP champion. He did just that. After a year-long battle with rival, Max Biaggi, he wrapped up the championship with 11 victories and established himself as one of the greatest GP racers of all time.
Honda signed Rossi to move up to the 500cc class and he didn’t dissapoint as he delivered four championships for the brand.
After his first title in the premier class, Rossi rattled off four more with five straight wins from 2001-2005. During that five-year span, The Doctor’s position as GP champion was challenged but never bested by his lead rivals: Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau. Rossi also made an unexpected move during that timespan, switching from the long dominant Honda to Yamaha, which he promptly developed into a title-winning machine.
The most dominating rider in the modern era, the unthinkable happened when Rossi lost his title to Nicky Hayden in 2006. Rossi’s failure came when he crashed during the season finale at Valencia, losing his points lead to Hayden. Sporting the Excalibur motif on his 2007 preseason factory Yamaha, the unspoken message from Rossi was loud and clear: The once and future king is dead set on recovering his crown. The Doctor fell short in 2007, however, losing his supremacy to Ducati’s Casey Stoner and finishing the season third in the championship.
In 2010 Rossi suffered a broken
leg which eradicated his hopes
of winning the MotoGP title for
the third year in a row.
In 2008 Rossi took Fiat Yamaha and switched to Bridgestone rubber, the same slicks as Stoner. The result was a return to form and a dominating season from Rossi, with another MotoGP crown. The following year Rossi repeated the feat, scoring yet another world title. The Doctor had to work for it, however, with his greatest competition coming from across the garage in teammate, Jorge Lorenzo.
2010 proved a difficult year for Rossi. While Lorenzo was on a powerful winning streak, Rossi suffered a broken leg during a practice crash at Mugello. The incident left The Doctor on the injured list for multiple rounds, and when he returned Lorenzo had a sizeable lead in the championship. Rossi eventually finished third in the ’10 season behind Lorenzo and Stoner.
In a much anticipated move Rossi severed his long relationship with Yamaha to sign with Ducati for 2011, and there the Italian will seek his eighth MotoGP title.
Rossi’s stint with the Italian manufacturer didn’t live up to expectations. In 2011 the Doctor only made the podium once, scoring a third-place finish at Le Mans. He finished inside the top-10 through the majority of the rounds, but struggled throughout the season to find a set-up that worked for
2011 saw Rossi move to Ducati to turn the Italian brand back in to a title contender. Plans fell short with Vale getting only three podiums in two years.
him. He managed to take seventh in the championship, tied mathematically with the late Marco Simoncelli.
The 2012 season wasn’t much better for Rossi, except that he was able to take two podiums during the season, one again at Le Mans and the other at Misano. In both cases The Doctor finished in second-place and by the end of the season he’d moved into sixth overall. Right to end of the 2012 campaign Rossi worked to find a bike configuration that would solve the power delivery and grip issues on the Desmosedici, but to no avail. Rumors swirled mid-season that he would end his contract with Ducati at the end of 2012, and by August of that year the rumors had been confirmed. Rossi signed to ride with his former team, Yamaha Factory Racing, once again alongside Jorge Lorenzo.
Rossi’s move back to Yamaha paid off in the first race of the 2013 season at Qatar, where he finished in second-place. After that, however, the Doctor struggled to keep pace with the front-runners earning a string of results ranging from fourth at Jerez to a 12th at Le Mans. The Yamaha ace broke through in Round 7 at Assen though, making his way to the top-step for the first time
The Doctor gave his loyal fans the show they’ve been waiting over two years for, earning the win at Assen.
since 2010. He followed that up with two third-place results in as many races and then maintained results within the top-six through the remainder of the season. In total Rossi earned six podiums and finished fourth in the series.
In the days leading up to the finale at Valencia, Rossi announced he would break ties with long-time Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess. Rossi hired on Silvano Galbusera as his new Crew Chief for 2014 and explained his decision, which came as a surprise to many, as an effort to reinvigorate his race program with “something different.”
Rossi remains with Yamaha with teammate Jorge Lorenzo in 2014.
2013 – 4th MotoGP – Yamaha
2012 - 6th MotoGP – Ducati
2011 – 7th MotoGP – Ducati
2010 – 3rd MotoGP – Yamaha
2009 – 1st MotoGP – Yamaha
2008 – 1st MotoGP – Yamaha
2007 – 3rd MotoGP – Yamaha
2006 – 2nd MotoGP – Yamaha
2005 – 1st MotoGP – Yamaha
2004 – 1st MotoGP – Yamaha
2003 – 1st MotoGP – Honda
2002 – 1st MotoGP – Honda
2001 – 1st 500 MotoGP – Honda
2001 – 1st 8 Hours of Suzuka – Honda
2000 – 2nd 500 MotoGP – Honda
1999 – 1st 250 MotoGP – Aprilia
1998 – 2nd 250 MotoGP – Aprilia
1997 – 1st 125 MotoGP – Aprilia
1996 – 9th 125 MotoGP – Aprilia
1995 – 3rd European 250 Series – Sandroni
1995 – 1st Italian 125 Sports Production – Sandroni
1994 – 1st Italian 125 Sports Production – Sandroni
Latest Valentino Rossi News
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- Valentino Rossi’s Whirlwind Day in Brazil
- Galbusera to be Rossi’s Crew Chief in 2014
- STM: How Long is Rossi for MotoGP?
- Rossi Carjacks Kyle Busch’s NASCAR Camry
- Rossi Brings Touch of MotoGP Magic to Brazil
- Exclusive Video of Rossi in 2012 Monza Rally
- Rossi’s Ducati Farewell Suitably Disappointing
- Rossi & Hayden on Preziosi’s Future
- Valentino Rossi Critical of Marc Marquez
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