Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi 2007 Oct.jpg
Rossi in 2007
Nationality Italian
Date of birth 2/16/1976
Place of birth Urbino, Italy
Website valentinorossi.com
MotoGP Record
Current team Fiat Yamaha Team
Bike number 46
Championships 9
125cc – 1997
250cc – 1999
500cc – 2001
MotoGP – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009
Race starts 230
Wins 104
Podium finishes 167
Pole positions 59
Fastest laps 83
Points 4087
2009 championship position 1st (306 pts)

Valentino Rossi, (born February 16, 1979 in Urbino),[1] is an Italian professional motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion. He is one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, with 9 Grand Prix World Championships to his name.

Following his father, Graziano Rossi, Rossi started racing in Grand Prix in 1996 for Aprilia in the 125cc category and won his first World Championship the following year. From there, he moved up to the 250cc category with Aprilia and won the 250cc World Championship in 1999. He won the 500cc World Championship with Honda in 2001, the MotoGP World Championships (also with Honda) in 2002 and 2003, and continued his streak of back-to-back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 titles after leaving Honda to join Yamaha, before regaining the title in 2008 and retaining it in 2009.[2]

Rossi is first in all time 500 cc/MotoGP race wins standings, with 78 victories, and second in all time overall wins standings with 104 race wins (behind Giacomo Agostini with 122).

The early years[edit]

Valentino Rossi was born in Urbino, and he was still a child when the family moved to Tavullia. Son of Graziano Rossi, a former motorcycle racer, he first began riding at a very young age.[3] Rossi's first racing love was go-karts. Fuelled by his mother, Stefania's, concern for her son's safety, Graziano purchased a go-kart as substitute for the bike. However, the Rossi family trait of perpetually wanting to go faster prompted a redesign; Graziano replaced the 60cc motor with a 100cc national kart motor for his then 5-year-old son.[4]

Rossi won the regional kart championship in 1990.[5] After this he took up minimoto and before the end of 1991 had won numerous regional races.[3]

Rossi continued to race karts and finished fifth at the national kart championships in Parma. Both Valentino and Graziano had started looking at moving into the Italian 100cc series, as well as the corresponding European series, which most likely would have pushed him into the direction of Formula One. However, the high cost of racing karts led to the decision to race minimoto exclusively. Through 1992 and 1993, Valentino continued to learn the ins and outs of minimoto racing.

In 1993, with help from his father, Virginio Ferrari, Claudio Castiglioni and Claudio Lusuardi (who ran the official Cagiva Sport Production team), he rode a Cagiva Mito 125cc motorcycle, which he damaged in a first-corner crash no more than a hundred meters from the pit lane.[6] He finished ninth that race weekend.[6]

Although his first season in the Italian Sport Production Championship was varied, he achieved a pole position in the season's final race at Misano, where he would ultimately finish on the podium. By the second year, Rossi had been provided with a factory Mito by Lusuardi and won the Italian title.

125cc, 250 cc and 500 cc World Championships[edit]

In 1994, Aprilia by way of Sandroni, used Rossi to improve its RS125R and in turn allowed him to learn how to handle the fast new pace of 125cc racing. At first he found himself on a Sandroni in the 1994 Italian championship and continued to ride it through the 1995 European and Italian championships.

Rossi had some success in the 1996 World Championship season, failing to finish five of the season's races and crashing several times. Despite this, in August he won his first World Championship Grand Prix at Brno in the Czech Republic on an AGV Aprilia RS125R. He finished the season in ninth position and proceeded to dominate the 125cc World Championship in the following 1997 season, winning 11 of the 15 races.

By 1998, the Aprilia RS250 was reaching its pinnacle and had a team of riders in Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi and Tetsuya Harada. The death of two of his friends in a car accident also took a toll. He later concluded the 1998 250cc season in second place, only three points behind Capirossi. In 1999, however, he won the title, collecting 5 pole positions and 9 wins.

Rossi was rewarded in 2000 for his 250cc World Championship by being given a ride with Honda in what was then the ultimate class in World Championship motorcycle racing, 500cc. Jeremy Burgess had shown him the NSR500 and was convinced that the pairing of it with Rossi would bring nothing but success. Retired 500cc World Champion Michael Doohan, who also had Jeremy Burgess as chief engineer, worked with Rossi as his personal mentor in his first year at Honda. It would also be the first time Rossi would be racing against Max Biaggi, another Italian to whom he was often compared by the racing press. It would take nine races before Rossi would win on the Honda but, like his previous seasons in 125 and 250, it bode well for a stronger second season as he finished second to American Kenny Roberts, Jr..

Rossi won his first 500cc World Championship in 2001 (winning 11 races) in the final year of that class. In the following year, 500cc two-strokes were still allowed, but 2002 saw the beginning of the 990cc four-stroke Moto GP class, after which the 500cc machines were essentially obsolete. In 2001 Rossi teamed up with American rider Colin Edwards for the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race aboard a Honda VTR1000SPW. The pair won the race despite Rossi's lack of experience racing superbikes.

MotoGP: Honda[edit]

Rossi riding his Honda RC211V MotoGP bike

The inaugural year for the MotoGP bikes was 2002, when riders experienced teething problems getting used to the new bikes. Rossi won the first race and went on to win eight of the first nine races of the season, eventually claiming 11 victories in total.

It was more of the same in 2003 for Rossi's rivals when he claimed nine pole positions as well as nine GP wins to claim his third consecutive World Championship. The Australian GP at Phillip Island in 2003 is considered by many observers to be one of Rossi's greatest career moments due to unique circumstances. After being given a 10-second penalty for overtaking during a yellow flag due to a crash by Ducati rider Troy Bayliss, front runner Rossi proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field, eventually finishing more than 15 seconds ahead, more than enough to cancel out the penalty and win the race.

From Honda to Yamaha[edit]

There was much speculation during the second half of the 2003 season about Rossi's plans for the future. Some people suspected that he would succeed in his bid to claim a third consecutive title and wondered where he would go in the future. His contract with Honda was up at the end of the year and there were rumors that Rossi had become somewhat disillusioned with his ride at Honda. His tenure at Honda had effectively run its course; he had provided Honda with a 500 cc World Championship as well as consecutive MotoGP World Championships.

Partnered with increased scepticism that the reason for his success was the dominance of the RC211V rather than Rossi, it was inevitable that Honda and Rossi would part. Mid-season rumors pointed towards a possible move to Ducati, which sent the Italian press into a frenzy; the concept of the great Italian on the great Italian bike seemed too good to be true. Ducati did indeed try to seduce Rossi into riding their MotoGP bike, the Desmosedici, but for numerous reasons Rossi passed the offer up. Critics say that compared to the other manufacturers, Ducati had a significant way to go before being competitive even with Rossi at the helm. This proved to be the truth with Ducati's lackluster performance in the 2004 season, which had actually been worse than their inaugural year in MotoGP in 2003.

In his 2005 autobiography, "What If I'd Never Tried It?", Rossi offers another reason for choosing Yamaha over Ducati, saying that the mindset at Ducati Corse was a little too similar to the one he was trying to escape from at Honda.

Ultimately, Rossi signed a two-year contract with rivals Yamaha reportedly worth in excess of (U.S) $12 million; a price no other manufacturer, even Honda, was willing to pay.

MotoGP: Yamaha[edit]

Some commentators claimed that on an inferior machine (the Yamaha YZR-M1), Rossi would not be able to recreate his World Championship wins of the previous years, especially with increased development of the RC211V and the likes of Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau on Hondas. The RC211V was a superior machine in almost every aspect although it was expected that the gap would shrink with the defection of Rossi and Jeremy Burgess (chief mechanic for Rossi at Honda, whom Rossi had also convinced to join).

With the traditional first race of the season at Suzuka off the list due to safety considerations, the 2004 season started at Welkom in South Africa. Rossi won the race, becoming the only rider to win consecutive races with different manufacturers, having won the final race of the previous season on the Honda. Rossi would go on to win eight more GPs in the season, primarily battling Sete Gibernau, with Rossi clinching the championship at the penultimate race of the season at Phillip Island. Rossi ended the season with 304 points to Gibernau's 257, with Max Biaggi 3rd with 217 points.

In 2005 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season, Rossi captured his 7th World Championship and 5th straight MotoGP Championship. He finished with a total of 367 points, 147 points ahead of 2nd place finisher Marco Melandri (220 points), and Nicky Hayden finishing 3rd with 206 points.

The 2006 MotoGP season started off with Rossi, once again, being the favorite to take the Championship, but he had trouble in the first half of the season. Hayden held the points lead throughout most of the season, but Rossi was slowly working his way up the points ladder. It wasn't until Motegi when Rossi finally grabbed 2nd in the points race behind Hayden. In the Portuguese Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season, Hayden was taken out by his teammate, Dani Pedrosa, and did not finish the race. This led to Rossi taking the points lead with only one race left in the season. However, Rossi crashed early in Valencia, the last race, and Hayden went on to win the 2006 MotoGP Championship. Rossi finished the season in 2nd place.

Rossi returned to MotoGP for the 2007 season riding the new Yamaha YZR-M1 800 cc. In the first race in Qatar he came second to Casey Stoner on the Ducati Desmosedici. In the second round of the season Rossi won the second race of the season in Spain, and would win 3 more races that season. Stoner dominated the season, winning 10 races to take his first title, 125 points clear of second place Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa’s win in the last race at Valencia combined with Rossi’s retirement meant that he beat Rossi into third place by a single point. This was Rossi’s lowest championship position since his first season in 1996 in 125s.

For 2008 Rossi changed to Bridgestone tires. The season started slowly with a fifth place finish in Qatar, but he took his first win in Shanghai, and also won the next two races. From that race, Rossi was on the podium of every remaining race (except the Dutch round at Assen, where he crashed on the first lap and finished 11th), winning a total of nine races in the season. His victories at Laguna Seca (after a pass down the “Corkscrew” corner over Stoner,[7][8][9] who crashed but continued and took the second place) and at a rain-shortened race in Indianapolis, meant that Rossi has won in every current circuit in the calendar. His win in Motegi was his first victory there on a MotoGP bike. The victory at Motegi won Rossi his first 800cc MotoGP title, his sixth in premier category, and eighth overall.

On June 8, 2009, Valentino Rossi rode a Yamaha around the famous Isle of Man TT Course in an exhibition lap along-side fellow Italian motorcycle legend Giacomo Agostini, in what was called 'The Lap of the Gods'.[10]

The 2009 season saw Rossi win 6 races to win his 9th championship title, beating his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo into second place by 45 points. 6 wins was the lowest number of wins Rossi has had in a championship winning season; the previous lowest was 9 in 1999 in the 250 cc class and 2003, 2004 and 2008 in MotoGP.

His victory at the 2009 Dutch TT in Assen was Rossi's 100th victory, becoming only the second rider in motorcycle grand prix history to reach 100 wins.[11]

On 5 June 2010 at Rossi's home GP at Mugello, Rossi crashed in the second free practice session, around the Biondetti corner, at around 120mpg. Rossi suffered a displaced compound fracture of his right tibia, and is likely to be out for most of the season.[12][13] It was the first time that Rossi had missed a race in his Grand Prix career.[14] On 7 July, Rossi rode at Misano on a Superbike World Championship-specification Yamaha YZF-R1 provided by the Yamaha World Superbike Team to test his leg's recovery.[15][16]

Competition[edit]

Earlier in his career Max Biaggi was considered Rossi's main rival. At one time his website didn't even have Max's name; instead a glaring "XXX XXXXXX" was placed wherever his name should have appeared. Although they hadn't even raced against each other until 2000, the rivalry between the two had been growing since the mid-'90s. The rivalry died down as Rossi's consecutive World Championships and Biaggi's struggle to find support and a consistent rhythm with his races.

In his autobiography "What If I Had Never Tried It", Rossi makes a number of claims about the reasons for his rivalry with Biaggi, and some of the incidents which led to its escalation. The rivalry was also featured in the 2003 documentary film, Faster.

Rossi's closest rival in the 2003 and 2004 seasons was Sete Gibernau, riding with Team Gresini's Movistar Honda team on a satellite RC211V in 2004 and then on an all but in name factory RC211V, which Gibernau helped to develop, in 2005. Initially they were quite friendly in the paddock and off – Gibernau partied on occasions with Rossi at the Italian's Ibiza villa – but a souring in their relationship began in the 2004 season and culminated in the "Qatar Incident" that same season when Rossi's team was penalized for "cleaning" his grid position to aid in traction, along with Honda Pons' Max Biaggi, and both riders were subsequently forced to start from the back of the grid. A number of teams, including Gibernau's Team Gresini and the official Repsol Honda factory team, appealed successfully to race direction for Rossi to be sanctioned. Rossi and his chief mechanic, Jeremy Burgess, insisted that they were doing nothing more than what many others had done before when faced with a dirty track

Since then the two have not spoken and Rossi seemed to resolve to use the incident to apply psychological pressure on Gibernau. He is said to have sworn that after the Qatar race, which Gibernau won while Rossi crashed out after rising to 6th position, he would do everything to make sure that Gibernau never stood on the highest step of the podium again. Gibernau retired from Grand Prix racing after an unsuccessful, injury blighted 2006 season with Ducati and he never won another race after Qatar, prompting some in the Spanish and Italian motorcycle racing media to explain this fact by way of reference to the "Qatar curse." But he returned at the end of 2008, after tests on the 2008 Ducati convinced him that he could still be competitive in MotoGP, and signed to ride a Ducati in 2009.

In 2007, Casey Stoner emerged as a rival for Rossi. Coupled with a Ducati, the young Australian won the first race of the year, followed by many more victories resulting in his claiming of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship title. Stoner's and Rossi's rivalry came to a dramatic climax at Laguna Seca in 2008. After numerous position changes, Rossi overtook Stoner down the corkscrew. The bold move caused Rossi to run wide into the gravel, and his rejoining the track came close to causing a collision between the two riders. A few laps later Stoner went into the gravel on the slow entry into turn 11, yet picked up the bike to finish second while Rossi took the win. After this, Casey Stoner made the comment 'I have lost respect for one of the greatest riders in history'. For the comment, Stoner apologised to Rossi at the next race.[17]

Nicknames[edit]

Valentino Rossi has had numerous nicknames during his racing career. His first prominent nickname was "Rossifumi." Rossi explained the etymology of this nickname as a reference and tribute to fellow rider Norifumi Abe.

His next nickname appeared some time around his days racing in the 250 cc World Championship. The nickname "Valentinik" was a reference to the Italian Donald Duck superhero, "Paperinik".

Since his dominance in 500 cc and MotoGP, Rossi has used the nickname "The Doctor." This has been attributed to his "cold and clinical dismantling of his opponents" as well as his cool and calm composure in racing compared to his frenetic days in 125 cc and 250 cc where his performance was erratic and dangerous, resulting in numerous crashes. Two theories prevail as to why Rossi is entitled to "The Doctor." One is that Rossi adopted the nickname upon having earned a degree, which in Italy entitles one to use the title "Doctor". Another, as spoken by Graziano himself, "The Doctor because, I don't think there is a particular reason, but it's beautiful, and is important, The Doctor. And in Italy, The Doctor is a name you give to someone for respect, it's very important, The Doctor... important". Although Valentino often jokes that the name arrived because in Italy, Rossi is a common surname for Doctors. These days Rossi rarely crashes and in fact holds the record for the longest streak of consecutive podiums. From September 8, 2002 to April 18, 2004, he stood on the podium at the end of all 23 races including every race in 2003.

He has always raced with the number #46 in his motorcycle grand prix career. Rossi has stated that the original inspiration for this choice of number was the Japanese "wild card" racer Norifumi Abe whom he saw on television speeding past much more seasoned riders in a wet race. He later found out that it was the number his father had raced with in the first of his 3 grand prix career wins, in 1979, in Yugoslavia, on a 250c Morbidelli. Typically, a World Championship winner (and also runner-up and third place) is awarded the #1 sticker for the next season. However, in a homage to Barry Sheene (who was the first rider of the modern era to keep the same number, #7), Rossi has stayed with the now-famous #46 throughout his career. The text on his helmet refers to the name of his group of friends: "The Tribe of the Chihuahua," and the letters WLF on his leathers stand for "Viva La Figa," Italian for "Long Live Pussy." He has so far escaped any sanctions or ultimatums that he remove the letters because the "W" in "WLF" represents the two "V"s in "ViVa". Equally obvious is his success at escaping any disciplinary action from the FIM or Dorna for having the letters so brazenly on the front neck area of his leathers. He traditionally also incorporates his favorite color (fluorescent yellow) into his leather designs. Though Rossi won the MotoGP title seven times he never put the number 1 on his motorcycle representing the World Champion, instead staying with his famous "46". But Rossi has worn the #1 reserved for the reigning World Champion on the shoulder of his racing leathers.

Fellow motorcycle racer and former team mate Colin Edwards, as well as some TV journalists have often referred to him as 'the GOAT' (Greatest of all Time). Colin Edwards says this in the film 'Faster'.

Post MotoGP plans[edit]

Rossi tested the Ferrari Formula 1 car in 2006 on January 31, February 1, and February 2 at Valencia. The first test saw Rossi spin out on the damp track into the gravel trap, ending his day. On the second day, he posted the ninth fastest time of fifteen drivers, approximately one second behind Michael Schumacher, who himself was third fastest. Rossi lapped faster than seasoned drivers Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber and David Coulthard and Toyota F1's Jarno Trulli.[18] On the final day of testing, Rossi was just a little more than a half second behind Schumacher's best time.[19] Schumacher hailed Rossi as having immense talent and said he would be perfectly capable of moving to Formula One and being competitive immediately.

On May 24, 2006, Rossi announced that he would be staying in MotoGP until he felt his work on the motorbike was "finished." Ferrari driver Schumacher said that he felt "saddened" by Rossi's decision but supported it. Rossi subsequently signed a new contract with Yamaha for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, then for 2009 and 2010.

Beyond his interest in F1, Rossi's strong passion is for rallying. In Rossi's youth one of his heroes was WRC Champion Colin McRae. Rally legend McRae taught Rossi the basics of driving a rally car.[20] The two competed against each other at Monza in 2005, with McRae driving a Skoda Fabia WRC and Rossi winning in a Subaru Impreza WRC.[21] His first official foray into rallying came in 2002 at WRC Rally Great Britain, in which he crashed out on the second stage (first non-superspecial stage).

On October 11, 2006 it was announced that Rossi would enter that year's Rally New Zealand, a WRC event which was to run from November 17–19.[22] He competed in a Subaru WRC car finishing 11th out of 39. On November 26, 2006 Rossi also won the annual Monza Rally driving a Ford Focus WRC car. He beat the 2005 rally victor Rinaldo Capello by 24 seconds, winning five of the seven stages on his way. He also managed to outpace former WRC Champion Didier Auriol by seven seconds in the head-to-head Master Show final. Rossi also announced at the 2006 Monza rally, that he would be entering the 2007 Rally of Great Britain, however, he later opted out. At the 2007 Monza Rally, Rossi again took first place.

Rossi had been linked with a move to both Formula One and the World Rally Championship in 2007, having tested for Ferrari and competed in a number of rally events.[23]

But Rossi decided to remain in Moto-GP; "I have a contract with Yamaha until 2008," said Rossi. "When that finishes then we will see. What I am sure about is that I will ride until I'm 31 or 32 at most. I will look for new stimuli in the next few seasons, but for now I am fully motivated".[24] Rossi signed a new two year contract confirming he will be at Yamaha until 2010.[25] He originally planned to use the Impreza WRC2008 during his participation in the Rally GB in December 2008,[26] but decided to drive a Ford Focus WRC instead.[27] He finished the rally in 12th place, 13 minutes and 20.4 seconds behind eventual winner Sebastian Loeb.[28]

In January 2010, Rossi said that when he retired from motorcycle racing, he hoped to move into rallying. "There are not many changes in a man's body between 22 and 34 so I still have some time left. I would consider shifting to cars, probably rallying, after that before I finally decide to take it easy … I know F1 would've been easier but by the time I finish MotoGP, I will be too old for F1."[29] Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari's Formula One Team principal, however, reasserted his wish to have a third Ferrari on the F1 grid driven by Rossi, whilst confirming that Rossi would test an older Ferrari F1 car on 21 and 22 January 2010.[30]

In March 2010, the Italian minister Franco Frattini government awarded Rossi the first Winning Italy Award for the image he portrays of his country on an international level.[31]

Equipment and superstitions[edit]

Helmets[edit]

Valentino Rossi has gone through numerous helmet designs throughout his career, most featuring the Sun & Moon motif, signifying (according to Rossi) the two sides of his personality. The artist of Rossi's current helmet graphics is Aldo Drudi.[32]

Superstitions[edit]

Valentino Rossi is a very superstitious person and his pre-ride rituals are well known. On a race day, he will always watch the beginning of the 125cc race to see how long the starting lights remain lit before going out at the start of the race. Prior to riding (whether racing, qualifying, or practice), he will start his personal ritual by stopping about 2 metres from his bike, bending over and reaching for his boots (thus the 2004 TV spoiler "Are you ready boots?"). Then, when arriving at his bike, he will crouch down and hold the right-side foot-peg, with his head bowed. In an interview, Rossi said "It’s just a moment to focus and ‘talk’ to my bike, like moving from one place to the next."[33] He adjusts the fit of his leathers by standing straight up on the foot-pegs, whilst riding the pit-lane before the start of race or practice. He also revealed in an interview with MotoGP.com that he always puts one boot on before the other, one glove on before the other, and he always gets on the bike the same way. He also gets off the bike in the same way, swinging his right leg over the front of the bike.

Personal life[edit]

Reputed earnings[edit]

According to Sports Illustrated, Rossi is one of the highest earning sports personalities in the world, having earned an estimated $34 million in 2007.[34] In 2009 Forbes ranked Rossi as number nine among the world's highest-paid athletes having earned an estimated $35 million in the past year.[35]

Tax avoidance case[edit]

In 2007, the Italian tax authorities declared Rossi was being investigated for suspected tax evasion. Having previously unsuccessfully investigated Rossi for tax evasion in 2002, the authorities announced they were investigating Rossi for undeclared revenues of 112 million euros ($160 million) between 2000 to 2004. The officials said, against the European Taxes Agreements among European countries, Rossi's London residency has enabled him to take advantage of favourable tax conditions, such as only declaring earnings made in Britain and avoiding taxes on his lucrative merchandising and sponsorship contracts, commenting that Rossi had: "residency in London but is not domiciled there." It noted that in 2002, Rossi's Italian tax form declared earnings of 500 euros, while sponsorship contracts were all reported to be made out to foreign companies, but with his affairs controlled mainly from Italy.[36] In February 2008, Rossi announced that he had reached a settlement with the Italian tax authorities: he paid 35 million Euros to close the tax case.

Other hobbies[edit]

Beyond tax scandals, Rossi tries to keep his personal life out of the public eye as much as possible, though he makes no secret of his fondness for Italian football club Inter Milan. After winning his ninth World title in October 2009, Inter Milan congratulated Rossi on their official website.[37]

Household Pets[edit]

Rossi's famous pet dog was Guido,[38] a British bulldog which he has had since 2000. As Rossi frequently travels the world Guido could not stay in London and was living with Rossi's mother in Tavullia. Rossi could only see the dog while visiting her. Guido, whose image has been a mascot on Rossi’s bikes and helmets, died after the 2008 Australian GP and to pay tribute to him, the new World Champion designed a special sticker made up of Guido sporting a pair of angel wings and floating on celestial clouds. Guido has made some other appearances on Rossi's bike. When lagging 32 points in the 2006 championship, Guido was dressed with an Inuit suit. Guido was also wearing a prisoner suit during the pre season tests.

Guido's death has garnered so much attention that it was mentioned in Italy's top-selling sports newspaper the Gazzetta dello Sport. Since Guido's death, Rossi now has two new dogs (one male and one female), the new dogs are named Cesare and Cecilia. During the Misano GP in 2009, right after Rossi's mistake during Indianapolis, the two dogs were wearing donkey ears on Valentino's helmet.

Career statistics[edit]

By season[edit]

Season Class Bike Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
1996 125cc Aprilia RS125 Scuderia AGV Aprilia 15 1 2 1 2 111 9th 0
1997 Aprilia RS125 Nastro Azzurro Aprilia 15 11 13 4 7 321 1st 1
1998 250cc Aprilia RS250 Nastro Azzurro Aprilia 14 5 9 0 3 201 2nd 0
1999 Aprilia RS250 Aprilia Grand Prix Racing 16 9 12 5 8 309 1st 1
2000 500cc Honda NSR500 Nastro Azzurro Honda 16 2 10 0 5 209 2nd 0
2001 Honda NSR500 Nastro Azzurro Honda 16 11 13 4 10 325 1st 1
2002 MotoGP Honda RC211V Repsol Honda 16 11 15 7 9 355 1st 1
2003 Honda RC211V Repsol Honda 16 9 16 9 12 357 1st 1
2004 Yamaha YZR-M1 Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha 16 9 11 5 3 304 1st 1
2005 Yamaha YZR-M1 Gauloises Yamaha 17 11 16 5 6 367 1st 1
2006 Yamaha YZR-M1 Camel Yamaha 17 5 10 5 4 247 2nd 0
2007 Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha 18 4 8 4 3 241 3rd 0
2008 Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha 18 9 16 2 5 373 1st 1
2009 Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha 17 6 14 7 6 306 1st 1
2010 Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha 3 1 3 1 0 61* 7th* 0
Total 230 104 167 59 83 4087 9
  • * Season in progress.

By class[edit]

Class Seas 1st GP 1st Pod 1st Win Race Win Podiums Pole FLap Pts WChmp
125 cc 1996–1997 1996 Malaysia 1996 Austria 1996 Czech Rep. 30 12 15 5 9 432 1
250 cc 1998–1999 1998 Japan 1998 Spain 1998 Dutch 30 14 21 5 11 510 1
500 cc 2000–2001 2000 South Af. 2000 Spain 2000 British 32 13 23 4 15 534 1
MotoGP 2002–Present 2002 Japan 2002 Japan 2002 Japan 138 65 108 45 48 2611 6
Total 1996–Present 230 104 167 59 83 4087 9

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Yr Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Final Pos Pts
1996 125 cc Aprilia MAL
6
INA
11
JPN
11
SPA
4
ITA
4
FRA
Ret
NED
Ret
GER
5
GBR
Ret
AUT
3
CZE
1
IMO
5
CAT
Ret
BRA
Ret
AUS
14
9th 111
1997 125 cc Aprilia MAL
1
JPN
Ret
SPA
1
ITA
1
AUT
2
FRA
1
NED
1
IMO
1
GER
1
BRA
1
GBR
1
CZE
3
CAT
1
INA
1
AUS
6
1st 321
1998 250 cc Aprilia JPN
Ret
MAL
Ret
SPA
2
ITA
2
FRA
2
MAD
Ret
NED
1
GBR
Ret
GER
3
CZE
Ret
IMO
1
CAT
1
AUS
1
ARG
1
2nd 201
1999 250 cc Aprilia MAL
5
JPN
7
SPA
1
FRA
Ret
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
2
GBR
1
GER
1
CZE
1
IMO
2
VAL
8
AUS
1
RSA
1
BRA
1
ARG
3
1st 309
2000 500 cc Honda RSA
Ret
MAL
Ret
JPN
11
SPA
3
FRA
3
ITA
12
CAT
3
NED
6
GBR
1
GER
2
CZE
2
POR
3
VAL
Ret
BRA
1
PAC
2
AUS
3
2nd 209
2001 500 cc Honda JPN
1
RSA
1
SPA
1
FRA
3
ITA
Ret
CAT
1
NED
2
GBR
1
GER
7
CZE
1
POR
1
VAL
11
PAC
1
AUS
1
MAL
1
BRA
1
1st 325
2002 MotoGP Honda JPN
1
RSA
2
SPA
1
FRA
1
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
1
GBR
1
GER
1
CZE
Ret
POR
1
BRA
1
PAC
2
MAL
2
AUS
1
VAL
2
1st 355
2003 MotoGP Honda JPN
1
RSA
2
SPA
1
FRA
2
ITA
1
CAT
2
NED
3
GBR
3
GER
2
CZE
1
POR
1
BRA
1
PAC
2
MAL
1
AUS
1
VAL
1
1st 357
2004 MotoGP Yamaha RSA
1
SPA
4
FRA
4
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
1
BRA
Ret
GER
4
GBR
1
CZE
2
POR
1
JPN
2
QAT
Ret
MAL
1
AUS
1
VAL
1
1st 304
2005 MotoGP Yamaha SPA
1
POR
2
CHN
1
FRA
1
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
1
USA
3
GBR
1
GER
1
CZE
1
JPN
Ret
MAL
2
QAT
1
AUS
1
TUR
2
VAL
3
1st 367
2006 MotoGP Yamaha SPA
14
QAT
1
TUR
4
CHN
Ret
FRA
Ret
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
8
GBR
2
GER
1
USA
Ret
CZE
2
MAL
1
AUS
3
JPN
2
POR
2
VAL
13
2nd 247
2007 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
2
SPA
1
TUR
10
CHN
2
FRA
6
ITA
1
CAT
2
GBR
4
NED
1
GER
Ret
USA
4
CZE
7
SMR
Ret
POR
1
JPN
13
AUS
3
MAL
5
VAL
Ret
3rd 241
2008 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
5
SPA
2
POR
3
CHN
1
FRA
1
ITA
1
CAT
2
GBR
2
NED
11
GER
2
USA
1
CZE
1
SMR
1
IND
1
JPN
1
AUS
2
MAL
1
VAL
3
1st 373
2009 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
2
JPN
2
SPA
1
FRA
16
ITA
3
CAT
1
NED
1
USA
2
GER
1
GBR
5
CZE
1
IND
Ret
SMR
1
POR
4
AUS
2
MAL
3
VAL
2
1st 306
2010 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
1
SPA
3
FRA
2
ITA
DNS
GBR
NED
CAT
GER
USA
CZE
IND
SMR
ARA
JPN
MAL
AUS
POR
VAL
7th* 61*
  • * Season in progress.

Records[edit]

All records are correct as of April 16, 2010


500 cc/MotoGP records: Rossi is

  • First in all time race wins standings with 78 race wins.
  • First in all time podium standings with 129 podiums.
  • First in most podiums in a season with 16 podiums in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
  • First in most fastest laps in a season with 12 fastest laps in 2003.
  • First in most points in one season with 373 points in 2008.
  • First in consecutive podiums with 23 consecutive podiums, from the 2002 Portuguese GP to the 2004 South Africa GP.
  • Second in consecutive world championship wins with 5 consecutive world championships in 2001–2005 along with Michael Doohan with 5 consecutive world championships in 1994–1998, behind Giacomo Agostini with 7 consecutive world championships in 1966–1972.
  • Second in all time world championship wins with 7 world championships, behind Giacomo Agostini with 8 championships.
  • Second in all time pole positions standings with 48 pole positions, behind Michael Doohan with 58.
  • Second in all time race fastest laps standings with 63 race fastest laps, behind Giacomo Agostini with 69.
  • Second in most race wins in a season with 11 race wins in 2001, 2002 and 2005 along with Giacomo Agostini, behind Michael Doohan with 12 race wins in 1997.
  • Third in most pole positions in a season with 9 pole positions in 2003 along with Casey Stoner and Kevin Schwantz, behind Michael Doohan with 12 pole positions in 1997, Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer with 10 pole positions in 1987 and 1985 respectively.


250 cc records: Rossi is


125 cc records: Rossi is

  • First in most race wins in a season with 11 race wins in 1997.
  • Second in most podiums in a season with 13 podiums in 1997 along with Héctor Faubel in 2007, behind Álvaro Bautista with 14 podiums in 2006.


Overall records (MotoGP/500 cc/250 cc/125 cc): Rossi is

  • First in all time points with 4026 points, the only rider to achieve more than 4000 points in the history of the grand prix motorcycle racing.
  • First in all time podium standings with 164 podiums.
  • First in all time pole positions standings with 59 pole positions.
  • Second in all time race wins standings with 104 race wins, behind Giacomo Agostini with 122 race wins.
  • Second in all time fastest laps standings with 83 fastest laps, behind Giacomo Agostini with 117 fastest laps.
  • Third in all time world championship wins with 9 world championships along with Carlo Ubbiali and Mike Hailwood, behind Ángel Nieto with 13 world championships and Giacomo Agostini with 15 world championships.


Other records: Rossi is

  • the only rider to win world championships in five different engine capacities: 125 cc, 250 cc, 500 cc, 990 cc & 800 cc.
  • the only rider to win consecutive races with different manufacturers. He won the final race of 2003 with Honda at Valencia and the first race of 2004 with Yamaha at Welkom (South Africa).
  • the only rider to win championships with the 3 different engines used in the premier class, 500 cc two-stroke (2001), 990 cc four-stroke (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) and 800 cc four-stroke (2008, 2009).
  • the only rider to win seven consecutive races at his home Grand Prix at Mugello in 2002–2008.
  • the only rider to win three races after starting the race from 11th or lower on the grid (British GP 2001, German GP 2006 & Dutch TT 2007).
  • the only rider to win the premier-class championship on four different types of motorcycle: A Honda 500 cc four-cylinder two-stroke (2001), Honda 990 cc five-cylinder four-stroke (2002, 2003), Yamaha 990 cc four-cylinder four-stroke (2004, 2005) and a Yamaha 800 cc four-cylinder four-stroke (2008, 2009).
  • the only rider to win at least one race in 15 consecutive seasons.
  • the second rider to win consecutive world championships with different manufacturers (2001–2003 with Honda and 2004–2005 with Yamaha) along with Eddie Lawson (1988 with Yamaha and 1989 with Honda).
  • the second rider in history – after Giacomo Agostini – to regain the premier class championship after two successive defeats.
  • the second rider in history – after Giacomo Agostini – to won the premier class championships with both four-stroke and two-stroke machinery.
  • Yamaha's most successful rider in the premier class with 45 wins and 4 world championships (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009).
  • Aprilia's most successful rider in all classes with 26 wins (12 wins in 125 cc and 14 wins in 250 cc).
  • From all the active riders, he is Honda's most successful rider in all classes with 33 wins and 3 world championships (2001, 2002, 2003).

References[edit]

  1. Valentino Rossi. MotoGP. Retrieved on 2008-09-01.
  2. Cool Rossi crowned world champion, BBC.
  3. 3.0 3.1 MotoGP – Valentino Rossi. Yamaha Racing (1979-02-16). Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  4. Valentino Rossi – Early Years. Valentinorossi46.info. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  5. MotoGP – Valentino Rossi. Yamaha Racing (1979-02-16). Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rossi, pages 93–94
  7. "Rossi stops Stoner for first Laguna Seca victory", motogp.com, Dorna Sports, 2008-07-20. Retrieved on 2010-04-12.
  8. Birt, Matthew. "Casey Stoner upset with aggressive Valentino Rossi", Motorcycle News, Bauer Media Group, 2008-07-21. Retrieved on 2010-04-12.
  9. "Rossi edges Stoner at Laguna Seca", Motorcycle.com, Verticalscope Inc., 2008-07-21. Retrieved on 2010-04-12.
  10. Rossi falls in love with Isle of Man. Belfast Telegraph (2009-06-09).
  11. "Rossi earns 100th career victory", BBC Sport, BBC, 2009-06-28. Retrieved on 2009-06-29.
  12. "Valentino Rossi breaks leg at Italian MotoGP", BBC Sport, BBC, 2010-06-05. Retrieved on 2010-06-05.
  13. "Doctors tell Rossi he's out for six months", moto.gpupdate.net, GPUpdate, 2010-06-11. Retrieved on 2010-06-11.
  14. Toby Moody. "Rossi sidelined with shin bone fracture", autosport.com, Haymarket Publications, 2010-06-05. Retrieved on 2010-06-07.
  15. "Valentino Rossi poised for shock early MotoGP return", BBC Sport, BBC, 7 July 2010. Retrieved on 7 July 2010.
  16. "Valentino Rossi test ride in Misano today", MotoGP.com, Dorna Sports, 7 July 2010. Retrieved on 7 July 2010.
  17. Birt, Matthew. "Brno MotoGP: Stoner apologises to Rossi", Motorcycle News, Bauer Media Group, 2008-08-14. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  18. Soup :: Rossi Ninth In F1 Test Today; Feb 2006. Superbikeplanet.com (2006-02-01). Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  19. Soup :: Rossi Faster On Four Wheels. Superbikeplanet.com (2006-02-02). Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  20. Colin Steele McRae MBE. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.
  21. Rossi beats McRae in Monza Rally Showdown. MotoGP.com. Retrieved on 2008-08-28.
  22. Yahoo! UK & Ireland Eurosport – Sport News | Six Nations Rugby[dead link]
  23. WRC News: Rossi would consider Fiat WRC drive. autosport.com. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  24. German GP – Rossi to quit in 2010 – Yahoo! Eurosport UK[dead link]
  25. "Rossi signs new Yamaha contract", BBC News, July 19, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-19.
  26. "Valentino Rossi to use Subaru World Rally Team S14 WRC on Wales Rally GB 2008", rallybuzz.stagetimes.com, 2008-10-03. Retrieved on 2008-10-21.
  27. Rossi set to drive Ford in Rally GB. Autosport.com (2008-10-23).
  28. Rally GB final timesheet (2008-12-07).
  29. Rajan, Sanjay; Patrick Johnson (edited by) (11 January 2010). Rossi Staying on Two Wheels For Now. Rueters. Retrieved on 14 January 2010.
  30. Meadows, Mark; Justin Palmer (editing) (13 January 2010). Motor racing-Ferrari remain cautious ahead of car launch. Reuters. Retrieved on 14 January 2010.
  31. Rossi distinguished by Italian government with award. motogp.com. Dorna Sports (12 March 2010). Retrieved on 13 March 2010.
  32. Drudi Performance. Drudi Performance. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  33. Zimbio Exclusive: Interview with Valentino Rossi. Zimbio.com. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  34. SI.com – The Fortunate 50. Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  35. Forbes.com – The World's Highest-Paid Athletes. Forbes.com. Retrieved on 2010-05-05.
  36. Valentino Rossi in tax probe[dead link] ANSA – 8 August 2007
  37. Inter Milan congratulates MotoGP champions Valentino Rossi inside World Soccer – 26 October 2009.
  38. some other facts on Rossi : Guido, Rossi's dog

Bibliography[edit]

Rossi, Valentino; Enrico Borghi. Valentino Rossi – The Autobiography: What if I had never tried it. Gabriele Marcotti (translation). Arrow Books. ISBN 9780099486961. 

External links[edit]