Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi (Photo from Wikipedia)


Valentino Rossi is a name synonymous with excellence on the motorbike track. Born in 1979, Rossi is already a legend in his sport and has shown a great talent for handling motorbikes from a very early age. Rossi's true debut in the World Championship Class 125 was made in 1996, when he won his first race. A year later the racer joined the Aprilia team and won his first world title. In 1998 Rossi started racing in the 250 class and that year he would come second, after teammate Loris Capirossi. A year later Valentino would become champion of the 250 and in 2000 would arrive at the top of the sport: the 500 or half liter. To participate in the half liter, Rossi would have to leave the Italian Aprilia and join the Honda team, although he brought with him trusted people and his Italian sponsor. At the end of that first season Rossi came an impressive second and was well on his way to building his own legend.


The year 2001 was a great one for Rossi, with eleven races won and a world title added to his trophy case. The world title win anointed Rossi as the true king of moto-racing. Valentino Rossi also has the distinction of holding the last 500 title as the following year the name of the race would be changed to MotoGP with new bikes and engines introduced. Valentino, however, remained the same and retained the title for the next two years, during which he never positioned lower than third place.


It was at this time that Honda decided Rossi was no longer vital to their cause and basically let him go. The racer transferred to the Yamaha team, which was seriously struggling at that point, and put in solid work with a great team of assistants and engineers that he had brought with him from Honda to put Yamaha back on the map. It was a triumph for Rossi, both professionally and personally, when he won the championship in his first season with his new team. The win gave Rossi a clean slate, leaving Honda and the harmful gossip behind. The following year, 2004, Rossi did even better winning the championship with four races left, after scoring a total of eleven victories.


Unfortunately 2006 and 2007 were not the best years for Rossi, although Italian fans rejoice in the winning ways of Ducati. In 2008 the king makes a roaring comeback, winning the title and beating Giacomo Agostini's record of sixty-nine victories. Rossi's ninth title arrives in 2009 along with his historic 100th victory. A bad accident sidelines Rossi for most of 2010 and there is also internal conflict at Yahama, which eventually sees the racer leaving the team.


Rossi Before Riding a Yamaha YZF-R1


2011 promises to be a banner year for Italian racing as Valentino Rossi, a living Italian motorbike legend, is finally back racing for an Italian team: Ducati. But the two years with Ducati are a fiasco and in October 2011 he also suffers for the death of his friend Marco Simoncelli.  


In 2013 he goes back with Yamaha, in partnership with the spanish Lorenzo, the champion of the last races. In 2015 he started the season winning the opening race in Qatar. 


As of today Valentino Rossi is the only motorbike racer in history to have won championships in four different classes. In recent years Rossi has tested the F1 Ferrari several times, spurring rumors of an eventual transfer to car racing. While the possibility is tantalizing for racing fans it appears to be more wishful thinking than reality at this point. Meanwhile Rossi often participates in rallies, winning in Monza twice, but has never seemed very impressed with other official races, although he has scored good results overall considering his experience.


Rossi's nickname is the "doctor" and he is well served by his open and genial manner, which makes it easy for him to deal with the media and fans alike. A true showman, Valentino is famous for his colorful post-race celebrations, where he often wears costumes and wigs, all to make things more fun for spectators worldwide who love him and clamor for more.