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Valentino The Doctor Rossi Photo

Valentino "The Doctor" Rossi

Legend has it that Valentino was just two years old  when first rode a minimoto fitted with stabilisers to keep it upright. His father was a rider and Valentino followed in his footsteps, had racing in his DNA and dreamed of Formula One. He rode for Aprilia in the 125 World Championship series and was an immediate success. He adopted the nickname of Rossifumi because Norifumi Abe was his hero. Right from the start he wanted the number 46, the same as his father Graziano had used. In 1997 he won the World title hands down: 11 wins, fabulous lines, dressing up on the podium, the inflatable "Claudia Schiffer" doll at Mugello, a pretend visit to a mobile lavatory during his lap of honour in Spain. Valentino was already a star. He moved up to 250 and became Valentinik. The youngest ever champion in the history of the 250 class. He moved up to 500 and quite simply became a phenomenon. After winning his second World Championship title, he then became the "Doctor". In 2002, his debut year in MotoGP, he won his fourth world title. 2003 was even better. His biggest rival was Sete Gibernau from the Gresini team but Rossi prevailed. Valentino then moved to Yamaha, and started winning immediately. Welkom, South Africa, 18 April 2004. A page out of history. There followed a further equally successful 7 years in which he won 4 more World titles (2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009), 1 second place (2006) and 2 thirds (2007 and 2010). In 2011 he switched to the Italian Ducati team. Valentino Rossi is the only rider in history to have won the World Championship series in 4 different classes: 125 (1), 250 (1), 500 (1) and MotoGP (6). In 2013 he returned to race alongside Yamaha, earning the victory in the Assen competition. The following year, the season was marked by two more victories, allowing him to conquer the second place in the World Championship. He finished second also in 2015, after an eventful season that saw him conceding the first position in the standings to Jorge Lorenzo only in the last race.

A true enthusiast of rallying and flat track racing at his Moto Ranch in Tavullia. Just like Sheene, Vale always pays attention to details. He is meticulous and almost fanatical about clothing and aesthetics, wearability and safety come top of his list. For this reason, he spends a lot of time discussing them with Dainese technicians at the tracks. His support of the D-air® Racing project has been absolutely essential for the first electronic air bag to be used in the World Championship series.

Extract from an article by: Nico Cereghini

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