VALENTINO “THE DOCTOR” ROSSI
Playing a leading role in the World Championship for 21 years, Valentino Rossi has become the symbol of Motorcycling. He is the only motorcycle rider capable of winning acclaim from the general public in every corner of the world.
Born in Urbino on 16 February 1979 and following in his father’s footsteps – his father Graziano raced in the World Motorcycle Championship in the 1970s and 1980s – Rossi grew up in Tavullia (PU), showing great enthusiasm for motorbikes from the earliest age. He would continue to cultivate this passion still for a long time, until reaching the Motorcycling Hall of Fame.
After his early experiences with karting and minibikes, he made his debut in the Italian Sport Production Championship in 1993, and in 1996 he took part in the World Motorcycle Championship in the 125cc category, taking his first pole position in Brno and winning his first world championship race with Aprilia. The following year, he wasted no time in winning the 1997 World Champion title in the 125cc category. This intensely targeted focus, after a single season of apprenticeship, was to remain a defining feature of this motorcycle rider in all phases leading up to the higher categories. In 1998, still with Aprilia, he moved to the 250cc category winning five races and the 1999 World Champion title with nine victories.
The only motorcycle rider capable of winning acclaim from the general public in every corner of the world.
In 2000, Rossi signed for Honda in the 500cc category and secured his first win in the British Grand Prix of 7 July. The following year – 2001- he joined Honda’s factory team and with 11 victories that season, he won his first world title in the premier class, the last of the era of “two-stroke” engines. The MotoGP era began in 2002, and Rossi immediately dominated the championship for this new category, repeating the achievement the following year.
In 2004, “The Doctor” left Honda for a challenge that was considered very risky at the time: to race with the less competitive Yamaha. But nothing seemed impossible for Valentino, who won the opening race in South Africa and actually won the title that year (with a race in advance). The rider from Pesaro also won the 2005 Championship, continuing to snap up successes at all latitudes. After clinching second and third place in the succeeding years, Rossi again became World Champion with Yamaha in 2008 and 2009.
Rossi’s only major injury came in 2010 at Mugello, which forced him to miss four races, but he still received a final ranking of third place in the championship. He raced for Ducati in 2011/2012, but due to the lack of feeling for the prototype from Bologna, he was compelled to go back to Yamaha in 2013 when he started the chase again after his 10th World Championship title. In 2017 the Italian ace finished 5th in the MotoGP standings, a season that saw him making a stunning comeback on the grid 3 weeks after breaking his leg in training. With more than 100 career victories under his belt, the mighty “Doctor” is always a force to be reckoned with!