Valentino Rossi – the man, the legend
When you think MotoGP, the first name that springs to mind, and rightly so, is Valentino Rossi. The Italian racer has had a career worthy to make him a great in the sport, and his legendary name will certainly go down in the history books.
Rossi is always one of the favourites to win races with the bookmakers, and has won an unprecedented nine World Championships throughout a sparkling 17-year career.
Rossi’s father Graziano was also a famous racer, with the Italian taking the inspiration to pursue a career in the sport.
His first competitive season was back in 1996, where he claimed one win in 15 races in the 125 CC clash, finishing a respectable ninth in the World Championships.
The following year in 1997, Rossi shot into the limelight on his Aprilia RS 125, winning a superlative 11 of his 15 races and only finishing outside of the podium places on two occasions. This was the first of many World Championships, with Rossi announcing himself on the global stage as a racer.
After another first and second place finish in the next two years, Rossi jumped to Honda, making his MotoGP debut in 2002 and becoming world champion at the first time of asking.
Despite switching to Yamaha in 2010, the resultant nine-year period was an unprecedented success for the Italian, who claimed six World Championships during this time. This cemented his place as one of the best to ever ride in MotoGP.
Over the last couple of years the success has dried up, as Rossi has moved to Ducati and now back to Yamaha. His placings of seventh, sixth and fourth have been a drastic drop for a man used to victory.
Despite this, Rossi is still held close to the heart of MotoGP fans, and will go down as one of the greats to grace the sport.