Valentino Rossi

Born:
16th February 1979 (Age 39)
Urbino, Marche
Nationality:
Italian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography


Valentino Rossi is the greatest rider of his generation – the last 500cc champion and a multiple winner in the subsequent MotoGP class. His sunny demeanour and ready humour only accentuated his popularity and fame.


Family background and early career


The son of Graziano Rossi who had finished fifth in the 1980 500cc standings before injury halted his career, Valentino was raised by his mother in his hometown of Urbino. He rode his first motorcycle when just five years old and teenage success in mini-moto attracted the attention of Aprilia. 1995 national 125cc champion when third in the European series, Aprilia promoted Rossi to the World Championship a year later. That 1996 campaign included a breakthrough victory at Brno and he won 11 of the 15 races during 1997 to deliver the 125cc title at the second attempt.


Rossi remained with Aprilia for the following season’s graduation to the 250cc class when Rossi finished as runner-up behind team-mate Loris Caprirossi after winning five times, including the last four GPs of the season. As before, Rossi won the World Championship in his second season in the class.


500cc World Champion for Honda


Rossi moved to the dominant Honda team for his maiden season in the 500cc World Championship, riding a two-stroke Honda V4 to victory in Great Britain and Brazil. Runner-up behind Kenny Roberts Jr that year, Rossi won the opening three races of 2001 and reeled off another seven victories, clinching the 500cc crown with two races to go thanks to a last-gasp success in Australia when just 2.832sec covered the top nine riders. That run included an altercation with Max Biagi before the podium in Catalunya as their rivalry grew ever-more tense.


Continued success in MotoGP


New four-stroke 990cc bikes were introduced in 2002 and Rossi scored another 11 victories as he scorched to the inaugural MotoGP title. His 2003 title defence was slow to materialise at first and Rossi was challenged by Sete Gibernau during the early months. He won six of the last seven races of the year to clinch a third senior title in succession.


Further titles for Yamaha


Unhappy with the atmosphere within the team, Rossi switched to the previously unfancied Yamaha outfit in 2004 when joined by long-standing Team Manager Jeremy Burgess and many of his Honda crew. He beat Biagi by 0.21sec on his debut in South Africa but only finished the next two races in fourth position. He recovered to score another eight wins and overhaul Gibernau in the standings. Rossi dominated proceedings in 2005, again winning 11 times to secure motorcycling’s premier title for the fifth year in a row.


Ferrari Formula 1 tests


Rossi tested a Ferrari F2004 at Valencia before the 2006 Formula 1 season and rumours of an intriguing switch were never fulfilled. His previous consistency deserted him during the 2006 MotoGP season. He retired too often and injured his wrist when he crashed during practice in Holland although he won five times nonetheless and entered the final race with a narrow advantage over Nicky Hayden. He made a rare error during the race and surrendered the championship to the Honda rider. Yamaha struggled to adapt to 800cc rules in 2007 and Rossi was beaten by Casey Stoner (Ducati) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda) despite his four victories.


Yamaha switched from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres in 2008 and that helped re-establish Rossi’s dominance in the final year before the championship adopted a single tyre supplier. He won nine times and withstood Stoner’s challenge to regain his world title with three races to spare. He beat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to the 2009 title – his seventh senior success – but could not match the Spaniard’s consistency or speed in 2010. Rossi won twice and was third overall in his last season with Yamaha.


Switch to Ducati and return to Yamaha


The popular veteran switched to Ducati in 2011 but he returned to Yamaha in 2013 after the first winless campaigns of his career. The 2013 Dutch TT at Assen was Rossi’s first victory since 2010 but Yamaha could not match the Repsol Hondas. Rossi finished as championship runner-up for the next three years and he led the standings for most of 2015 but was penalised following a confrontation with reigning champion Marc Márquez during the Malaysian GP. That relegated Rossi to the back of the grid for the championship decider in Valencia and he eventually lost the title to Lorenzo when could finish no higher than fourth.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2018 World Motorcycle Championship
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
17 (1) 1 5 0
0% win rate
193
2017 World Motorcycle Championship
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
17 0 6 1
6% win rate
5th 208
2016 World Motorcycle Championship
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
18 3 10 2
12% win rate
2nd 249
2015 World Motorcycle Championship
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
18 1 15 4
23% win rate
2nd 325
2014 World Motorcycle Championship
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
18 1 13 2
12% win rate
2nd 295
2013 World Motorcycle Championship
Yamaha Factory Racing
18 0 6 1
6% win rate
4th 237
2012 World Motorcycle Championship
Ducati Team
18 0 2 0
0% win rate
6th 163
2011 World Motorcycle Championship
Ducati Team
17 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
7th 139
2010 World Motorcycle Championship
Fiat Yamaha Team
14 (1) 1 10 2
15% win rate
3rd 233
2009 World Motorcycle Championship
Fiat Yamaha Team
17 7 13 6
36% win rate
1st 306
2008 World Motorcycle Championship
Fiat Yamaha Team
18 2 16 9
50% win rate
1st 373
2007 World Motorcycle Championship
Fiat Yamaha Team
18 4 8 4
23% win rate
3rd 241
2006 World Motorcycle Championship
Camel Yamaha Team
17 5 10 5
30% win rate
2nd 247
2005 World Motorcycle Championship
Gauloises Yamaha Team
Yamaha Factory Racing
17 5 16 11
65% win rate
1st 367
2004 World Motorcycle Championship
Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha
16 5 11 9
57% win rate
1st 304
2003 World Motorcycle Championship
Repsol Honda Team
16 9 16 9
57% win rate
1st 357
2002 World Motorcycle Championship
Repsol Honda Team
16 7 15 11
69% win rate
1st 355
2001 World Motorcycle Championship
Nastro Azzurro Honda
16 4 13 11
69% win rate
1st 325
2000 World Motorcycle Championship
Nastro Azzurro Honda
16 0 10 2
13% win rate
2nd 209