Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi 2010 Qatar.jpg
Rossi at the 2010 Qatar Grand Prix.
NationalityItalian
Born (1979-02-16) 16 February 1979 (age 40)
Urbino, Italy
Current team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
Bike number46
Website valentinorossi.com
Motorcycle racing career statistics
MotoGP World Championship
Active years 2000
Manufacturers Honda (20002003)
Yamaha (20042010, 2013–)
Ducati (20112012)
Championships 7 (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009)
2018 championship position3rd (198 pts)
StartsWinsPodiums Poles F. laps Points
3258919855755162
250cc World Championship
Active years 19981999
Manufacturers Aprilia
Championships 1 (1999)
StartsWinsPodiums Poles F. laps Points
301421511510
125cc World Championship
Active years 19961997
Manufacturers Aprilia
Championships 1 (1997)
StartsWinsPodiums Poles F. laps Points
30121559432

Valentino Rossi ( /ˈrɒsi/ ; Italian:  [valenˈtiːno ˈrossi] ; born 16 February 1979) is an Italian professional motorcycle road racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion. He is the only rider in the history of the World Championship to have won the World Championship in four different classes: 125cc (1), 250cc (1), 500cc (1) and MotoGP (6).

Italians nation and ethnic group native to Italy

The Italians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to the Italian peninsula and its neighbouring insular territories. Most Italians share a common culture, history, ancestry or language. Legally, all Italian nationals are citizens of the Italian Republic, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence and may be distinguished from people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and from ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian Peninsula without Italian citizenship. The majority of Italian nationals are speakers of Italian, or a regional variety thereof. However, many of them also speak another regional or minority language native to Italy; although there is disagreement on the total number, according to UNESCO there are approximately 30 languages native to Italy.

Contents

Rossi is one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, with nine Grand Prix World Championships to his name – seven of which are in the premier class.

After graduating to the premier class in 2000, Rossi won the 500cc World Championship with Honda in 2001, the MotoGP World Championships (also with Honda) in 2002 and 2003 and continued his streak of back-to-back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 titles after leaving Honda to join Yamaha. All of those titles were won in a dominant manner, being decided before the final round on all occasions. He lost the 2006 title with a crash in the final round at Valencia, ceding the title to his former Honda teammate Nicky Hayden. In 2007 Rossi and Yamaha were of no match to a dominant Casey Stoner on a Ducati, and Rossi ultimately finished a then career-low third overall.

Honda Manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and power equipment.

Honda Motor Company, Ltd. is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and power equipment.

The 2004 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 56th F.I.M. Road racing World Championship season.

2005 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season sports season


The 2005 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 57th F.I.M. Road racing World Championship season.

Rossi regained the title in 2008 following several tight duels with title defendant Stoner and retained it in 2009. [1] After a 2010 marred by a broken leg and no title challenge, Rossi left Yamaha to join Ducati for the 2011 season. [2] [3] Rossi replaced Stoner at Ducati, who went on to win the 2011 title with Honda instead while Rossi endured a difficult spell with his compatriot marque. It was confirmed in 2012 that he would rejoin Yamaha for the 2013 and 2014 seasons [4] after Rossi suffered two winless seasons while at Ducati.

2008 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season sports season

The 2008 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 60th F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season.

2009 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season sports season

The 2009 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 61st F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season. Valentino Rossi won his sixth MotoGP title, seventh in the top class and ninth title in total after getting the better of teammate Jorge Lorenzo in a season-long battle. In the final 250cc championship, Hiroshi Aoyama became the third Japanese rider to win that title, after Tetsuya Harada and Daijiro Kato. In the 125cc class, Julián Simón won the title after taking seven victories during the season.

2010 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season sports season

The 2010 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 62nd F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season. It was the first season for the new Moto2 class.

Following his return to Yamaha he has finished second overall in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Rossi led the championship for the vast majority of the 2015 season before being surpassed by team colleague Jorge Lorenzo in the final round at Valencia, with Rossi losing out as a result of a grid penalty sustained for a controversial clash with Honda rider Marc Márquez in the previous Malaysian round. During Rossi's second stint at Yamaha, Márquez won multiple titles in succession with Rossi often having to settle for podium finishes and only occasional wins.

Jorge Lorenzo Spanish professional motorcycle road racer

Jorge Lorenzo Guerrero is a professional Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He is the 2006 and 2007 250cc World Champion, and the 2010, 2012 and 2015 MotoGP World Champion. He currently competes in the MotoGP class, riding for Honda. He rode for Yamaha from 2008 to 2016. On 6 June 2018 it was announced Lorenzo would be joining the Repsol Honda team for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons. Apart from his three titles in the premier class, Lorenzo has also finished as runner-up on three occasions. In 2012, Lorenzo became the first Spanish rider to win multiple premier class titles, and with 67 career wins, he is sixth on the all-time wins list.

Marc Márquez Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer

Marc Márquez Alentà is a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time with seven Grand Prix world championships to his name - five of which are in the premier MotoGP class. Márquez races for Honda's factory team since his MotoGP debut in 2013. He is nicknamed the 'Ant of Cervera' worldwide and 'el tro de Cervera' locally in his hometown, meaning the 'Thunder of Cervera'. He is one of four riders to have won world championship titles in three different categories, after Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Valentino Rossi. Marquez is often considered one of the greatest innovators of modern MotoGP racing, due to his comparatively exaggerated cornering technique of leaning so far over the bike he seems to be “in constant danger of sliding out”.

2015 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix

The 2015 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix was the seventeenth of eighteen motorcycle races of the 2015 MotoGP season. It was held before a crowd of 88,832 people at the Sepang International Circuit in the Malaysian district of Sepang in Selangor on 25 October 2015. Dani Pedrosa of Honda won the 20-lap race after starting from pole position. Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo finished second and his teammate Valentino Rossi came in third. In the junior classes, Johann Zarco won the Moto2 race on a Kalex bike and KTM's Miguel Oliveira won in Moto3.

Rossi is currently contracted to race until the end of the 2020 season, when he will be 41 years old. [5] He is also a team owner of junior class team Sky Racing Team by VR46 that competes in Moto2 and Moto3.

Sky Racing Team by VR46

The SKY Racing Team by VR46 is a motorcycle racing team owned by Valentino Rossi. The team races in Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the Moto3 category with KTM RC 250 GP motorcycles. The team manager is Pablo Nieto. The team also races in the Moto2 category with the Kalex Moto2 bike.

Rossi has a maternal half-brother, Luca Marini, who is currently racing in the 2019 Moto2 season for the Sky Racing Team by VR46. [6]

Career

The early years

Rossi was born in Urbino, Marche [7] and he was still a child when the family moved to Tavullia. Son of Graziano Rossi, a former motorcycle racer, he first began riding at a very young age. [8] Rossi's first racing love was karting. Fuelled by his mother, Stefania's, concern for her son's safety, Graziano purchased a kart as substitute for the bike. However, the Rossi family trait of perpetually wanting to go faster prompted a redesign; Graziano replaced the 60cc motor with a 100cc national kart motor for his then 5-year-old son. [9]

Rossi won the regional kart championship in 1990. [10] After this he took up minimoto and before the end of 1991 had won numerous regional races. [8]

Rossi continued to race karts and finished fifth at the national kart championships in Parma. Both Valentino and Graziano had started looking at moving into the Italian 100cc series, as well as the corresponding European series, which most likely would have pushed him into the direction of Formula One. However, the high cost of racing karts led to the decision to race minimoto exclusively.[ citation needed ] Through 1992 and 1993, Valentino continued to learn the ins and outs of minimoto racing.

In 1993, with help from his father, Virginio Ferrari, Claudio Castiglioni and Claudio Lusuardi (who ran the official Cagiva Sport Production team), Rossi rode a Cagiva Mito 125cc motorcycle for the team, which he damaged in a first-corner crash no more than a hundred metres from the pit lane. [11] He finished ninth that race weekend. [11]

Although his first season in the Italian Sport Production Championship was varied, he achieved a pole position in the season's final race at Misano, where he would ultimately finish on the podium. By the second year, Rossi had been provided with a factory Mito by Lusuardi and won the Italian title.

In 1994, Rossi raced in the Italian 125 CC Championship with a prototype called Sandroni, using a Rotax engine. The bike was built by Guido Mancini, a former rider and mechanic who had worked, in the past, with Loris Capirossi. A documentary about Mancini, called "Mancini, the Motorcycle Wizard" (Il Mago Mancini), was released in 2016 by director Jeffrey Zani and explains the birth of the motorcycle and the relationship between Rossi and the mechanic.

In 1995, Rossi switched to Aprilia and won the Italian 125 CC Championship. He was third in the European Championship.

125cc class

Aprilia (1996-1997)

1996
The Aprilia RS 125 (left) and 250 (right) with which Rossi won the 125cc World Championship in 1997 and the 250cc World Championship in 1999. Tavullia valentino rossi fanshop in.jpg
The Aprilia RS 125 (left) and 250 (right) with which Rossi won the 125cc World Championship in 1997 and the 250cc World Championship in 1999.

The 1996 championship season marks the debut of Valentino Rossi. He had some success in his first year, scoring consistent points and sometimes finishing just off the podium from his very first race at Malaysia to Italy, but retired in both the French and Dutch rounds. He scored more points by finishing fifth at the German but once again retired at the British round.

At the 1996 Austrian Grand Prix, Valentino would score his first ever podium in the form of a third place after battling with Jorge Martínez. [12] [13] At the next race, which was the 1996 Czech Republic Grand Prix, he scored his first ever pole position on Saturday and his first ever race victory in the 125cc class on an AGV Aprilia RS125R on Sunday, after fighting with Jorge Martínez. [14]

After his victory, Rossi would continue to score points in Imola, retire twice at the Catalan and Rio rounds, and score even more points at the last round in Australia. He would finish his first season in ninth place with 111 points.

1997

In his second year, the 1997 championship season, he moved from the AGV team to the official Nastro Azzurro Aprilia Team and would go on to dominate the season. He would immediatly start with a pole and race win at the 1997 Malaysian Grand Prix, but retire at the next race in Japan. He would bounce back in the next two races, winning the Spanish and Italian rounds. He finished second in Austria, just 0.004 seconds behind race winner Noboru Ueda, [13] [12] but would score a flurry of race victories from France to Britain, including three pole positions at the Dutch, Imola and German rounds.

He scored a third place at the Czech round, and would go on to pick up two more wins at the Catalan and Indonesian rounds. He finished in sixth place in Australia. He won the 1997 125cc title, winning 11 of the 15 races with 321 points. [15] Throughout the 1997 season, he would on few occasions dress up as Robin Hood and carry a blow-up doll. This fun-loving character gained him many fans throughout this and the future seasons. [16]

250cc class

Aprilia (1998-1999)

1998

After winning the title in 1997, Rossi moved up to the 250cc class the following year. In 1998, the Aprilia RS250 was reaching its pinnacle and had a team of riders in Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi and Tetsuya Harada. Rossi's year started off poor, retiring in the first two rounds: Japan and Malaysia. He would bounce back by scoring three consecutive second places in Spain, Italy and France, but would once again retire at the Madrid round.

He scored his first victory at the 1998 Dutch TT, winning with more than 19 seconds from second place Jürgen Fuchs. [17] He would retire once again at the British round, but bounced back by scoring a podium place in Germany, finishing third.

He would once more retire in the Czech Republic, crashing out of the race, but a flurry of victories from Imola to Argentina saw him end in second place in his rookie year in the class with 201 points, just 23 points clear of 1998 250cc champion Loris Capirossi.

1999
Valentino Rossi in action at the 1999 British Grand Prix. He would go on to win the race. Valentino Rossi 1999 Donington Park.jpg
Valentino Rossi in action at the 1999 British Grand Prix. He would go on to win the race.

In his second year in the 250cc class, 1999, Rossi became the sole driver of the official Aprilia Grand Prix Racing team, and would once again dominate the season. He would start the season off with a pole in Malaysia on Saturday, but finished fifth on race day. He would pick up further points in Japan and went on to win his first race of the season at the third round in Spain.

Rossi scored his second pole position of the season in France, but would retire from the race on Sunday. He bounced back with back-to-back wins in Italy and Catalunya, and would finish in second place at the Dutch round, narrowly losing out on the race victory with Loris Capirossi. He won three more races from Britain to the Czech Republic, including a pole in Germany.

Rossi finished second once again in Imola [18] and off the podium in eighth place at the Valencian Community round. He finished the season strong, with three more race wins in Australia where he fought hard with Olivier Jacque [19] , South Africa [20] and Rio de Janeiro, and a third place in Argentina [21] after scoring pole position on Saturday.

He won the title in Rio de Janeiro with one round left and finished the season in first place with 309 points, granting him his first 250cc world championship title and his second title overall. [22]

500cc class

Honda (2000-2001)

2000

Rossi was rewarded in 2000 for his 250cc World Championship by being given a ride with Honda in what was then the ultimate class in World Championship motorcycle racing, the 500cc. Five-time retired 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan, who also had Jeremy Burgess as chief engineer, worked with Rossi as his personal mentor in his first year at Honda. It was also the first time Rossi raced against Max Biaggi.

Rossi started his first year in the 500cc class off with two retirements in the first two rounds: he crashed out of the South African [23] and Malaysian rounds. [24] He scored points at the third round in Japan, and would pick up two third place finishes in Spain and France. [25] Rossi picked up additional points in Italy and would pick up another third place at the Catalan round. [26] He picked up points by finishing in sixth place at the 2000 Dutch TT.

It took nine races before Rossi won on the Honda, but his first 500cc victory came after a fierce battle with the Suzuki of Kenny Roberts Jr. and the Aprilia of Jeremy McWilliams. On a track which was affected by ever changing weather conditions and despite only qualifying in seventh position on Saturday, Rossi chose the right tyres and stormed through the field to battle with Roberts Jr. and McWilliams to win his first race in the 500cc class. [27] [28] After his victory in Donington Park, Rossi would go on to score consecutive podium places in three races: two second place finishes in Germany [29] and the Czech Republic [30] and one third place finish in Portugal. [31] He would retire from the Valencian Community round after crashing out of the race. [32]

Rossi won the Rio round. However, it was Kenny Roberts Jr. who clinched the 2000 title after finishing in sixth position, which gave him an unassailable lead in the championship. [33] [34] [35] After his second win, he would go on to finish second at the Pacific round [36] and third at the Australian round. [37] [38] He finished second in his rookie season in the 500cc class with 209 points.

2001
Honda NSR500 used by Rossi in the 2001 season Honda NSR500 2001.jpg
Honda NSR500 used by Rossi in the 2001 season

Rossi dominated his second season in the 500cc class, scoring 11 wins and only finishing off the podium three times. He started the year off with a victory in Japan [39] after battling with Max Biaggi and two poles and race wins at the South African [40] and Spanish rounds. He would finish the French race in third place [41] but crashed out of the Italian round whilst being in the lead of the wet race, [42] after he scored another pole on Saturday. [43]

Rossi bounced back by scoring pole position and winning the following race in Catalunya despite making a poor start which dropped him to 15th place at the end of the first lap. [44] He would score a second place after narrowly losing out on the race victory with Biaggi at the Dutch round, and once again won another race: this time the British GP.

Rossi finished a disappointing seventh in Germany, but would score back-to-back wins in the Czech Republic and Portugal. He would score another disappointing result at the Valencian Community round when he finished in 11th place, but would score a string of race wins from the Pacific to the Rio rounds.

Rossi won his first 500cc title with 325 points and third title overall, [45] 106 points ahead of Biaggi, who became Rossi's main rival during the season. Rossi also was the first and only satellite rider to clinch the title. During the season, Rossi also teamed up with American rider Colin Edwards for the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race aboard a Honda VTR1000SPW, becoming the first Italian rider to win the race. The pair won the race despite Rossi's lack of experience racing superbikes. In 2002, 500cc two-strokes were still allowed, but saw the beginning of the 990cc four-stroke MotoGP class, after which the 500cc machines were essentially obsolete.

MotoGP class

Honda (2002-2003)

2002
Rossi riding his Honda RC211V MotoGP bike Motogp rossi 300.jpg
Rossi riding his Honda RC211V MotoGP bike

The inaugural year for the MotoGP bikes was 2002, when riders experienced teething problems getting used to the new bikes.

Rossi started the year off strong and won the first race in wet conditions in Japan, beating several local riders who were racing as wildcards. [46] He also took the pole position in the first five races.

Rossi finished second in South Africa, where his teammate Tohru Ukawa took his first and only victory in the MotoGP class. He then scored victories from the Spanish to the German rounds, including two pole positions at the Dutch and British GPs. He registered his only retirement of the season at the Czech Republic round, [47] before scoring back-to-back wins in Portugal and Rio, two second place finishes at the Pacific and Malaysia, another victory in Australia and another second place at the last race at the Valencian Community.

Rossi went on to win eight of the first nine races of the season, eventually claiming 11 victories in total. [48] Rossi clinched his second title at Rio de Janeiro, [49] and fourth title overall with four races left to go.

2003
Honda RC211V with a one-off livery used by Rossi during the 2003 season Honda RC211V 2003.jpg
Honda RC211V with a one-off livery used by Rossi during the 2003 season

It was more of the same for Rossi's rivals in 2003. Rossi scored consistent podiums, took pole and won the first round of the season in Japan, but the race was marred by the death of Japanese rider Daijiro Kato who crashed at the 130R and hit the barrier at high speed in the ensuing Casio Triangle. [50] Rossi would finish second at the South African round before winning again in Spain.

Rossi scored three pole positions in the next three races and finished second in France after battling Sete Gibernau, who overtook him on the last lap, [51] [52] first in Italy and second once again in Catalunya. He scored two third-place finishes at the Dutch and British rounds, and yet another second place in Germany, once again battling Gibernau who denied him victory with just 0.060 seconds separating both when they crossed the finish line. [53]

After Germany, Rossi won three more races and scored two more poles: a pole position converted into a victory came at the Czech Republic, once again battling championship rival Givernau, whom Rossi overtook on the final lap to take victory by just 0.042 seconds, [54] a regular victory came in Portugal and another pole-victory came at the Rio de Janeiro round. He finished second at the Pacific GP and ended his season in style by scoring three consecutive poles and race wins at the Malaysian, Australian and Valencian Community rounds. The Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island is considered by many observers to be one of Rossi's greatest career moments due to the unique circumstances. After being given a ten-second penalty for overtaking Marco Melandri during a yellow flag due to a crash by Ducati rider Troy Bayliss, front runner Rossi pulled away from the rest of the field after being informed of the penalty, eventually finishing more than 15 seconds ahead, overcoming the penalty and winning the race. [55] [56]

Rossi won the 2003 title in Malaysia, his first in the MotoGP class, third in the top class and fifth title overall, with two races remaining. [57] He won the final race at the Valencian Community round with a special livery, his final win for Honda. [58]

Partnered with increased scepticism that the reason for his success was the dominance of the RC211V rather than Rossi, it was inevitable that Honda and Rossi would part. [59] Mid-season rumours pointed towards a possible move to Ducati, which sent the Italian press into a frenzy; the concept of Rossi on the great Italian bike seemed too good to be true. Ducati did indeed try to seduce Rossi into riding their MotoGP bike, the Desmosedici, but for numerous reasons Rossi passed the offer up. Critics say that compared to the other manufacturers, Ducati had a significant way to go before being competitive even with Rossi at the helm. This proved to be the truth with Ducati's lacklustre performance in the 2004 season, which had actually been worse than their inaugural year in MotoGP in 2003. In his 2005 autobiography, What If I'd Never Tried It?, Rossi offered another reason for choosing Yamaha over Ducati, saying that the mindset at Ducati Corse was similar to the one he was trying to escape from at Honda. Ultimately, Rossi signed a two-year contract with rivals Yamaha reportedly worth in excess of US$12 million; a price no other manufacturer, even Honda, was willing to pay. [60]

Yamaha (2004–2010)

2004

Yamaha YZR-M1 used by Rossi in the 2004 season Yamaha YZR-M1 2004.jpg
Yamaha YZR-M1 used by Rossi in the 2004 season

Rossi made the switch from Honda to Yamaha and signed a two-year contract with the team. [61] Many doubted his move and would expect Biaggi, who joined the Honda Pons team a year earlier, to be a genuine contender for the title this year.

With the traditional first race of the season at Suzuka off the list due to safety considerations following the fatal accident of Daijiro Kato, the 2004 season started at Welkom in South Africa. Rossi took the pole on Saturday and won the South African race after a hard-fought battle with Max Biaggi, becoming the only rider to win consecutive races with different manufacturers, having won the final race of the previous season on his Honda bike. [62] [63] Rossi took another pole in Spain but his fourth-place finish on Sunday saw the end of a 23-race podium streak. [64] He would once again miss out on the podium in France but would respond with three victories in Italy [65] and Catalunya [66] where Rossi fought hard with Gibernau, and a pole-victory at the Dutch round.

Arriving at the Rio de Janeiro round, Rossi crashed out of the race when he lost the front of his M1 and slid into the gravel whilst battling with Makoto Tamada, Max Biaggi, Nicky Hayden and Alex Barros, retiring from the race in the process. [67] After the Rio round, Rossi would find himself once more off the podium in fourth place at the German GP but bounced back by winning the British round from pole. He then would go on to finish second in the Czech Republic, first in Portugal and second once again in Japan.

At the inaugural Qatar round, controversy arose when Rossi's team was penalised by starting at the back of the grid for grid cleaning. Gibernau won the race, whilst Rossi crashed out of the race when he sat in sixth position. [68] [69] [70] Despite this second DNF of the season, Rossi would score a pole which he converted into a race win at Malaysia and two more regular victories at the Australian and Valencian Community rounds.

Rossi finished first with 304 points to Gibernau's 257, with Max Biaggi third with 217 points. He clinched his third MotoGP, fourth top class and sixth overall championship at the penultimate race of the season at Phillip Island, beating Gibernau by just 0.097 seconds to do so. [71]

2005

Rossi at the 2005 British Grand Prix Valentino Rossi 2005 Donington Park 7.jpg
Rossi at the 2005 British Grand Prix

In 2005, Rossi and the Factory Yamaha team proved to be even more dominant than the year before. "The Doctor" would immediately begin the season by capturing pole and winning the first round in Spain. He would score a second place in Portugal but would score five consecutive victories from the Chinese [72] to the Dutch rounds, including three pole positions in France [73] , Italy and Assen.

At the first United States round since 1994, Rossi would struggle and finish in third place whilst local hero Nicky Hayden won the race. [74] [75] [76] Rossi would bounce back by picking up three more wins, starting from a pole-victory in Great Britain [77] and two regular victories in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Rossi's first and only non-podium and retirement of the season came at the Japanese round, when he collided with Marco Melandri during a failed overtaking attempt. [78] After Motegi, Rossi would bounce back by scoring a podium in the form of second place in Malaysia and back-to-back wins in Qatar and Australia. He would finish the season with a second and third place finish at the Turkish [79] and the Valencian Community rounds.

Rossi finished the season in first place with a total of 367 points, 147 points ahead of second-place finisher Marco Melandri and captured his fourth MotoGP, fifth top class and seventh overall championship in Sepang with four races remaining. [80] He won 11 races including wins in three rain-affected races at Shanghai, Le Mans and Donington.

2006

The 2006 season started off with Rossi once again being the favourite to win the championship. However, at the very first round in Spain, Rossi would be unlucky when Toni Elías misjudged his braking point into a corner and hit the rear wheel of Rossi who crashed into the gravel. He would rejoin the race but would only finish 14th. [81] In the next race in Qatar though, he would score his first win of the season [82] but would finish just off the podium in Turkey.

Going into the third round in China, disaster would strike once more when he was forced to retire after he moved up from 13th to fifth and was battling with Colin Edwards and John Hopkins for third position. A chunk of rubber from his front tyre had been thrown on his front fender, knocking it off the motorbike. [83] Things didn't improve for him at the next round in France, he brushed the back of Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, causing Rossi to run wide and hit Randy de Puniet who then fell from his Kawasaki after striking Sete Gibernau. After climbing his way back up to second, Rossi overtook Hopkins on the fifth lap and started to pull a gap from Pedrosa after Hopkins lost the front of his Suzuki at an off-camber right-hander on lap 10 and retired. He was leading comfortably in first place with a gap of over three seconds until his Yamaha hit a mechanical problem on lap 21, forcing Rossi to retire for the second consecutive race. Valentino Rossi would leave Le Mans in eighth place in the championship with a 43-points deficit to Nicky Hayden. [84]

After these two disappointing races, Rossi bounced back by scoring two wins: a regular victory at Italy [85] and a pole-victory in Catalunya. [86] At the Dutch round, he would only finish eighth after he fractured his hand and ankle when he fell on Thursday. The race was won by Nicky Hayden, who battled with the Yamaha teammate Colin Edwards on the last lap. Edwards tried to lunge past Hayden, but ran wide onto the gravel and eventually fell at the last corner. [87]

With the disappointing result at Assen, Rossi would take second place in Great Britain and another win in Germany, fighting tooth and nail with the three Honda's of Marco Melandri, Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa. [88] However, he would retire once more in the United States due to mechanical problems on the last few laps whilst local hero Nicky Hayden won the event for a second consecutive time. This extended Hayden's lead over Rossi with 34 points. [89]

Going into round 12 in the Czech Republic, Rossi would pick up a pole and a second place, and would win at the next round in Malaysia. [90] Hayden held the points lead throughout most of the season, but by now Rossi was slowly working his way up the points ladder. A third place in Australia and a further second place in Japan saw the points lead of Hayden reduced from 51 points at Laguna Seca to 12 points in Motegi, with him moving from fourth to second in the championship standings. [91]

Going into the penultimate round of the season in Portugal, Rossi took pole position on Saturday. On Sunday, Hayden was taken out by his teammate Dani Pedrosa on lap 5, causing both riders to retire. On the last lap, Toni Elías who was in third place, overtook both Kenny Roberts Jr. and Valentino Rossi to take the lead. Rossi eventually got back in front, but Elías shot past him at the final corner and would win the race with a 0.002 second advantage over Rossi. [92] [93] This led to Rossi taking the points lead with 8 points going into the last round of the year.

At the Valencian Community round, Rossi needed to finish in second place or higher to win the title. He took the second consecutive pole position on Saturday but got a poor start on Sunday, dropping him back in seventh place. On lap five, he made a mistake, lost the front wheel of his M1 and slid out of contention. He managed to get going again, but it would be to no avail: Rossi would finish 13th, collect 247 points and lost the title to Nicky Hayden by five points. The race was won by wildcard rider Troy Bayliss, who replaced the injured Sete Gibernau. [94]

2007

Rossi at the 2007 Dutch TT with a special bike livery Valentino rossi.jpg
Rossi at the 2007 Dutch TT with a special bike livery

After the lost title in 2006, Rossi returned once again in 2007. The bike power was reduced from 990cc to 800cc for this season [95] and over the winter, Yamaha worked on a new bike fitting these specifications for both Rossi and Colin Edwards. In the season opener in Qatar, Rossi took his first pole position of the year on Saturday but came second to Casey Stoner on the Ducati on Sunday, who had made the switch from the LCR Honda team to the Factory Ducati team. [96] Rossi then won the second race in Spain [97] In Turkey, Rossi would clinch another pole on Saturday, but would finish way down in tenth position after running wide on the fast turn eleven when he pushed hard to break away on the opening lap. Rossi fought his way back to second, overtaking Loris Capirossi on lap nine, but would lose positions quickly after the Michelin tyres started to fade and Rossi would suffer from a mysterious lack of speed, which allowed Toni Elías, Capirossi, John Hopkins, Marco Melandri and Alex Barros to overtake him within three laps. Stoner led every lap, won the race and gained a 10-point lead over Rossi in the process. [98]

Rossi, once again finding himself on the backfoot in the championship, would respond in China by setting another pole position on Saturday and finishing in second place after battling hard with Stoner. Stoner, who made good use of the straight line speed of the Ducati on the long straight, blasted past Rossi every time he got overtaken earlier on the circuit. [99] At the French round, Chris Vermeulen on the Suzuki won a rain-affected race. Rossi initially started well and even overtook Stoner in the early part of the race to make a break, but when the rain intensified, Rossi and his YZR-M1 struggled and were overtaken by Stoner, Randy de Puniet, Sylvain Guintoli and later also Nicky Hayden, Dani Pedrosa and Alex Hofmann. Rossi would eventually finish in sixth whilst Stoner would finish third, extending his championship lead by 21 points. [100]

In Italy, he would win his first race of the season [101] and at round seven in Catalunya, Rossi would cross the line in second place. After a hard-fought battle with Stoner, Rossi lost by just 0.069 seconds. [102] [103] In Great Britain, Rossi would just outside of the podium in fourth, but bounced back at the Dutch round in great fashion by winning the race from eleventh on the grid. Rossi overtook many riders to eventually do the same to Stoner with four laps to go, and would build up a small gap he would never give away when crossing the line. [104] [105]

After Rossi's great win in Assen, he would be unlucky when he crashed on lap five of the German round and was forced to retire. He had made a poor start, dropping him from sixth to ninth on lap one, but was quick to regain two positions before struggling to pass Randy de Puniet for sixth position. When Rossi tried to squeeze his bike next to the Kawasaki of de Puniet, he lost the front of his M1 at low speed through a long right-hander and slid into the gravel. [106] Rossi then would pick up more points by finishing in fourth and seventh place at the United States and Czech Republic rounds, but by then Stoner had built up a 60-point gap over Rossi when they left round 12. [107]

Rossi would once more retire at the new San Marino venue whilst Stoner took his eighth win of the season, extending his championship lead from 60 to 85 points in the process. [108] [109] At the next round in Portugal, Rossi would win his final race of the season after a close fight with the Honda of Dani Pedrosa. Rossi worked his way up from fifth to third on the opening lap, overtaking Stoner on lap nine after Pedrosa did the same two laps earlier. He then overtook Pedrosa on lap ten and a fight would commence where Pedrosa re-overtook Rossi on lap 16, only taking the first spot back from Pedrosa with four laps left after he ran wide. Rossi then made a similar error and retook the lead just half a lap later. Pedrosa was still narrowly ahead but Rossi was better on the brakes and plunged down the inside of the first corner in turn one. The move failed and he ran wide, but carried enough momentum to try the same move again a few corners later, this time succeeding. Rossi crossed the line 0.175 seconds ahead of Pedrosa to win his fourth race of the season. [110]

At the Japanese round, Rossi suffered from braking problems on his second bike after all riders were forced to swap bikes due to the drying track, finishing in 13th position. This was enough for Casey Stoner to become 2007 world champion after he finished the race in sixth position and gave him an unassailable lead in the championship. [111] Rossi would go on to take one last podium in Australia, finishing in third place, but would only pick up points in fifth position at the Malaysian round. At the last race of the season, the Valencian Community race, Rossi started way back in 17th due to a fracture of three bones in his right hand after a qualifying fall. He took 16th on lap seven and passed Shinya Nakano for 15th and thus the final point, but was forced to retire on lap 18 after his YZR-M1 suffered a technical problem, marking this his third DNF of the season. [112] The race was won by Dani Pedrosa, with Casey Stoner about five seconds behind in second place. [113]

Stoner dominated the season, winning ten races to take his first title, 125 points clear of second place Dani Pedrosa. Rossi on the other hand, finished in third place with 241 points, six less than in 2006. This was Rossi's lowest championship position since his first season in 1996 in the 125cc. Pedrosa's win in the last race at Valencia combined with Rossi's retirement meant that he beat Rossi by a single point.

2008

Rossi at the 2008 British Grand Prix Valentino Rossi 2008 Donington Park 3.jpg
Rossi at the 2008 British Grand Prix

After two frustrating seasons where Rossi and Yamaha lost the title for two consecutive seasons to Nicky Hayden's Honda and Casey Stoner's Ducati, he switched from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres, claiming that it was needed to "boost his motivation". [114] [115] His new teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, did not opt for the change. Few people thought Rossi was still capable of winning another title and some said he should retire, whilst others assumed that Casey Stoner would win his second title or that Dani Pedrosa would become a genuine title contender after his strong performances in 2006 and 2007. [116]

Rossi started the year with a fifth place in Qatar whilst Stoner won the race, prompting some to already suggest that it would be more of the same like last year. [117] However, Rossi fought back in Spain by finishing second whilst Stoner could only manage 11th place. Rossi would finish third at the Portuguese round with his teammate Jorge Lorenzo winning after a late charge from Pedrosa was not enough to retake the lead. [118] [119]

After the good performances in Spain and Portugal, Rossi would score three consecutive victories: two regular victories at China [120] and France [121] and a pole-victory at the Italian round. [122] Two more second place finishes followed, one in Catalunya and one in Great Britain.

Approaching round 9 of the season, the Dutch GP was not a success for Rossi. He came to Assen with an 11-point lead over runner-up Pedrosa, but made a slow start from third on the grid, only to lose the back of his M1 machine on the entry of a tight left hand hairpin - his rear wheel sliding around and collecting Randy de Puniet's LCR Honda, taking him out in the process. Rossi would remount the bike and get going again but could only finish 11th, handing the lead of the championship to Pedrosa by four points. [123]

After the disappointing result in Assen, Rossi retook the lead of the championship in a rain-affected German round after Pedrosa crashed out of the wet track and Rossi came second, the race won by Stoner. [124] Rossi then took a multitude of race wins from the United States, where Rossi took the win after a hard battle and a pass down the "Corkscrew" corner over Stoner, who crashed a few laps later but continued and took second place, [125] [126] [127] [128] to Japan, including a pole-victory at a rain-shortened race in Indianapolis. [129] His wins in both Laguna Seca and Indianapolis also meant that Rossi had won at every circuit on the calendar at the time and his win at Motegi was his first MotoGP victory at the track, becoming the first Yamaha rider to win at the Honda-owned circuit.

Going into round 15 of the championship, Rossi needed to finish third or higher to win the title at Motegi. He started off poor, dropping from fourth to fifth on the grid but quickly made up ground by overtaking Jorge Lorenzo and Nicky Hayden on lap two before he hunted down his title rivals. When Stoner made the pass on Pedrosa on lap six, Rossi did the same and went after Stoner until he made the race winning move on lap 14 under braking. Rossi then pulled away from the Ducati rider to cross the line in first position and clinch his fifth MotoGP, sixth top class and eighth overall championship in Japan with three races remaining. [130] [131] On the podium, he wore a shirt with the text "Scusate il ritardo" ("Sorry for the delay") in Italian, emphasising his lack of titles in the last two years. [132]

After Rossi wrapped up the title in Motegi with an unassailable lead of 92 points, he would score three more podiums: a second place behind home hero Stoner in Australia [133] , another win in Malaysia and a third place at the Valencian Community round.

Rossi finished first in the championship with 373 points, 93 points ahead of second place Casey Stoner.

2009

Valentino Rossi vittoria 100.jpg
Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo 2009 Sachsenring.jpg
Rossi celebrating his 100th race victory at the 2009 Dutch TT and battling with Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo at the 2009 German Grand Prix

After the unexpected success and title of Rossi in 2008, many expected him to be a strong contender in 2009. Rossi took two consecutive second places: a regular podium in Qatar [134] and a pole-podium in Japan, the race won by Rossi's teammate Jorge Lorenzo. [135]

Rossi's first victory of the year would come at the third round in Spain. Rossi started fourth, but overtook teammate Lorenzo for third on lap two, then made a second pass stick for second position on lap seven. Race leader Pedrosa was ahead with 1.4 seconds ahead of him by then, but Rossi would storm to the rear wheel of the Honda rider with eleven laps to go. He made the victory pass at the Nieto corner to take a lead of 2.7 seconds when crossing the line, taking the championship lead over from Stoner by eleven points in the process. [136]

The French GP would turn out to be a disaster for Rossi. Jorge Lorenzo won the frantic wet/dry race whilst Rossi fell after a premature bike swap to slick tyres and also received a ride through penalty, ending up in 16th place and failing to score any points. This handed the championship lead to Rossi's teammate Lorenzo, who was now ahead of both Rossi and Stoner by just one point. [137]

Things started to look better once again when Rossi registered a third position in Italy, but lost his sequence of seven consecutive victories at the venue. [138] [139] After Mugello, Rossi took two more victories: a regular victory at Catalunya, battling with Lorenzo throughout the race and overtaking him on the last corner of the last lap to win the race by just 0.095 seconds, [140] [141] and a pole-victory at the Dutch round. This victory marked his 100th career win, becoming only the second rider in motorcycle grand prix history – after Giacomo Agostini  – to reach 100 wins. [142]

At the United States GP, Rossi finished a close second after surprise race winner Dani Pedrosa. [143] He then would go on to score three more pole positions: a pole-win at the German round, fighting tooth and nail once more with his teammate Jorge Lorenzo with five laps to go. On the penultimate lap, Rossi retook the lead and held off Lorenzo to claim win by a margin of 0.099 seconds. [144] [145] This win gave Rossi a championship lead of 14 points over Lorenzo and a 28-point lead over Stoner. At the next race in Great Britain, Rossi started from pole but was demoted to third on the first lap. A five-strong lead group of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elías were battling for the lead when Elías was the first to fall on lap eight after he clipped a wet white line on the track, a similar mistake which would also lead to Lorenzo's fall and retirement of the race. This left Dovizioso and Rossi to battle it out, but as the rain intensified, so did their lead. Both were ahead with 13 seconds, separating them and third place Randy de Puniet, but Rossi would spin out of the lead when the rear of his M1 span-out through the Fogarty Esses on lap 20, demoting him to eleventh and leaving Dovizioso almost ten seconds clear of de Puniet. Rossi climbed up to fifth on the last lap, overtaking home hero James Toseland at the final turn, but the race victory would go to the Honda of Andrea Dovizioso for the first time. [146] At the Czech Republic round, Rossi took a commanding victory, crossing the line more than 11 seconds ahead of second place Dani Pedrosa.

Rossi's first and only retirement came at Indianapolis when he crashed out of the race after being overtaken by the eventual winner Lorenzo on lap ten. This win meant that Lorenzo had halved Rossi's title advantage to just 25 points with five rounds to go. [147] At the next race in San Marino, Rossi responded by taking his sixth pole position of the year on Saturday and winning the race at his "home venue" ahead of Lorenzo on Sunday, extending his lead to 30 points. [148] In Portugal however, it was Lorenzo who had the upper hand, winning the race with Rossi only able to finish fourth, reducing the championship lead from 30 to 18 points. [149] At the Australian round, Rossi finished a close second to home hero Casey Stoner, who won the race. Lorenzo crashed on the opening lap after running into Nicky Hayden's Honda, forcing him to retire. This widened the championship gap from 18 to 38 points with two rounds remaining. [150]

At the penultimate round in Malaysia, Rossi scored another pole position on Saturday and a podium in the form of third place at the wet track in Sepang on race day, behind Stoner and Pedrosa. This was enough for him to clinch his sixth MotoGP, seventh top class and ninth overall title over Jorge Lorenzo who started at the back of the grid and could only finish fourth, behind Rossi. This gave Rossi an unassailable lead of 45 points over Lorenzo. [151] The final race of the season, the Valencian Community, resulted in a final second place podium of the year for Rossi, behind Dani Pedrosa. [152]

Rossi finished first in the championship with 306 points, 72 points ahead of second-place Jorge Lorenzo. Six wins was the lowest number of wins Rossi has had in a championship winning season; the previous minima were nine in 1999 in the 250cc class and 2003, 2004 and 2008 in MotoGP. Rossi also failed to win at Mugello for the first time since 2001.

On 8 June 2009, Valentino Rossi rode a Yamaha around the famous Snaefell Mountain Course in an exhibition lap at the 2009 Isle of Man TT, alongside Agostini, in what was called 'The Lap of the Gods'. [153] This had been delayed by 48 hours due to bad weather. He also performed the garlanding ceremony for the Superbike podium, bestowing the podium of John McGuinness, Steve Plater and Guy Martin. [153]

2010

Rossi celebrates victory at the 2010 Qatar Grand Prix Valentino Rossi 2010 Qatar GP 2.jpg
Rossi celebrates victory at the 2010 Qatar Grand Prix

With two consecutive titles won, Rossi was once again the favourite to win the title going into the 2010 season, and this seemed even more likely after he topped all but one of the pre-season testing sessions. [154]

Rossi started off the first few races well. He won the first race of the season in Qatar after early leader Casey Stoner crashed out, [155] took third place in Spain even though he had an injured shoulder sustained from a motocross accident two weeks earlier, the race being won by his teammate Jorge Lorenzo after a last-lap pass at the Dry Sack corner on Honda's Dani Pedrosa [156] [157] and a pole-podium in the form of a second place in France where Lorenzo claimed back-to-back wins for the first time in his MotoGP career. [158] The injury Rossi had was not taken seriously initially and was expected to cure in a few weeks, but did not turn out as expected and the ligament tear in the shoulder failed to sufficiently heal.

At round four in Italy, things took a turn for the worse for Rossi. He highsided his YZR-M1 in one of the fast right-left combinations, the Biondetti corner, during the second free practice, at around 120 mph (190 km/h). He suffered a displaced compound fracture of his right tibia. This crushed any hopes of him winning the 2010 title, and after post-surgical care close to his home in the hospital at Cattolica, it was clear that he was out of contention for the next two or three months. [159] [160] [161] It was the first time that Rossi had missed a race in his Grand Prix career, [162] and allowed his title rivals - Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner - to gain points, podiums and wins while he was absent for the Italian, British, Dutch and Catalan rounds.

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Suzi Perry reported in her Daily Telegraph column that Rossi was planning on making a comeback at Brno. [163] This was confirmed a week later by Rossi himself. [164] On 7 July, Rossi rode at Misano on a Superbike World Championship-specification Yamaha YZF-R1 provided by the Yamaha World Superbike Team to test his leg's recovery. [165] He completed 26 laps during two runs, with a best lap time that was around two seconds off the pace of recent World Superbike times at the circuit. At the conclusion of the session, Rossi complained of discomfort, reporting pain in both his leg and his shoulder. [166] [167] On 12 July, Rossi took part in another test at Brno, after which Rossi stated he was happier and a lot more in form. [168]

After an observation by the Chief Medical Officer on the Thursday before the German GP weekend and missing four rounds, Rossi returned in Germany [169] and remarkably finished just off the podium in fourth position after losing out to Casey Stoner on the final corner, starting fifth. [170] [171] He returned two rounds earlier than predicted, and only 41 days after his accident. [172] At round 9 of the season, held in the United States, Rossi took his first podium since his broken leg seven weeks ago at Mugello, overtaking the Honda of Andrea Dovizioso in the process. The race was won by Lorenzo after Pedrosa crashed out of the lead. [173] [174] At the next two rounds, in the Czech Republic and Indianapolis, Rossi scored lackluster results by finishing fifth and fourth.

At his "home race" in San Marino, Rossi scored another third place behind race-winner Pedrosa and second-place Lorenzo. The race was marred by the death of the Japanese Moto2 rider Shoya Tomizawa, who was hit at high speed by Alex de Angelis and Scott Redding after he fell at the fast right-hander of the Misano circuit on lap 12 and succumbed to his injuries later in the hospital. [175] At the new venue in Aragón, Rossi was again off the pace and finished in sixth position. He bounced back by scoring yet another third-place podium in Japan, the race being moved from April to October due the disruption of air travel after the second eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Rossi battled with teammate Lorenzo for the bottom step of the podium during the race, which was won by Casey Stoner, but by now had a 69-point lead in the championship over second place Dani Pedrosa. [176]

In Malaysia, Rossi took a stunning victory by winning the race from 11th position, battling with the Honda of Andrea Dovizioso for the win multiple times. Rossi had qualified sixth, but lost multiple positions in the first set of corners after a poor getaway. He overtook multiple riders, including Lorenzo, to fight for the lead with Dovizioso on a few occasions, but held on to finish ahead of him with just 0.224 seconds. [177] This was his first win since his incident in June, and his second win of the season. However, Lorenzo won the title, finishing in third place when he needed ninth or higher to win the title.

After his win in Malaysia, Rossi continued to impress by scoring a third place in Australia, a second place in Portugal and a final third place at the Valencian Community round.

Rossi finished third in the championship with 233 points, 150 points behind champion Jorge Lorenzo and 12 points behind runner-up Dani Pedrosa. Rossi collected ten podiums throughout the season, including five consecutive podiums in the season's final run. [178]

Ducati (2011–2012)

2011
Rossi at the 2011 Portuguese Grand Prix Valentino Rossi 2011 Estoril.jpg
Rossi at the 2011 Portuguese Grand Prix

On 15 August 2010, after the Brno race, Rossi confirmed he would ride for the Ducati team, signing a two-year deal starting in 2011, [2] [3] joining former Honda racing teammate Nicky Hayden. He tested the Desmosedici for the first time in Valencia on 9 November 2010, [179] making his first appearance since 1999 on an Italian motorcycle. [180] Rossi underwent surgery on his shoulder which he injured during the 2010 season in order to be ready for preseason testing in Malaysia. [181] After initial progress during the first test, the Ducati failed to meet the team's expectations at the second Malaysian test and left Rossi unsatisfied, having finished over 1.8 seconds behind Casey Stoner's pace-setting Honda. [182] [183]

There was much anticipation for the first race of the season; Rossi on an Italian bike turned quite some heads, but he started the season on a disappointing note, only finishing seventh in Qatar. [184] At the second round in Spain, Rossi had moved up from 12th on the grid to third, when he collided with the Honda of Casey Stoner with 20 laps to go. As Rossi edged past on the inside of Stoner, his bike slipped from under him in the wet conditions, causing both riders to slide off the track. Rossi resumed and eventually finished fifth, but Stoner retired from the race. [185] Rossi later apologised for the incident. [186] Another fifth place followed in Portugal where he rose from ninth to fourth, battling with the Honda of Andrea Dovizioso, who snatched fourth place from him at the line. [187]

Rossi's best result of the year came in France, where he took his first and only podium of the season. He battled hard with the Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo and the Honda of Andrea Dovizioso, overtaking both for fifth place, when Dani Pedrosa and Marco Simoncelli at the front collided. Pedrosa crashed and retired from the race whilst Simoncelli was given a ride-through penalty. [188]

Rossi then finished the next four races inside the top six; fifth at Catalunya, sixth in Great Britain, fourth at the Dutch round [189] and sixth again in Italy.

At round nine in Germany, Rossi disappointingly finished in ninth place. [190] At the next two races in the United States and the Czech Republic, he picked up two sixth places, [191] [192] but once again scored a disappointing result when he crossed the line in tenth at Indianapolis after he encountered gearbox problems in the race. On lap nine, Rossi ran last and considered retiring, but climbed his way back up to tenth place in the end. [193]

Poor results continued at his "home grand prix" in San Marino and Aragón, when Rossi could only finish seventh and tenth, battling with the Tech 3 Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow before he got the better of Rossi to cross the line 0.180 seconds ahead of him. [194] [195]

Rossi ended the year on a low. At the Japanese round, Rossi crashed out of the race on the first lap after a couple of corners. He collided with Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies and left Rossi with a blow to his finger. [196] Another retirement followed in Australia when Rossi tried to overtake Álvaro Bautista for fifth on lap 14, lost the front of his Ducati and slid out of the race. [197]

In Malaysia, Rossi qualified ninth but was involved in a collision with Marco Simoncelli and Colin Edwards on the second lap of the race. Simoncelli fell while running fourth, landing in the path of Edwards and Rossi, who both hit Simoncelli's Honda with Simoncelli's helmet also came off in the incident. Simoncelli was killed instantly, and the race was cancelled. [198] At the Valencian Community round, Rossi retired at the first corner after Álvaro Bautista fell from his bike and took down Rossi, teammate Hayden and Randy de Puniet in the process.

Rossi finished seventh in the championship with 139 points, 211 points behind champion Casey Stoner. [199] He also finished a season winless for the first time in his Grand Prix career. [200]

2012
Rossi at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix Valentino Rossi 2012 Philip Island.jpg
Rossi at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix

After a frustrating first season with the Ducati, 2012 was little better for Rossi. He started poorly in Qatar, starting from 12th and could only muster tenth at the line. [201] In Spain and Portugal, he finished in ninth and seventh positions, respectively. [202]

One of his best results of the year came at the French round. He started from seventh on the grid but moved to fourth on the opening lap and overtook the fading Pedrosa for third on lap three. Rossi then was caught by the Tech 3 Yamaha's of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, who battled with him over the bottom step of the podium from laps 4 to 18 until Crutchlow lost the front end of his M1 at the first corner. He remounted and continued the race - as did Dovizioso, who suffered the same fate with four laps to go. After breaking free of both the Tech 3 riders, Rossi slashed the advantage Stoner had built up during the fighting and reeled him in over the remaining ten laps. On the penultimate lap, Rossi tried to overtake Stoner on the fast left-right combination at the beginning of the track, but ran wide and Stoner retook the position. On the final lap, Rossi retried the move, this time successfully, and built a small gap over the remainder of the lap to cross the line in second place: the best finish Rossi has on a Ducati to date. [203] [204]

Over the next couple of races, the Ducati continued to perform poorly, allowing Rossi to only score points. He finished seventh in Catalunya, while in Great Britain, Rossi was fastest in the first free-practice session, but finished the race in ninth. After a thirteenth-place finish at the Dutch round, Rossi finished sixth in Germany, his best dry result of the season so far. [205] In Italy, he improved upon his German result and finished fifth. His first and only DNF of the season came at the United States GP. Rossi was going to come home in eighth position, when he fell at the corkscrew corner whilst trying to brake. He was also unhappy with the bike setup for the race, preventing him from riding quick enough all weekend. [206] Rossi finished seventh at the Indianapolis and Czech Republic rounds.

Rossi would equal his best Ducati result in Le Mans by finishing second for the second consecutive time this season. [207] His Ducati bike got a new frame and swingarm, which improved the performance of the motorcycle. [208] Rossi ended his final year with Ducati with lackluster performances. In Aragón, he finished eighth, in Japan, seventh, at the Malaysian round, fifth, in Australia, seventh and at the Valencian Community round, tenth.

Rossi finished sixth in the championship with 163 points, 187 points behind champion Jorge Lorenzo. [209]

Return to Yamaha (2013–)

2013
Rossi with Cal Crutchlow at the 2013 French Grand Prix, where he finished 12th 2013 - Le Mans - MotoGP 02 (cropped).jpg
Rossi with Cal Crutchlow at the 2013 French Grand Prix, where he finished 12th

On 10 August, it was confirmed that Rossi would leave the factory Ducati team at the end of the 2012 season after riding two seasons for the team. [210] Later that day, it was also announced that Rossi would rejoin the Yamaha factory team until the end of the 2014 season, resuming his partnership with Jorge Lorenzo. [4] Rossi was reacquainted with the Yamaha, when he tested the bike over 13–14 November 2012 at a post-season test at Valencia. [211] However, rain prevented him from posting an accurate lap time, until he next tested the 2013 machine on 5–7 February 2013 in Sepang, where he posted the third-fastest time of 2:00.542 out of 28 riders, clocking 0.442 seconds from pace-setter Dani Pedrosa; and just 0.113 seconds off teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

He kicked off the season well. At the opening round in Qatar, he had a competitive pace all weekend but lost out badly with the new qualifying format, demoting him to seventh place on race day. He quickly fought himself back to fourth on the opening lap, but ran wide when he tried to overtake Ducati replacement rider Andrea Dovizioso, once again dropping him back to seventh place. His podium chances continued to worsen when he got stuck behind Stefan Bradl, but once he passed him, he defied the odds by bridging a three-second gap to Cal Crutchlow, Dani Pedrosa and rookie Marc Márquez, who were fighting for second place. Rossi passed both Crutchlow and Pedrosa, but Márquez' aggressive riding style and determination led to a battle between the two. Márquez overtook Rossi on the penultimate lap, with Rossi repassing him on the final lap to stay ahead and cross the line ahead of the Spanish rookie with 0.211 seconds. [212] At the next two races at the Americas and Spain, Rossi finished in sixth and fourth position. [213] [214] At the French round, he would finish a disappointing twelfth. He started the race from eighth on the grid and moved up to third to grab another podium but lost the position to Cal Crutchlow and then slid out of contention with ten laps to go. Rossi continued to finish in twelfth position, albeit on a damaged bike and hampered by a misting visor. [215]

At round five in Italy, Rossi registered his only retirement of the year. He was involved with a first-lap collision with the Gresini Honda of Álvaro Bautista at the left-right chicane that forms turns two and three. Rossi rode around the outside of Bautista, but he failed to notice Rossi and clipped his bike on the approach to the right-hander, making him fall and collecting Rossi in the process. [216] In Catalunya, Rossi finished just off the podium for the second consecutive time by finishing fourth after starting from seventh on the grid. [217]

On 29 June 2013 at the Dutch round, Rossi recorded his first MotoGP win since Malaysia in 2010 – a 46-race winless streak. He started from fourth on the grid but overtook the Honda of Dani Pedrosa for the lead on lap six, a lead he held until the line despite a late charge by the other Honda of Marc Márquez, who crossed the line 2.170 seconds behind Rossi. [218] After his first win of the season in Assen, Rossi continued to score good results by scoring two more podiums in the form of third places at the German [219] and United States rounds, in which Márquez overtook Rossi at the corkscrew corner in similar fashion to what Rossi did to Casey Stoner in 2008 to win the race. [220]

From Indianapolis to San Marino, Rossi scored four consecutive fourth places, before scoring yet another third-place podium at Aragón after a three-way battle for the spot with Álvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow. [221] Rossi again finished just off the podium at the Malaysian round, finishing fourth, but scored a final podium in the form of third place at the Australian round, once more battling Crutchlow and Bautista. [222] At the last two rounds in Japan and at the Valencian Community, Rossi finished sixth and fourth respectively.

Rossi finished fourth in the championship with 237 points - his best result since 2010 - 97 points behind champion Marc Márquez. [223] He scored six podiums, including one win at Assen.

2014

At the end of the 2013 season, Rossi announced the conclusion of his long collaboration with crew chief Jeremy Burgess, who was replaced by Silvano Galbusera, the former crew chief of Marco Melandri in the Superbike World Championship. [224]

Rossi's first year since his return to Yamaha went well, and hopes for 2014 were even higher: more podiums, wins or even the illustrious tenth title all were mentioned by people. He started the season well with a second-place finish in Qatar, storming from tenth on the grid to battle with the Honda of Marc Márquez for the win, only to miss out on the victory on the last lap with 0.259 seconds at the line. [225] At the next two races, the 2014 Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas and the new venue in Argentina, Rossi only scored points by finishing in eighth and fourth.

Better results were achieved in the fourth round of the championship in Spain, where he chose to use an extra-hard rear tyre that allowed him to move up to second from fourth on the grid and overtake Márquez at the end of the back straight on the first lap. Both swapped places over the remainder of the first and second laps, but passing Márquez at the Dry Sack corner allowed him to pull away and win the race. [226] Another second place came in France after Rossi ran wide halfway through the race, allowing Márquez to win. [227] On 1 June 2014, Rossi appeared in his 300th Grand Prix race at the Italian round. [228] He finished the race in third place. His fourth second place came at the Catalan GP, leading for much of the race but ultimately losing first place to Márquez at a late stage in the race. [229] Lackluster performances followed at the Dutch and German rounds - fifth and fourth - until a string of third places followed at the Indianapolis, Czech and British rounds.

At his "home race" in San Marino, Rossi won his first race since the 2013 Dutch TT round. He started third on the grid, before moving up and battling with Márquez for the lead. On lap 10, Márquez fell, which allowed Rossi to pull a gap and finish first at the line, ahead of teammate Jorge Lorenzo. [230] The victory pushed him past 5000 total career points, making him the first, and so far only, rider to achieve this. [231]

At round 14 in Aragón, Rossi qualified in sixth place and had been making progress up the order in the race, when he ran wide onto the grass – damp due to the wet conditions – and crashed heavily. He lost consciousness briefly after the crash (or as Rossi put it: "I had a little nap" [232] ) and was transferred to a hospital in Alcañiz for a precautionary CT scan. [233]

In Australia Rossi took his second victory of the year. He benefitted from an accident of Marc Márquez, who had been leading the race. It was Rossi's sixth win at the circuit, after five consecutive wins from 2001 to 2005. [234] In Malaysia, another second-place finish followed after he initially took the lead halfway in the race after passing Lorenzo. Márquez passed both Lorenzo and Rossi, pulling a gap and finishing 2.445 seconds ahead of Rossi. [235] Rossi took his first pole position since the 2010 French Grand Prix [236] at the Valencian Community race, his 60th pole position in Grand Prix racing. He finished in second place behind Márquez in the race. [237]

Rossi finished second in the championship with 295 points, 67 points behind champion Marc Márquez. [238]

2015
Rossi during an autograph session at the 2015 Grand Prix of the Americas Valentino rossi COTA 2015.png
Rossi during an autograph session at the 2015 Grand Prix of the Americas

Rossi started the 2015 season – his 20th at World Championship level – by taking victory in the opening race in Qatar; it was his first win in a season-opening race since 2010. Rossi held off Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso to complete his 109th Grand Prix victory, [239] while Dovizioso's teammate Andrea Iannone finished third, completing an all-Italian podium – the first since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix. [240] After achieving a third place behind Marc Márquez and Dovizioso in the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas, [241] Rossi took a second victory of the season in Argentina, consolidating his championship lead, becoming the first rider to win a race using an extra-hard Bridgestone rear tyre. [242] He recorded his eighth successive podium finish – and the 200th of his Grand Prix career [243]  – with a third place in Spain, and kept the run going with a second place in France, [244] and a third on home soil at Mugello. [245]

Rossi finished second to Lorenzo in Catalunya, [246] to maintain the championship lead over his teammate by one point. Rossi took his first pole position of the season at Assen, his 61st pole position in Grand Prix racing, and achieved his third victory of the season; it was his first win from pole position since the 2009 San Marino Grand Prix — and his twelfth successive podium – after a race-long battle with Márquez; he also extended his championship lead to ten points over Lorenzo, who finished third. [247] Rossi further extended his championship lead at Sachsenring with third, [248] and continued his podium streak with third-place finishes at Indianapolis, [249] and Brno. [250] Lorenzo's win in Brno gave him the championship lead over Rossi, by virtue of more wins at that point. Rossi returned to the championship lead with his fourth victory of 2015 at Silverstone, after Márquez – who had been chasing him for the majority of the race – crashed out in wet conditions, while Lorenzo finished fourth. [251] The podium streak of 16 races ended with a fifth-place finish at Misano, but Rossi extended his championship lead to 23 points after Lorenzo crashed out. [252] Lorenzo won the Aragon Grand Prix with Rossi in third, to cut the gap to fourteen points with four races remaining. The pair's results were enough for the team to clinch their respective title, their first since 2010. [253]

In Japan, Rossi extended his championship lead to eighteen with a second-place finish to Dani Pedrosa in drying conditions. Lorenzo had started on pole but faded to third with tyre issues. [254] Lorenzo cut the lead to eleven in Australia, with a second-place finish to Rossi's fourth. [255] Lorenzo further cut the lead to seven, after a second-place finish in Malaysia; Rossi finished third after a collision with Márquez, in which he accrued three penalty points – enough to enforce a start from the back of the grid for the final race in Valencia. [256] Rossi accused Márquez of deliberately trying to harm his championship, something Márquez repeatedly denied. [257] [258] Rossi made it up to fourth in the race, but with Lorenzo winning the race, Lorenzo took the championship by five points. [259]

The controversial rivalries between Rossi and Márquez appeared to end at the 2016 Catalan Grand Prix, when Rossi and Márquez shook hands at the parc ferme. However, during the 2018 Argentine Grand Prix, controversies reared up again following some disputed maneuvers carried out by Marc Márquez before and during the race, where he tried a very risky overtake on Rossi that resulted in a crash for the latter.

2016
Rossi at the 2016 Qatar Grand Prix Valentino Rossi at Losail International Circuit Qatar photo by Hanson.jpg
Rossi at the 2016 Qatar Grand Prix

Before the 2016 season even began, Valentino Rossi announced that he will continue his career by keeping his contract with MotoGP until 2018. [260] Yamaha announced that Rossi will ride a 2016 YZR-M1 which also includes ECU Michelin tyres new to MotoGP and the racers. [261] Expecting a difficult start to the season due to the new tires, Rossi was able to adjust as he stated to the media at Sepang. [262] Rossi began the 2016 season with fourth place in Qatar, albeit just two seconds from victory. In the next race in Argentina, Rossi returned to the podium with second place behind Marc Márquez after a collision between Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso on the last lap for which Iannone was penalised. The race was split into two parts similar to the 2013 Australian Grand Prix after concerns over Michelin rear tyres forced riders to make a pitstop to change bikes. Rossi had fought with Marquez for the lead in the first half of the race but fell back to fourth on his second bike before the last lap incident between the Ducatis. At Austin, Rossi suffered his first DNF since the 2014 Aragon Grand Prix, bringing an end to a run of 24 consecutive top-five finishes after crashing at the start of the third lap. At Jerez, Rossi led the race start-to-finish with the exception of one corner to Jorge Lorenzo after gaining his 52nd pole position, the race marked the first time in his MotoGP career that Rossi led every lap of a race from pole position. At Le Mans, Rossi started a lowly seventh on the grid but recovered in the race to finish second with the fastest lap of the race. Rossi suffered an engine failure in his home race at Mugello when closely following Lorenzo for the lead after starting from pole position. It was Rossi's first technical failure since the 2007 San Marino Grand Prix. Rossi bounced back in Catalunya by winning from seventh on the first lap after a late-race battle with Márquez. Rossi dedicated the victory to the family of former Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who had been killed following a crash in Friday practice. The first race held on Sunday at Assen saw disappointment for Rossi as wet conditions saw him fall from a comfortable lead in a restarted race following a red flag in torrential conditions. Assuming the lead in the second race, Rossi set the fastest lap but continued to push before crashing due to what he called a "stupid mistake". More rain at the Sachsenring saw Rossi in contention for victory again, however a delayed decision to change bikes in the drying conditions; as he did since the 2015 San Marino Grand Prix combined with using intermediate tires instead of slicks like Márquez, saw him come home eighth.

After the summer break, MotoGP's return to Austria for the first time since 1997, saw Ducati dominate for a 1-2 finish, Rossi coming a close fourth behind Jorge Lorenzo. Another wet race in Brno saw Rossi go against the majority of the field in choosing the harder rear wet tyre. Initially it seemed an error as he fell from 6th to 12th but he recovered throughout the race to finish second to Cal Crutchlow. Silverstone saw Rossi line up second on the grid behind pole-sitter Crutchlow, and following an intense battle with Márquez, eventually finishing third behind Crutchlow and first-time race winner Maverick Viñales. A week later Rossi finished second at his home race of Misano. After leading for the majority of the race he was overhauled by Dani Pedrosa in the closing laps. Rossi again led for a period in Aragon before eventually finishing third.

The flyaway races began badly for Rossi after crashing out of second place in Motegi having started from pole. Victory for Márquez saw him crowned champion. Rossi started 15th in Phillip Island after a rain affected qualifying, but recovered to finish second in the race. Rossi secured second place in wet conditions at Sepang behind Andrea Dovizioso having again led for periods, the result securing second place in the championship for the third year in a row. The season concluded as 2015 did, with fourth place in Valencia, after a long-battle with Iannone.

2017

Rossi suffered a difficult winter testing period for the 2017 season, often lagging behind new teammate Viñales after suffering with a new softer construction Michelin front tyre. For the first race in Qatar, however, he appeared to make a breakthrough, moving from tenth on the grid to finish third. Rossi continued his improvement by finishing second in Argentina and the US to take the lead of the Championship after three races. The European season began disappointingly with tenth at Jerez; this was followed by a crash on the last lap at Le Mans while battling teammate Viñales for the win. Rossi also lost the championship lead after the race. Following the French race, Rossi suffered a motocross training crash which initially threatened his participation at Mugello. Ultimately he passed a late fitness test and finished the race in fourth. A week later at Barcelona, Yamaha struggled as they did in Jerez in the hot conditions as Rossi came home eighth. Tests of a new chassis after the Catalan race were positive and saw Rossi take his first victory of the season at Assen after a late0race battle with Danilo Petrucci with slick tyres on a damp track, the older Italian prevailing by just 0.063 seconds. The result also made Rossi the oldest race winner in the MotoGP era, surpassing Troy Bayliss. [263]

Rivalries

1990s and early 2000s: Capirossi, Biaggi and Gibernau

Earlier in his career Max Biaggi was considered Rossi's main rival. Although they had not even raced against each other until 2000, the rivalry between the two had been growing since the mid-1990s, and reached its peak in Barcelona in 2001, at the end of the 500cc race, when the two riders came to blows (involving members of their entourage and circuit employees) in the moments before the podium ceremony. Previously, in 2001, at the first round in Japan, one of the most famous episodes in their rivalry took place, when first Biaggi seemed to have tried to push Rossi into the dirt at high speed, and a few laps later Rossi returned to overtake Biaggi showing, on live television, his middle finger. The rivalry died down after Rossi's consecutive World Championships and Biaggi's struggle to find support and a consistent rhythm with his races.

In his autobiography What If I'd Never Tried It?, Rossi makes a number of claims about the reasons for his rivalry with Biaggi, and some of the incidents which led to its escalation. The rivalry was also featured in the 2003 documentary film, Faster .

Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi at the 2010 French Grand Prix Rossi and Lorenzo 2010 French GP.jpg
Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi at the 2010 French Grand Prix
The podium after the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, with Casey Stoner flanked by Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi. Phillip Island MotoGP podium 2010.jpg
The podium after the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, with Casey Stoner flanked by Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi.

Rossi's closest rival in the 2003 and 2004 seasons was Sete Gibernau, riding with Team Gresini's Movistar Honda team on a satellite RC211V in 2004 and then on an all but in name factory RC211V, which Gibernau helped to develop, in 2005. Initially they were quite friendly in the paddock and off – Gibernau partied on occasions with Rossi at the Italian's Ibiza villa – but a souring in their relationship began in the 2004 season and culminated in the "Qatar Incident" that same season when Rossi's team was penalized for "cleaning" his grid position to aid in traction, along with Honda Pons' Max Biaggi, and both riders were subsequently forced to start from the back of the grid. A number of teams, including Gibernau's Team Gresini and the official Repsol Honda factory team, appealed successfully to race direction for Rossi to be sanctioned. Rossi and his chief engineer, Jeremy Burgess, insisted that they were doing nothing more than what many others had done before when faced with a dirty track.

Since then the two have not spoken and Rossi seemed to resolve to use the incident to apply psychological pressure on Gibernau. Rumours of Rossi having sworn that after the Qatar race, which Gibernau won while Rossi crashed out after rising to 6th position, he would do everything to make sure that Gibernau never stood on the highest step of the podium again. However, Rossi has denied these claims. [264] Gibernau retired from Grand Prix racing after an unsuccessful, injury blighted 2006 season with Ducati and he never won another race after Qatar, prompting some in the Spanish and Italian motorcycle racing media to explain this fact by way of reference to the "Qatar Curse."[ citation needed ]

Late 2000s and early 2010s: Stoner and Lorenzo

In 2007, Casey Stoner emerged as a rival for Rossi. Coupled with a Ducati, the young Australian won the first race of the year, followed by many more victories resulting in his claiming of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship title. Stoner's and Rossi's rivalry came to a dramatic climax at Laguna Seca Raceway in 2008. After numerous position changes, Rossi overtook Stoner at the Corkscrew. The bold move caused Rossi to run into the dirt and broken pavement on the inside of the right turn, and his rejoining the track came close to causing a collision between the two riders. A few laps later, Stoner went into the gravel on the slow entry into turn 11. Stoner picked up his bike to finish second, while Rossi took the win. After this, Casey Stoner made the comment, "I have lost respect for one of the greatest riders in history." For the comment, Stoner apologised to Rossi at the next race. [265]

In 2008, Jorge Lorenzo joined Rossi in the factory Yamaha Motor Racing team, which started a new rivalry. Rossi won the 2008 title, with Lorenzo suffering two serious crashes at Laguna Seca and China. In 2009, Rossi and Lorenzo resumed hostilities with Rossi emerging as champion again. In 2009, Rossi defeated Lorenzo in several tight battles, at Valencia, Assen, Sachsenring and, most memorably, Lorenzo's home race at Catalonia, after passing him in the final corner to take victory, in that part of the track where any overtaking was considered impossible. In 2010, Lorenzo finally emerged victorious in the championship battle, after Rossi first injured his shoulder in a motocross training accident, then breaking his shin-bone after a vicious crash in Mugello, missing four races. The most dramatic race of the season came at Motegi, beating Lorenzo for third place. [266]

Mid to late 2010s: Marc Márquez

In recent seasons Rossi has featured in an at times heated rivalry with Spanish rider Marc Márquez. Márquez moved up to the MotoGP category in 2013, and initially the two had a good relationship, with Márquez stating that Rossi had been his childhood idol. Their respect for each other took a turn during the 2015 season, starting with a late race collision whilst battling for the lead in Argentina. Both riders shrugged it off as a racing incident. A similar incident occurred at Assen several months later; Márquez lunged up the inside of Rossi at the final chicane, Rossi picked the bike up, rode through the gravel, rejoined the track and won the race. Post race Márquez seemed fairly unbothered by the incident, although his team did appeal the result.

Their relationship broke down completely after the race in Malaysia. Having had a poor season and being out of championship contention, Marquez won at Phillip Island in Australia whilst points leader Rossi was only fourth. A week later during the press conference in Malaysia, Rossi accused Marc of deliberately battling aggressively with him in Australia to cost him time and give an advantage to Rossi's teammate and championship rival Jorge Lorenzo. Tempers reached boiling point in the race, where Márquez ran wide early on allowing Lorenzo through for second, and then set about having a heated battle with Rossi which lasted for several laps. Coming into turn 14, Rossi ran Marquez to the outside of the corner and they collided at the edge of the track, knocking Márquez out of the race whilst Rossi carried on to finish third. Post race, Rossi was penalised by having to start from the back of the grid for the championship decider in Valencia. In that race, Rossi rode from the back to fourth, but Lorenzo took victory with Márquez second to claim the title by 5 points. Márquez was accused by fans to have deliberately defended Lorenzo for the whole race against his own teammate Dani Pedrosa.

Their relationship remained frosty for the beginning of 2016, but the feud came to an end when they shook hands after battling each other in Barcelona. However tempers would again flare two years later, once again in Argentina. Márquez was given a ride-through penalty after he stalled on the grid and retook his original starting position. Whilst riding back through the field in the late stages, he caught Rossi who was running in fifth place. He attempted to overtake into the final corner, but hit a damp patch and collided with Rossi, pushing him off the track and causing him to fall. Marquez crossed the line in fifth but was penalised a further 30 seconds for the incident. After the race, Rossi accused Marquez of "ruining our sport" with his aggressive riding.

Nicknames

Rossi at the 2011 Portuguese Grand Prix Valentino Rossi 1.JPG
Rossi at the 2011 Portuguese Grand Prix
Rossi's Yamaha YZR-M1 at the 2007 Bologna Motor Show Motor Show 2007 Gnocca con la moto di Valentino.jpg
Rossi's Yamaha YZR-M1 at the 2007 Bologna Motor Show

Since his early racing days Valentino Rossi has had numerous nicknames. In the beginning he was known as "Rossifumi", inspired by Norifumi Abe, who made a spectacular debut in the 500cc class in Japan.

Since dominating the 500 cc category later known as MotoGP, "The Doctor" has become the nickname of choice for Rossi. Two theories prevail as to why Rossi uses "The Doctor." One is that Rossi adopted the nickname upon having earned a degree, which in Italy entitles one to use the title "Doctor." Another, as spoken by Graziano himself, "The Doctor because, I don't think there is a particular reason, but it's beautiful, and is important, The Doctor. And in Italy, The Doctor is a name you give to someone for respect, it's very important, The Doctor... important." [267] Rossi often jokes, however, that the name arrived because in Italy, Rossi is a common surname for doctors.

He has always raced with the number No. 46 in his motorcycle grand prix career, the number his father had raced with in the first of his 3 grand prix career wins in 1979, in Yugoslavia, on a 250c Morbidelli. Typically, a World Championship winner is awarded the No. 1 sticker for the next season. However, in a homage to Britain's Barry Sheene, who was the first rider of the modern era to keep the same number (#7), Rossi has stayed with the now-famous No. 46 throughout his career, though as the world champion he has worn the No. 1 on the shoulder of his racing leathers.

The text on his helmet refers to the name of his group of friends: "The Tribe of the Chihuahua," and the letters WLF on his leathers stand for "Viva La Figa," Italian for "Long Live Pussy." He has so far escaped any sanctions or ultimatums that he remove the letters because the "W" in "WLF" represents the two "V"s in "ViVa." Equally obvious is his success at escaping any disciplinary action from the FIM or Dorna Sports for having the letters so brazenly on the front neck area of his leathers. He traditionally also incorporates his favorite color (fluorescent yellow) into his leather designs. This has also earned him the nickname "Highlighter Pen" more recently. It is most commonly used by commentators Toby Moody and Julian Ryder.

Fellow motorcycle racer and former teammate Colin Edwards, as well as some TV journalists, have often referred to him as 'the GOAT' (Greatest of all Time). [268]

Other motorsport activities

Rossi competing on the shakedown stage for the 2008 Rally GB Wales Rally Gb 2008 Valentino Rossi.JPG
Rossi competing on the shakedown stage for the 2008 Rally GB

Rossi tested the Ferrari Formula One car in 2006 on 31 January 1 February, and 2 February at Valencia. The first test saw Rossi spin out on the damp track into the gravel trap, ending his day. On the second day, he posted the ninth fastest time of fifteen drivers, approximately one second behind Michael Schumacher, who himself was third fastest. Rossi lapped faster than seasoned drivers Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber and David Coulthard and Toyota F1's Jarno Trulli. [269] On the final day of testing, Rossi was just a little more than a half second behind Schumacher's best time. [270] Schumacher hailed Rossi as having immense talent and said he would be perfectly capable of moving to Formula One and being competitive immediately.

In May 2006, Rossi announced that he would be staying in MotoGP until he felt his work on the motorbike was "finished." Ferrari driver Schumacher said that he felt "saddened" by Rossi's decision but supported it. Rossi subsequently signed a new contract with Yamaha for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, then for 2009 and 2010.

Beyond his interest in F1, Rossi's strong passion is for rallying. In Rossi's youth one of his heroes was WRC Champion Colin McRae. Rally legend McRae taught Rossi the basics of driving a rally car. [271] The two competed against each other at the 2005 Monza Rally Show, with McRae driving a Skoda Fabia WRC and Rossi winning in a Subaru Impreza WRC. [272] His first official foray into rallying came in 2002 at WRC Rally Great Britain in a Peugeot 206 WRC, in which he crashed out on the second stage (first non-superspecial stage).

In October 2006 it was announced that Rossi would enter that year's Rally New Zealand, a WRC event, which was to run from 17–19 November. [273] He competed in a Subaru Impreza WRC04 finishing 11th out of 39. In 2006 Rossi also won the Monza Rally Show driving a Ford Focus RS WRC 04. He beat the 2005 winner Rinaldo Capello by 24 seconds, winning five of the seven stages on his way. He also managed to outpace former WRC champion Didier Auriol by seven seconds in the head-to-head Master Show final. Rossi also announced at the 2006 Monza Rally Show, that he would be entering the 2007 Rally of Great Britain, however, he later opted out. At the 2007 Monza Rally, Rossi again took first place.

Rossi had been linked with a move to both Formula One and the World Rally Championship in 2007, having tested for Ferrari and competed in a number of rally events. [274]

But Rossi decided to remain in MotoGP; "I have a contract with Yamaha until 2008," said Rossi. "When that finishes then we will see. What I am sure about is that I will ride until I'm 31 or 32 at most. I will look for new stimuli in the next few seasons, but for now I am fully motivated". [275] Rossi signed a new two-year contract confirming he will be at Yamaha until 2010. [276] He originally planned to use the Impreza WRC2008 during his participation in the Rally GB in December 2008, [277] but decided to drive a Ford Focus RS WRC 07 instead. [278] He finished the rally in 12th place, 13 minutes and 20.4 seconds behind eventual winner Sébastien Loeb. [279]

In January 2010, Rossi has said that once he retires from motorcycle racing, he hopes to move into rallying. "There are not many changes in a man's body between 22 and 34 so I still have some time left. I would consider shifting to cars, probably rallying, after that before I finally decide to take it easy ... I know F1 would've been easier but by the time I finish MotoGP, I will be too old for F1." [280] Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari's Formula One Team principal, however, reasserted his wish to have a third Ferrari on the F1 grid driven by Rossi, whilst confirming that Rossi would test an older Ferrari F1 car on 21 and 22 January 2010. [281]

In March 2010, the Italian minister Franco Frattini government awarded Rossi the first Winning Italy Award for the image he portrays of his country on an international level. [282]

In 2013, Rossi was given a special test of Kyle Busch's NASCAR Nationwide Series stock car at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rossi achieved a top speed of 185 miles per hour, a speed which would have put him in the top fifteen of a Nationwide Series race. [283]

Team ownership

Rossi is the owner of the Sky Racing Team by VR46, which debuted in the Moto3 category of Grand Prix motorcycle racing in 2014 with riders Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia. In 2015, Andrea Migno replaced Bagnaia. The team also races in Moto2.

Helmets and protective gear

Various helmets used by Rossi Valentino Rossi's AGV helmets.jpg
Various helmets used by Rossi

Valentino Rossi has gone through numerous helmet designs throughout his career, most featuring the Sun & Moon motif, signifying (according to Rossi) the two sides of his personality. His helmets are manufactured by AGV. [284] Aldo Drudi was associated with Rossi's helmet graphics in 2010. Nearly every year, Rossi works with Aldo Drudi to design a unique helmet to use while racing at the Italian Grand Prix. [285]

Since commencing his Grand Prix career, Rossi has worn leathers from Dainese. In 1996 and 1997, Alpinestars was a sponsor on his bike, but did not supply Rossi with leathers. Alpinestars just supplied racing boots for Rossi. After Rossi joined the Yamaha Factory Team, the team wore shirts from Alpinestars, while Rossi maintained his association with Dainese. In 2011 and 2012, Rossi was a member of the Ducati factory team, where the team wore shirts from Puma, while Rossi still maintained his association with Dainese. In 2016, Rossi has a new jacket from Dainese. His jacket has a different graphic compared with Alpinestars Movistar Yamaha jacket.

Pre-ride rituals

Rossi at the 2010 Qatar Grand Prix. Valentino Rossi 2010 Qatar GP 1.jpg
Rossi at the 2010 Qatar Grand Prix.

Rossi is superstitious and renowned for his pre-ride rituals. On a race day, he will always watch the beginning of the Moto3 race to see how long the starting lights remain lit before going out at the start of the race. Prior to riding (whether racing, qualifying, or practice), he will start his personal ritual by stopping about two metres from his bike, bending over and reaching for his boots. Then, when arriving at his bike, he will crouch down and hold the right-side foot-peg, with his head bowed. [286] In an interview, Rossi said "It’s just a moment to focus and ‘talk’ to my bike, like moving from one place to the next." [287] He adjusts the fit of his leathers by standing straight up on the foot-pegs, whilst riding down the pit-lane before the start of race or practice. He also revealed in an interview with MotoGP.com that he always puts one particular boot on before the other, as well as one particular glove on before the other, and that he always gets on the bike the same way. He also gets off the bike in the same way, swinging his right leg over the front of the bike. [288]

Personal life

After leaving the family home in Tavullia, he moved to Milan, before taking up residency in London, England during his period with Honda. During this time he acquired a villa in Ibiza which he still owns, [289] and following the tax case returned to his main residence to live close to his family in Italy. Rossi is a practising Catholic. [290]

In 2002 he received threats from an Italian-Spanish anarchist movement, which in those days sent parcel bombs to people it considered targets in either of the two countries. The anarchists considered Rossi "guilty" because at the time he rode for Honda's MotoGP factory team, it had been sponsored by the oil company Repsol since 1994, (for which he filmed a commercial in Spain.) with their logo displayed on both the motorcycle and on his race suits. [291]

On 31 May 2005 he received an honorary degree in Communications and Advertising for Organizations. In March 2010, the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini delivered to Valentino Rossi the first Winning Italy Award for his contribution to the promotion of Italy's image in the world. [282]

Reported earnings

According to Sports Illustrated, Rossi is one of the highest-earning sports personalities in the world, having earned an estimated $34 million in 2007. [292] In 2009 Forbes ranked Rossi as number nine among the world's highest-paid athletes having earned an estimated $35 million in the past year. [293]

Tax avoidance case

In 2007, the Italian tax authorities declared Rossi was being investigated for suspected tax evasion. Having previously unsuccessfully investigated Rossi for tax evasion in 2002, the authorities announced they were investigating Rossi for undeclared revenues of 112 million euros ($160 million) between 2000 and 2004. The officials said, against the European Taxes Agreements among European countries, Rossi's London residency has enabled him to take advantage of favourable tax conditions, such as only declaring earnings made in Britain and avoiding taxes on his lucrative merchandising and sponsorship contracts, commenting that Rossi had residency in London but his "centre of interests" wasn't there, as shown by a thorough investigation. [294] It noted that in 2002, Rossi's Italian tax form declared earnings of 500 euros, while sponsorship contracts were all reported to be made out to foreign companies, but with his affairs controlled mainly from Italy. [295] In February 2008, Rossi announced that he had reached a settlement with the Italian tax authorities: he paid 35 million euros to close the tax case. He also plea-bargained a suspended sentence of six months' imprisonment for non-declaration of income. [296]

Videogame

In November 2015, Milestone S.r.l. announced Valentino Rossi: The Game , to be released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. [297]

Other hobbies

Rossi keeps his personal life private, though he makes no secret of his fondness for Italian football club Internazionale. After he won world titles in 2008 and 2009, Inter congratulated him via their website. [298] [299] At the 2015 Argentine Grand Prix, Rossi wore a replica Diego Maradona football shirt on the podium in tribute to Maradona after Rossi won the race. [300] Maradona congratulated him via his Facebook.

Career statistics

By season

SeasonClassMotorcycleTeamNumberRaceWinPod Pole FLapPtsPlcdWCh
1996 125cc Aprilia RS125 Scuderia AGV Aprilia 461512121119th
1997 125cc Aprilia RS125 Nastro Azzurro Aprilia 46151113473211st1
1998 250cc Aprilia RS250 Nastro Azzurro Aprilia 461459032012nd
1999 250cc Aprilia RS250 Nastro Azzurro Aprilia 4616912583091st1
2000 500cc Honda NSR500 Nastro Azzurro Honda 4616210052092nd
2001 500cc Honda NSR500 Nastro Azzurro Honda 461611134103251st1
2002 MotoGP Honda RC211V Repsol Honda Team 46161115793551st1
2003 MotoGP Honda RC211V Repsol Honda Team 46169169123571st1
2004 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha 4616911533041st1
2005 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Gauloises Yamaha Team [N 1] 46171116563671st1
2006 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Camel Yamaha Team 4617510542472nd
2007 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha Team 461848432413rd
2008 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha Team 4618916253731st1
2009 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha Team 4617613763061st1
2010 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Fiat Yamaha Team 4614210122333rd
2011 MotoGP Ducati Desmosedici GP11 Ducati Team 461701011397th
2012 MotoGP Ducati Desmosedici GP12 Ducati Team 461802011636th
2013 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Yamaha Factory Racing 461816012374th
2014 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 4618213112952nd
2015 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 4618415143252nd
2016 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 4618210322492nd
2017 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 461716002085th
2018 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 461805101983rd
2019 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 463020051*2nd*
Total384115237659561249

By class

ClassSeasons1st GP1st Podium1st WinRacesWinsPodiums Poles FLapsPtsWChmps
125 cc1996–1997 1996 Malaysia 1996 Austria 1996 Czech Republic 301215594321
250 cc1998–1999 1998 Japan 1998 Spain 1998 Netherlands 3014215115101
500 cc2000–2001 2000 South Africa 2000 Spain 2000 Great Britain 3213234155341
MotoGP2002–present 2002 Japan 2002 Japan 2002 Japan 29476175516046486
Total1996–present3841152336595'61249

Races by year

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearClassBike12345678910111213141516171819Pos.Pts
1996 125cc Aprilia MAL
6
INA
11
JPN
11
SPA
4
ITA
4
FRA
Ret
NED
Ret
GER
5
GBR
Ret
AUT
3
CZE
1
IMO
5
CAT
Ret
RIO
Ret
AUS
14
9th111
1997 125cc Aprilia MAL
1
JPN
Ret
SPA
1
ITA
1
AUT
2
FRA
1
NED
1
IMO
1
GER
1
RIO
1
GBR
1
CZE
3
CAT
1
INA
1
AUS
6
1st321
1998 250cc Aprilia JPN
Ret
MAL
Ret
SPA
2
ITA
2
FRA
2
MAD
Ret
NED
1
GBR
Ret
GER
3
CZE
Ret
IMO
1
CAT
1
AUS
1
ARG
1
2nd201
1999 250cc Aprilia MAL
5
JPN
7
SPA
1
FRA
Ret
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
2
GBR
1
GER
1
CZE
1
IMO
2
VAL
8
AUS
1
RSA
1
RIO
1
ARG
3
1st309
2000 500cc Honda RSA
Ret
MAL
Ret
JPN
11
SPA
3
FRA
3
ITA
12
CAT
3
NED
6
GBR
1
GER
2
CZE
2
POR
3
VAL
Ret
RIO
1
PAC
2
AUS
3
2nd209
2001 500cc Honda JPN
1
RSA
1
SPA
1
FRA
3
ITA
Ret
CAT
1
NED
2
GBR
1
GER
7
CZE
1
POR
1
VAL
11
PAC
1
AUS
1
MAL
1
RIO
1
1st325
2002 MotoGP Honda JPN
1
RSA
2
SPA
1
FRA
1
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
1
GBR
1
GER
1
CZE
Ret
POR
1
RIO
1
PAC
2
MAL
2
AUS
1
VAL
2
1st355
2003 MotoGP Honda JPN
1
RSA
2
SPA
1
FRA
2
ITA
1
CAT
2
NED
3
GBR
3
GER
2
CZE
1
POR
1
RIO
1
PAC
2
MAL
1
AUS
1
VAL
1
1st357
2004 MotoGP Yamaha RSA
1
SPA
4
FRA
4
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
1
RIO
Ret
GER
4
GBR
1
CZE
2
POR
1
JPN
2
QAT
Ret
MAL
1
AUS
1
VAL
1
1st304
2005 MotoGP Yamaha SPA
1
POR
2
CHN
1
FRA
1
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
1
USA
3
GBR
1
GER
1
CZE
1
JPN
Ret
MAL
2
QAT
1
AUS
1
TUR
2
VAL
3
1st367
2006 MotoGP Yamaha SPA
14
QAT
1
TUR
4
CHN
Ret
FRA
Ret
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
8
GBR
2
GER
1
USA
Ret
CZE
2
MAL
1
AUS
3
JPN
2
POR
2
VAL
13
2nd247
2007 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
2
SPA
1
TUR
10
CHN
2
FRA
6
ITA
1
CAT
2
GBR
4
NED
1
GER
Ret
USA
4
CZE
7
RSM
Ret
POR
1
JPN
13
AUS
3
MAL
5
VAL
Ret
3rd241
2008 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
5
SPA
2
POR
3
CHN
1
FRA
1
ITA
1
CAT
2
GBR
2
NED
11
GER
2
USA
1
CZE
1
RSM
1
IND
1
JPN
1
AUS
2
MAL
1
VAL
3
1st373
2009 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
2
JPN
2
SPA
1
FRA
16
ITA
3
CAT
1
NED
1
USA
2
GER
1
GBR
5
CZE
1
IND
Ret
RSM
1
POR
4
AUS
2
MAL
3
VAL
2
1st306
2010 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
1
SPA
3
FRA
2
ITA
DNS
GBR NED CAT GER
4
USA
3
CZE
5
IND
4
RSM
3
ARA
6
JPN
3
MAL
1
AUS
3
POR
2
VAL
3
3rd233
2011 MotoGP Ducati QAT
7
SPA
5
POR
5
FRA
3
CAT
5
GBR
6
NED
4
ITA
6
GER
9
USA
6
CZE
6
IND
10
RSM
7
ARA
10
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
MAL
C
VAL
Ret
7th139
2012 MotoGP Ducati QAT
10
SPA
9
POR
7
FRA
2
CAT
7
GBR
9
NED
13
GER
6
ITA
5
USA
Ret
IND
7
CZE
7
RSM
2
ARA
8
JPN
7
MAL
5
AUS
7
VAL
10
6th163
2013 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
2
AME
6
SPA
4
FRA
12
ITA
Ret
CAT
4
NED
1
GER
3
USA
3
IND
4
CZE
4
GBR
4
RSM
4
ARA
3
MAL
4
AUS
3
JPN
6
VAL
4
4th237
2014 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
2
AME
8
ARG
4
SPA
2
FRA
2
ITA
3
CAT
2
NED
5
GER
4
IND
3
CZE
3
GBR
3
RSM
1
ARA
Ret
JPN
3
AUS
1
MAL
2
VAL
2
2nd295
2015 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
1
AME
3
ARG
1
SPA
3
FRA
2
ITA
3
CAT
2
NED
1
GER
3
IND
3
CZE
3
GBR
1
RSM
5
ARA
3
JPN
2
AUS
4
MAL
3
VAL
4
2nd325
2016 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
4
ARG
2
AME
Ret
SPA
1
FRA
2
ITA
Ret
CAT
1
NED
Ret
GER
8
AUT
4
CZE
2
GBR
3
RSM
2
ARA
3
JPN
Ret
AUS
2
MAL
2
VAL
4
2nd249
2017 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
3
ARG
2
AME
2
SPA
10
FRA
Ret
ITA
4
CAT
8
NED
1
GER
5
CZE
4
AUT
7
GBR
3
RSM ARA
5
JPN
Ret
AUS
2
MAL
7
VAL
5
5th208
2018 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
3
ARG
19
AME
4
SPA
5
FRA
3
ITA
3
CAT
3
NED
5
GER
2
CZE
4
AUT
6
GBR
C
RSM
7
ARA
8
THA
4
JPN
4
AUS
6
MAL
18
VAL
13
3rd198
2019 MotoGP Yamaha QAT
5
ARG
2
AME
2
SPA
FRA
ITA
CAT
NED
GER
CZE
AUT
GBR
RSM
ARA
THA
JPN
AUS
MAL
VAL
2nd*51*

* Season still in progress.

Suzuka 8 Hours results

YearTeamCo-DriversBikePos.
2000 Flag of Japan.svg Honda Flag of the United States.svg Colin Edwards Honda VTR1000SPW DNQ
2001 Flag of Japan.svg Honda Flag of the United States.svg Colin Edwards Honda VTR1000SPW 1st

Records

As of the conclusion of round number 15 in Thailand of the 2018 season, Valentino Rossi holds the following records: [301] [302] [303] [304]

RecordNumber
Combined records (all classes)
Race starts382
Second places65
Third places52
Podium finishes232
Points6,070
Championship titles with different engine displacement 5 (125cc, 250cc, 500cc, 800cc, 990cc)
Longest winning career in Grand Prix racing20 years, 311 days
1996 Czech Republic GP (18 August 1996; 125cc) to 2017 Dutch TT (25 June 2017; MotoGP)
Countries raced in21 (Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, Czech Republic, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Portugal, Qatar, China, United States, Turkey, Thailand)[ citation needed ]
Wins at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 10 (19971999, 20012002, 20042006, 2009, 2016)
Wins at Mugello Circuit 9 (1997, 1999, 20022008)
Wins at Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto 9 (1997, 1999, 20012003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2016)
Wins at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit 8 (19981999, 20012005, 2014)
Wins at Donington Park 7 (1997, 19992002, 20042005)
Wins at Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet 6 (1997, 19992003)
Wins at Sepang International Circuit 6 (2001, 20032004, 2006, 2008, 2010)
Wins at Autódromo do Estoril 5 (20012004, 2007)
Wins at Phakisa Freeway 3 (1999, 2001, 2004)
Wins at Shanghai International Circuit [N 2] 2 (2005, 2008)
Wins at Sentul International Circuit [N 3] 1 (1997)
Consecutive wins at Mugello Circuit 7 (20022008)
Consecutive wins at Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet 5 (19992003)
Consecutive wins at Autódromo do Estoril 4 (20012004)
Consecutive wins at Donington Park [N 4] 3 (20002002)
Consecutive wins at Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto [N 5] 3 (20012003)
Consecutive wins at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 3 (20042006)
Wins with Aprilia 26
500cc/MotoGP record
Race starts322
Wins89
Second places59
Third places48
Podium finishes196
Points5,128
Wins at TT Circuit Assen 8 (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Wins at Mugello Circuit 7 (20022008)
Wins at Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto 7 (20012003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2016)
Wins at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 7 (20012002, 20042006, 2009, 2016)
Wins at Sepang International Circuit 6 (2001, 20032004, 2006, 2008, 2010)
Wins at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit [N 6] 6 (20012005, 2014)
Wins at Donington Park 5 (20002002, 20042005)
Wins at Autódromo do Estoril 5 (20012004, 2007)
Wins at Brno Circuit 5 (2001, 2003, 2005, 20082009)
Wins at Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet 4 (20002003)
Wins at Losail International Circuit [N 7] 4 (20052006, 2010, 2015)
Wins at Phakisa Freeway 2 (2001, 2004)
Wins at Shanghai International Circuit 2 (2005, 2008)
Consecutive wins at Mugello Circuit 7 (20022008)
Consecutive wins at Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet 4 (20002003)
Consecutive wins at Autódromo do Estoril 4 (20012004)
Consecutive wins at Donington Park [N 8] 3 (20002002)
Consecutive wins at Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto [N 9] 3 (20012003)
Consecutive wins at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 3 (20042006)
Podium finishes in a season [N 10] 16 (2003, 2005, 2008)
Fastest laps in a season [N 11] 12 (2003)
Consecutive podium finishes23 (2002 Portuguese GP2004 South African GP)
Consecutive race starts170 (2000 South African GP2010 French GP)
Championship titles with Yamaha 4 (20042005, 20082009)
Consecutive championship titles with different constructors [N 12] 2 (20032004)
Consecutive wins with different constructors2 (2003 Valencian GP2004 South African GP)
Wins with Yamaha 56
Wins in a season with Yamaha 11 (2005)
Consecutive wins with Yamaha 5 (2005 Chinese GP2005 Dutch TT, 2008 United States GP2008 Japanese GP)
Championship titles with different motorcycles 4 (500cc Honda, 990cc Honda, 990cc Yamaha, 800cc Yamaha)
Championship titles with different engine displacement 3 (500cc, 800cc, 990cc)
Championship titles with different engine configuration [N 13] 2 (two-stroke engine, four-stroke engine)
Wins race with different engine displacement 4 (500cc, 800cc, 990cc, 1000cc)
250cc records
Wins at Autódromo de Buenos Aires Juan y Oscar Gálvez [N 14] 1 (1998)
Wins at Phakisa Freeway [N 15] 1 (1999)
125cc records
Wins in a season11 (1997)
Wins at Shah Alam Circuit [N 16] 1 (1997)
Wins at Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet [N 17] 1 (1997)
Wins at Sentul International Circuit [N 18] 1 (1997)

Complete WRC results

YearCar12345678910111213141516WDCPoints
2002 Peugeot 206 WRC MON SWE FRA ESP CYP ARG GRE KEN FIN GER ITA NZL AUS GBR
Ret
NC0
2006 Subaru Impreza WRC04 MON SWE MEX ESP FRA ARG ITA GRE GER FIN JPN CYP TUR AUS NZL
11
GBR NC0
2008 Ford Focus RS WRC 07 MON SWE MEX ARG JOR ITA GRE TUR FIN GER NZL ESP FRA JPN GBR
12
NC0

Notes

  1. Due to tobacco advertising, the team was known as Yamaha Factory Racing at the United States and Valencian Grands Prix.
  2. Record shared with Casey Stoner and Mika Kallio.
  3. Record shared with Masaki Tokudome, Tetsuya Harada, Mick Doohan, Max Biaggi and Tadayuki Okada.
  4. Record shared with Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan.
  5. Record shared with Àlex Crivillé.
  6. Record shared with Casey Stoner.
  7. Record shared with Casey Stoner.
  8. Record shared with Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan.
  9. Record shared with Àlex Crivillé.
  10. Record shared with Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Marc Márquez.
  11. Record shared with Marc Márquez.
  12. Record shared with Eddie Lawson.
  13. Record shared with Giacomo Agostini.
  14. Record shared with Tom Phillis, Arthur Wheeler, Tarquinio Provini, Jean-François Baldé, Sito Pons, Tadayuki Okada, Max Biaggi and Olivier Jacque.
  15. Record shared with Shinya Nakano, Daijiro Kato, Marco Melandri, Manuel Poggiali and Dani Pedrosa.
  16. Record shared with Loris Capirossi, Alessandro Gramigni, Dirk Raudies, Noboru Ueda, Garry McCoy and Stefano Perugini.
  17. Record shared with Masaki Tokudome, Haruchika Aoki, Noboru Ueda, Simone Sanna, Youichi Ui, Masao Azuma, Jorge Lorenzo and Héctor Barberá.
  18. Record shared with Masaki Tokudome.

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