Who is Valentino Rossi?
- Valentino Rossi announced he will retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2021 season
- Rossi is is the son of former motorcycle racer Graziano Rossi
- He was won nine world championshipsnine world championships
After 25 years, nine world championships and over 400 races in the sport's history, Moto GP legend Valentino Rossi announced he will retire from motorsport at the end of the 2021 season.
Rossi had earlier said that ahead of the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria, he would be holding a special press conference. And it was during this press conference he announced that this season would be his last.
"I said I would take a decision for next year after the summer break, and I decided to stop at the end of the season," the Italian racer said.
"Unfortunately this will be my last half season as a MotoGP rider. And it's difficult, it's a very sad moment because it's difficult to say and know that next year I will not race with a motorcycle, I've done that for I think more or less 30 years!" he added.
Born in Marche, Italy, Valentino is the son of former motorcycle racer Graziano Rossi and so it wasn't he surprise that he began riding at a very young age.
By the age of 12, Rossi had won the regional kart championship and taken up minimoto before the end of 1991. In Italy, Rossi quickly rose through the ranks and in 1995, he won the Italian 125 CC Championship. He was third in the European Championship.
Soon Grand Prix motor racing came calling. He scored his first-ever podium in the form of a third-place finish at the 1996 Austrian Grand Prix.
Before the 1997 championship season, he moved from the AGV team to the official Nastro Azzurro Aprilia Team. Rossi went on to win the 125 cc title that season, winning 11 of the 15 races with 321 points. After the win, he moved up to the 250cc class the following year.
In 1999, he won his first 250cc title and second overall title with 309 points.
After achieving the 250cc World Championship in 1999, Rossi was given a seat with Honda in what was then the highest class in World Championship motorcycle racing, the 500cc. Although he had a rough start, The Doctor finished second in his rookie 500cc season.
Following the 2001 season, little did Rossi know that he would be beginning his journey for immortality in the world of motorcycle racing. He went to be crowned the world champion in the 500cc for five back-to-back seasons -- 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Although he switched from Honda to Yamaha ahead of the 2004 season, there was no stopping the Italian. Finally, in 2006, his run came to an end when he finished second behind Nicky Hayden in the world championship.
Two more world titles for Yamaha took his tally to nine by 2009 before he joined Ducati. But two unproductive and frustrating seasons in 2011 and 2012 followed – the start of a run during which he has failed to add to his tally of world crowns.
Rossi then took successive runner‑up spots between 2014 and 2016 despite being back with the Yamaha team he left to join Ducati.